New Legends updated preview

Check out our updated impressions of THQ's upcoming story-driven action game.

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We tested out an updated build of THQ and Infinite Machines' Xbox title, New Legends, to see how the game was coming along. In our last hands-on, we were able to try out some of the game's early levels. We've been able to access some of the later levels, explore different areas, and encounter some new enemies. Featuring large areas and interesting gameplay elements, New Legends continues to come together and is shaping up to offer a unique gameplay experience on the Xbox.

Soo and his posse move out.

Taking the role of Sun Soo, eldest son of one of the Chinese empire's more powerful rulers, you'll battle with the forces of Xao Gon, a half-devil warlord whose forces currently occupy the land. Your goal is to rid the land of Xao Gon and restore peace. It's no small task to undertake, considering that Gon's seven half-demon children stand in your way. Fortunately, Soo is far from helpless, able to wield a variety of weapons. You'll be able to hold a weapon in each hand, allowing you a greater variety of attacks. Another offensive skill that Sun Soo will have is chi, which lets him power up his attacks and perform supermoves. In addition, you'll find help from a motley group of sources on your way to liberate the land.

A little hand to hand brawling.

The game's story is tied closely to the gameplay on each level. You'll start each level with a set objective, and as you complete it, you gain new objectives. Or something may change in the level, causing you to adjust the way you play a level. The changing goals keep things interesting and keep you on your toes as you make your way through the game. In addition, your AI-controlled backup players will offer advice and help, although they tend to get in the way sometimes. An onscreen arrow, set around your health meter, points you in the direction you need to go to reach your objective.

Firing missiles at unfriendly folk across the room.

The build we played let us explore indoor areas and gave us access to a different assortment of weapons. The indoor areas featured huge structures to navigate through, as well as wide-open areas that required the use of long-range weapons to take out enemies. We were aided in our battles by two other characters, Fa Zhang, a scrawny fellow with a missile launcher, and Boo, a large blue human/demon hybrid, who's an excellent melee fighter. While still a bit rough, our build hinted at some of the teamwork that may be possible in the game. At the start of the level, Fa Zhang targeted distant enemies, while Boo ran interference for Soo as we lined up our shots. Both characters trailed as we moved deeper into the level and seemed to provide backup.

Overall, the game is trying to do some unique things. The weapon system and combat work well, and the way the game is attempting to integrate the story and the way it affects the objectives per mission is interesting and has a lot of potential. Although it was hard to get a true feel for how the game will come together given the early state of the code, there were definitely some areas that needed some polish to realize that potential. The large areas were cool but sparsely populated, the graphics needed a bit more polish, and the frame rate still fluctuated quite a bit. At the moment, the game has a lot of cool elements on the table--hopefully, Infinite Machine will have the time to pull them all together by the game's release. New Legends ships later this month.

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