Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat Review

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat

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The clash of sword, shield, and spear, legend versus legend; Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat seems to make a silent promise of epic, exhilarating, intense battles, reminiscent of the memorable duel between Achilles and Hector in the 2004 film adaptation of Homer’s Iliad, Troy.

The two-man melees in this boxed collection of downloadable titles Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior: Legends instead often feel like crude bouts between action figures: characterless puppets charging from either end of themed arenas, thrashing at each other until one falls in defeat, here drenched in buckets of blood.

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat

These are not contests between unique, cultural fighting styles whose refined qualities reflect the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses. The interplay between these disciplines shows little intricacy, despite evidence of careful research into the details of each warrior’s collection of arms and armor. Rather, slight attribute differences between the few general types of combatants dictate varying degrees of charge-and-hack tactics across the game’s three ranges of combat, none of which demonstrate the skill and command of an elite or deadly warrior.

Conquering a Risk-like map in Deadliest Warrior: Legends’ Generals mode appeals to interests in ancient warfare’s grander campaigns, wherein one-on-one conflicts play a minimal role. This turn-based component, like the rest of the game, demands little strategy, and can only captivate for so long, but here, each mode of play benefits from the other breaking its monotony. Reserving single combat for the conquest or defense of key, fortified territories makes the gravity of such fights feel far more significant, though the combat itself remains the same.

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat

Still, there is something intensely satisfying about cutting off a ninja’s head as a Spartan, or driving Hannibal’s javelin through Attila the Hun’s eye socket for an instant execution to begin a match. The lethality of weapons-based combat is tangible, and the fantastic juxtaposition of warriors who have never and could never have met in battle can be intriguing. The homogeneity of play in Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat quickly wears this novelty thin, though; too many rounds of unconvincing strikes and random headshots become tiresome. Even when the second game replaces past civilizations’ grunt warriors with specific historical figures and attempts to improve its visual presentation of combat, the allure of this who-would-win concept falls to its simplistic and halfhearted implementation.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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