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The Warriors’ carries Rockstar tradition

Mark Bemenderfer | Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Warriors, come out to play.

For those who have seen the 1979 cult classic “The Warriors,” those words have special meaning. After fighting through the night to return home to Coney Island, the Warriors are put to one final test on their home turf.

It fits the tone of the movie that their pursuers never relent, even once the gang makes their way home. The night preceding the final confrontation had all the gangs in New York hounding the Warriors tirelessly. The gangs were hunting them because they were framed for the murder of the most powerful gang leader around.

It was a cheesy, entertaining movie, one that has stood the test of time and still manages to entertain to this date. However, there was left plenty of room for character development, as interest was created in a character, only to see him fail in his journey to get home.

Twenty-six years later, the answer has arrived. Rockstar Games acquired the rights to create a game based on the movie, and now in 2005, a continuation of the original story has finally come to fruition. In efforts to elaborate on many of the short-lived characters, the entire game is a prequel to the events that unfold in the movie. This gives the player the ability to see how their favorite Warrior came to the position that they were at the beginning of the movie.

The game is a great continuation of the original Warriors story. All of the Warriors are present and in character. Fan favorites like Ajax and Cleon act like one would expect, despite their limited screen-time during the movie. Hearing Ajax mock rival gangs is a thrill for any fan of the movie.

The game is still a worthwhile purchase, even for gamers who have never seen the movie. All of the traits with which Rockstar Games has become associated are once again present, such as the rampant violence and swearing. In its bare form, the game is a gang simulator. The player controls a pre-assigned Warrior as he leads a group of other gang members to accomplish the goals of the level. The levels are free-roam; however, they are much smaller than the ones found in the Grand Theft Auto series or other examples of the free-roam genre.

There is plenty to do in the environments, despite their smaller size. Every enemy turf entered has graffiti that can be overwritten, cars with stereos that can be stolen and stores that can either be broken into or lock-picked to steal the goods. The random non-playable characters on the street can be mugged for their cash and rival gangs engaged.

Combat in the game is easy and straight forward, with a button for light attacks, heavy attacks and grabs. If an enemy grabs you the move can be countered by hitting the appropriate key. A rage meter fills as the mayhem mounts, unlocking new attacks. Some of the higher level attacks are devastating to watch.

The player can issue simple commands to the rest of the gang, such as “follow me” or “cause mayhem.” This adds some depth to the game, as the base gameplay is reminiscent of old fighting games like “Final Fight” and “Streets of Rage.” There is even a “scatter” command when the player is faced with an overwhelming force or the cops take notice of the gang activities.

In this slow period before the holidays, “The Warriors” is a decent way to spend $50 on a game. While it may not be as deep or as pretty as many of the games being sold, its still a solid enjoyable experience for one or two players.

So come out to play with the Warriors, there’s a good time to be had.