TGR Hands-On Preview: Legendary

The story of Pandora’s Box is one of legend. After Prometheus stole fire from gods, Zeus came up with a plan to retaliate against mankind. It’s said that Zeus bestowed the box upon Pandora as a wedding gift under one condition: that she never open it. Unfortunately, Pandora also had the gift of curiosity and ultimately opened the box, unleashing all kinds of burdensome pestilence on the world. When she discovered what she had done, she quickly closed the box trapping one last thing inside: hope. The team at Spark Unlimited has brought back the legend with Legendary, and from the moment I opened the game box, it was clear that there was hope inside.

Spark Unlimited’s sophomore entry into next gen consoles tells a redefined story of Pandora’s Box. In this mythical legend, the box has fallen from civilization to civilization, decimating all in its path, until it eventually fell from society’s knowledge all together. Unfortunately, all that is lost is eventually found, and Pandora’s Box finds its way into a New York Museum.

Players are thrust into the shoes of professional art thief Charles Deckard, a silent protagonist who has been hired by a mysterious benefactor, known as LeFey. With the help of his assistant Vivian, Deckard tracks down Pandora’s Box and opens it, unleashing all manners of beasts and a terrible taint on society. We’ve had the opportunity to sit down and delve into the beast. Does it live up to its mythical roots or is this title just myth?

As the initial dust cleared, we are faced with a bleak New York environment. Griffins fly above billowing smoke. Dismantled cars line the apocalyptic streets. Legendary does well to draw the player into its universe . The Graphics are nothing unprecedented, but they hold their own. The game employs scripted events, which help to make the player feel as if the environment is crumbling around them. Unfortunately, these start to feel overused as players will find themselves waiting for openings in pathways to present themselves. This becomes a chronic issue with the title, and the linear focus of the game begins to confine the player to the point that their actions are not really their own choice.

While the gameplay may feel a bit confining at times for the player, the creatures in the game shine. Enemies take advantage of the environments around them. Werewolves jump from building to building, quickly darting in and out of view. Nari, a creature type that looks like a demonic fairy, is particularly maddening. They are able to transfer their ghost-like energy to other objects, providing many of the games more interesting moments, including a soda machine that chases the player around, shooting cans. The game also presents other mythical legends in the form of firedrakes, griffens, minotaurs, giant golems, and even the legendary Kraken. These fights at some points become nearly as epic as the enemies themselves, as you will be assaulted in all directions by multiple foes.

Unfortunately, the weapons you use to dispatch such enemies are not nearly as interesting. The weapons are your standard fare. I could list them all; however, you can just about guess what to expect: Axe, pistol, shotgun, SMG, assault rifle, machine gun, flamethrower, and anti-air missile. It’s a tad disappointing to see no innovation on the weaponry side. This results in a much more mundane experience than what could have been. The game’s shooter mechanics are largely typical and functional, and they won’t likely draw gamers away from the rest of the holiday smorgasbord.

This is where many games would turn to the plot to drive players forward. Legendary’s is intriguing, but it feels largely half-baked. We’re not going to give any details away, but it really never seems to gain momentum. At least the game uses an interesting form of cut scenes — styled art with narration. This sets the game apart and breaks up the action.

Forgoing traditional videogame background music, a rock soundtrack sets the tune. While I actually enjoyed the music, it felt a little out of place and seems to drown out the game in a sense. Instead of rising and falling with the surrounding atmosphere, the player hears a constant level and style of sound no matter what.

Seeing as we were playing an early build, there is still the possibility that some of the minor issues in the game are fixed. You’re going to have to check back to see our Legendary Game Review as the game gets closer to release. The game may have some flaws, but it has an extreme amount of potential, as the creatures make each fight feel almost like an individual boss fight. One thing we can tell you is that you need to keep this game on your radar. Check back frequently for new updates as they come in about Legendary.

Author: John Laster