Despite the ambitious name, Legendary fails to stand toe to toe with the big hitters in this month's review section. But don't completely strike it from your queue of games to pick up this winter.
We're not about to reveal that you've made a big mistake and should make this FPS your priority one in that shopping list. The experience is more akin to Clive Barker's Jericho than Halo.
But, you know, Legendary is worth a spin once you've exhausted your Xbox 360 with all the other big games of the next few months.
It's a B-Movie horror through and through. The question is whether the game, or the developer, knows that. The answer is a hard one to put your finger on.
Every character you meet ends up meeting a grisly end in short order and we wonder if it's a conscious decision to lampoon the genre rather than fill you with fear, which it doesn't. If it's an unintentional quirk, then it's a blunder that swiftly becomes an effective calling card, raising a chuckle even after the twentieth poor sod exclaims "guess we're the lucky ones" only to have their head ripped off a second later.
Yet despite cheapo production values similar to Spark Unlimited's previous FPS, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, this is actually quite the spectacle. Scrabbling about in the rubble caused by a skyscraper-sized golem in New York is an impressive sight, while the other mythical creatures unleashed through your tampering of Pandora's Box are of sufficient variety that you're cycling through combat strategies on a regular basis to keep your attention.
Combat, however, has its faults. Through a mystical symbol on your hand you can absorb the life energy of your enemies once they've been killed, which can either heal you or can be fired outward as a stun attack. At various points the energy has to be used to power certain items.
The problem with this is that Spark is relentless at throwing a huge number of beasties your way, crowding you into a corner and ripping you to shreds. There's not enough breathing space for you to heal yourself and absorb energy to use it effectively as a defensive measure. To say this had us throwing the controller at the telly and cursing is an understatement.
So go play all those other games that are making your top five/top ten this winter. But four months down the line, when you're looking for something cheap and dirty in the New Year sales, you could do a lot worse than Legendary.
Less legendary, more bargain bin prize
- Some B-Movie laughs
- Spectacular settings
- Difficulty spikes unfairly
- Doesn't reinvent the genre
- Too. Many. Enemies