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Chaos Legion PlayStation 2

Published by CAPCOM
Developed by CAPCOM
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99

Chaos Legion is an action game that the Japanese have dubbed an 'intense gothic opera' and it's not difficult to see why. The architecture and the enemies that you will encounter are all lavishly gothic in style. Like some of Capcom's other action games Chaos Legion has a few RPG elements thrown into the mix too. Let's take a closer look at Chaos Legion.

The central character in the game is Sieg Wahrheit, a master swordsman and Knight of the Dark Glyphs. Whilst Wahrheit is away for many years on a perilous mission something happens to his oldest ally, Victor Delacroix. Delacroix, who was grief stricken after the loss of his love Siela, has been seduced by the forces of Evil and seems intent on destroying the world. Delacroix also managed to steal the Apochrypha of Yzarc before he left. Wahrheit now has to stop Delacroix from throwing the world into chaos and in order to do so will have to fight through 13 different levels and defeat many, many enemies. Thankfully though Wahrheit has the assistance of a legion (a creature that can be summoned) that can help him defeat the numerous enemies that he will encounter.

As you would expect from the title of the game the legions play a key role in the game. In all there are 7 legions in the game although only two can be used for any one mission. Wahrheit only has a sword as a weapon (although he has a good range of attack moves) and without calling on your legion you are going to find things very difficult indeed. In order to be able to call on a legion you're going to need your soul meter to be full. On slaying your enemies you'll be able to collect extra souls, a blue like aura that will help fill your soul meter. Once the soul meter is full you can summon your legions and have them perform force or assist attacks in order to help you slay your enemies. Once a legion is called though your soul meter will begin to empty and as soon as the meter is completely empty your legion will disappear so you have to make good use of the limited amount of time you're being assisted. As you progress through the game your legions, that are being used, will gain experience and will gain extra abilities. Whilst you can give orders to the legions, you don't have them under direct control as you do with Wahrheit.

The game is broken up into a series of 'rooms' as the game calls them. A room is basically a closed off area which usually contains many enemies that Wahrheit must defeat. Usually one of the monsters you have to defeat will be a target and defeating it will open up the gate to another room. Eventually you'll come to an end of level boss fight that requires a bit of thought and this is where it becomes important which legions you picked to accompany you at the beginning of a level. Picking the appropriate legion will make your boss fight much easier than it normally would be.

Whatever else you may say about Chaos Legion you can't argue that it must be one of the most optimised games on the PlayStation 2. There are plenty of occasions where there are masses of enemies onscreen and the framerate does not waiver one iota. There are hundreds on games on the PlayStation 2 where you have more than a handful of enemies onscreen at any one time and the framerate bombs, which almost gives a slow motion feel and the developers of Chaos Legion deserve a lot of credit for managing to keep the framerate stable. On the flip side though distance fogging has ben used quite extensively in order to shorten the draw distance. It's refreshing to see a game such as this where you can control the camera though (via the right analogue stick) rather than having to make do with static viewpoints.

Chaos Legion is absolutely fine for deaf gamers. Capcom have included subtitles for the cutscenes and the tutorial messages are all shown in text and require a button press in order to proceed so you can read them at your own pace. The subtitle text is easy on the eyes and easily readable. The subtitles are white with a black edge around the letters to make them stand out against the background. The manual is only 22 pages long but it gives you all the information you need and fills in the background story better than the cutscenes.

The main problem with Chaos Legion is that it pales quite dramatically when placed alongside Capcoms other titles on the PS2 such as the brilliant Onimusha 2. By comparison Chaos Legion seems quite hollow and repetitive. It's still a good game but it's not the best and if you've experienced either the Devil May Cry series or the Onimusha series then Chaos Legion will seem a tad disappointing. In it's defence though there are quite a few extras to be unlocked and playing the game through will enable it to be replayed with Arcia, a female character.

Overall Game Rating: 7.2/10
Basically it's a good gothic flavoured action game that is easy to get into and the legions are a good inclusion. However Capcom themselves have spoiled us with masterpieces such as Onimusha 2 and in comparison Chaos Legion doesn't look special.

Deaf Gamers comment:
There are no problems for deaf gamers as the cutscenes and tutorial messages are fully subtitled with clear and easy to read text.