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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Gamecock Media Group
Developed By: Spark Unlimited
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Players: 1-8
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: November 11, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Out of any year, 2008 was the year to be a gamer. From several AAA titles being released, to the announcement of upcoming projects, more and more gamers were powering on their systems to experience some of the most intense shooters, action adventure, and role playing titles released around the world. Trying to capitalize off the successful year, Spark Unlimited, creators of the Turning Point series, decided to release Legendary, which takes a well-known myth and recreate it on the grand scale. Does Legendary live up to its name, yes, is Legendary the first-person shooter everyone was looking for, no.

Within Legendary, you assume the role of a Charles Deckard, a thief that was hired to break into the New York museum to secure a highly valuable artifact. Once he arrives at the location of the artifact, Deckard proceeds to insert a key into the box (Pandoraís Box), which is the start of several chain reactions, which would set the world on a violent course of destruction and chaos. Upon unleashing ďhell on earthĒ, Deckardís hand was branded within a symbol, while also realizing that the people that hired him have doubled-crossed him. Throughout the game, Deckard is learning about his new found abilities, while trying to undo the horror that has befallen the world.

As Deckard tries to escape the museum and into the streets of Ney York, he realizes that his hand, which was branded by Pandoraís Box, has a strong connection to the creatures released and these glowing purple orbs that he finds scattered around. When you approach an orb, you have the ability to absorb the energy through your hand, which can in-turn heal your wounds. Upon defeating enemies, some of the creatures will also leave behind the same orbs. While this system is interesting due to being the old way for your character to regain health, it also presents a few problems of its own. The button you absorb the energy and regain health is the same. While this really isnít a problem, why wasnít the health system designed to where as soon as Deckard absorbs the orbs, they automatically heal him, with the remaining energy going into a special meter instead of vice versa. All in all, the health system is sold, just provides inconvenience when in the middle of battles where time is a factor.

While the core of Legendary is a first-person shooter, Spark Unlimited also decided to mix in some elements of puzzle solving and platforming to keep each environment unique. If you arenít simply shooting it out, trying to kill all the creatures blocking you from your path, you are shimmying up ladders and pipes, crawling through air-ducts, and jumping from one platform to another while avoiding creature attacks. While is all works for the most part, the game just seems to linear. Whether within the tutorial or simply playing the games, pathways are created perfectly via falling debris and explosions, predominately offering only one path in order to reach your next checkpoint and/or destination. While this will aid those who arenít really into fps titles, veterans will lose interest within the gameplay as they are limited in what they can do and/or experience.

While gameplay has its share of issues, the creature A.I. is definite welcome feature, which ultimately creates unique battles between Deckard and the creatures. Each creature has its own distinct attack patterns and abilities, however the werewolves are in a class all of their own. When facing a werewolf, you have always keep your guard up, while constantly moving. In a battle I had against three werewolves within a factory, I had one trying to attack head-on, while the other two were crawling along the wall, making jumping attacks me. What make this interesting, if I were to shoot one down and decapitate it, the other two seemed to regroup, to plan out a new way of attacking me. This was certainly refreshing to always have to watch my backÖ and frontÖ when engaged in a battle. The only downside to the implementing of the werewolves was they were used a little too much throughout the game. Can honestly say I have killed more than a hundred werewolves through one playthrough.

The weaponry within Legendary isnít ďLegendaryĒ in any right. You have your stand machine guns, assault rifles, hand guns, and the best weapon of all, the axe. Now some may be hesitant to utilize an axe within a shooting title, but you will soon realize that is a very powerful and affective weapon against your enemies. There isnít any real need to worry about ammo consumption considering any human soldier your kill; you can pick up their ammo. There is also ammo scattered throughout the environments, so you will always have a fighting chance, no matter how intense a battle may be.

There are only two areas of the game that stands out, one being the creature A.I. (talked about earlier) and the visual presentation. The environments, whether out in the city or within a shipping factory, are designed and presented on a grand scale. An example of this is the opening sequence, which depicts a ravaged New York City being terrorized by mythical creatures. Whether look up, or down the street, there is great detail within the environment, and the lighting of the sky which sometimes can distract you from your primary mission. At times there were small issues with the framerate a taking a small dip, but this generally happened when there was a lot of action taking place on the screen at a single time. In regards to the audio, you can say that itís passable. The voice-acting wonít blow you away, but itís solid enough to help carry the plot of the game along. The sound effects are varying, depending on the creatures and environment, which offer up diversity and add to the total package of the presentation.

For those looking for more excitement out of Legendary, you can dive into the 8-player online battles included within the title. From what I have experienced, not too many people have this title or bother to play it online. However, when you do find some opponents, the action is intense and a very rewarding experience. I did notice some issues within the framerate, but nothing that really took away from the overall experience. There are four total maps to battle on, all distinct in their own right.

At first glance, Legendary reminds you of an epic Hollywood production, but when you get further immersed into the game you realize that its shortcomings damper the experience from living up to its true potential. The concept utilized within this title is a vast monstrosity, which canít be told within one sitting, which hopefully could mean a possible sequel in the coming future. Whether that will happen or not, is up to the developer, but I can certainly say for those looking for an immersive experience and that's it, Legendary does indeed live up to its name.


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