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Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code PSP

Published by Ubisoft
Developed by Sony Online Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £34.99

Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code, an introduction.

If you wanted any kind of RPG experience when the PSP launched here in Europe last year, your only option was Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade. The game was an action RPG, which is to say, it provided non-stop hack 'n' slash action from beginning to end. It may not have been a game to offer a high degree of depth but it proved to be popular enough to be a top selling launch title and for a sequel to be commissioned and that's exactly what we have here with Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code.

What's the game about?

The realm is in chaos and oppressed by a Warlord's minions as they murder and enslave the people of the land. Members of a secret shape-shifter race have begun to disappear and it's suspected that a plot has been hatched to wipe out this ancient race. However, just as all hope seems lost, a glimmer of hope exists as shape-shifter refugees come to find out about a closely guarded secret that gives them a belief that freedom and peace can return to the realm. Playing as either a shape-shifting Guardian, Mercenary, Disciple, Scout or Prowler you'll play through five chapters in single or multiplayer mode as you attempt to bring peace to the realm.

What's good about the game?

The Warrior's Code is a no fuss hack 'n' slash game that should please fans of the genre who are looking for an almost constant combat game whilst they are on the move. As well as the ability to play as either of the five characters we've already mentioned, this sequel also boasts an enhanced game engine with improved graphics, a new combat engine with more combat moves, special abilities and dynamic attacks of opportunity, a new user interface and an improved inventory system. We usually have cause to complain about many PSP titles due to their lack of a quality multiplayer component but there's certainly nothing to complain about with The Warrior's Code. Two player co-operative games can be played as well player vs. player battles for up to four players using either the ad hoc or infrastructure modes. The co-operative mode games can be reloaded and played as a single-player game and vice versa, which is excellent. A new quest system has also been included to give a wider range of quests and there is also an improved quest journal to help you keep track of what needs to be done. In fact if you were a fan of the original Untold Legends it's pretty much guaranteed you'll enjoy The Warrior's Code, given all of the additions and improvements that have been made.

What's not so good about the game?

In truth the story could have been more interesting as the one we have here is a touch bland. The character customisation options are limited. Basically you'll choose your class, name, skin colour, hairstyle and hair colour as well as dishing out some attribute points before jumping into the game. Each character's gender is fixed and you can't change their appearance (with the exception of the skin, hair colour and style). As you might expect the game doesn't stand up too well, in terms of game play depth, to hack 'n' slash titles on other formats such as Titan Quest on the PC and the Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance games on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Like most hack 'n' slash games it does suffer from being too repetitive at times. You'll find yourself pressing the X button an awful lot during the game. There are some charged attacks and the ability to transform temporarily into a beast of sorts, does add some variation but it's still going to be a game that gives your X button an awful lot of punishment. Although you can change into a beast it seldom feels like it's worth it, as your character's beast form doesn't seem like it's significantly more effective than the character's natural state.

How does it look?

The Warrior's Code uses a 3D game engine and unlike a lot of the 3D visuals that have appeared in PSP games to date it actually looks quite good. Some of the spell effects in particular look impressive. The game, by default, is played from a top down perspective. You can alter the camera angle and zoom in and behind your main character but in truth this limits your view and makes it more difficult to spot oncoming enemies and you're best sticking with the default camera setup. The load times in The Warrior's Code are very respectable. The frame rate does dip from time to time but thankfully it never becomes problematic.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

The Warrior's Code is essentially OK for deaf gamers but that's not say to everything is subtitled. Tutorial messages are shown in text. Conversations during the game are shown in text. You can keep track of your objectives through the quest log. You're notified in text when your character has levelled up. Low health warnings appear in text which is useful. Unfortunately the game's cutscenes are not subtitled meaning you'll miss out on all the dialogue they contain. This is far from being a disaster but it does mean you're not going to get the full gist of the game's story, which is a little unfortunate.  The game doesn't have any captions, so you'll be unaware of enemies that can be heard before they are seen. This doesn't really present much of a  problem though.

Final thoughts.

If you're looking for a fairly enjoyable hack 'n' slash RPG to play either as a single-player or multiplayer game then Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code is well worth a look. The story could have been more captivating and given you reason to plough through the repetitive levels. On the whole though it's quite an enjoyable hack 'n' slash title that offers a decent single-player game with some excellent multiplayer options. With the exception of the unsubtitled cutscenes, it's also fine for deaf gamers.

Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10

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Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code is a solid sequel that fans of the original will no doubt enjoy. The single-player game is a tad repetitive but the impressive multiplayer options more than make up for it.