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While it may not be Legendary, it is far from a 2.0 rated game.

Legendary was a game I watched since it was first unveiled. It looked creative, had promise and its concept was great. Upon release developer Sparks Unlimited had some stuff to prove. Their last game Turning Point was a disaster and like Legendary had a great concept. So naturally I was excited but I was skeptical. When it was finally released it was panned by critics and players alike. It got a range of 2.0-3.0 reviews. Saying Legendary was just a mess and that it shouldn't be played ever. Well I didn't listen (like usual) and picked it up to find out for how it was.

So, is Legendary just another Turning Point, or does its concept live up to its promise? Read more to find out.

--[Story]--

The story of Legendary is pretty straight forward. It revolves around the myth of Pandora's Box in Greek Mythology. The Pandora's Box myth, as described by the game, is a thing of Legend. It was a wedding present from Zeus to his wife with a warning of never to open. Zeus's wife of course peaks inside. In doing so she released all kinds of evil onto all of mankind.

The reality of what happened, described by the game, is that Pandora's Box was a device of great power. After many years of wars raged over the device, a Secret Society called the "Council of 98" hid the artifact. In the 21st century archaeologists uncovered the box in the bottom of the ocean. After this they would put it into a Museum in New York to keep it safe.

The story picks up in present day. A professional thief named Charles Deckard is hired by millionaire Ormond LeFey to open the box and take its contents. Deckard along with LeFey's assistant, Vivian Kane, make it their objective to get to the box. However, once Deckard breaks into the vault that's holding the box and tries to open it something bad happens. The box releases a surge of energy and brands Deckard with a Signet on his arm.

Now that the box is open along with it is its evil contents. Creatures from the box are causing chaos around the world. LeFey backstabs Deckard and Vivian and sends his private army "The Black Order" To take the box and use its power to rule the world. It is now up to Deckard, Vivian, and the Council of 98 to stop LeFey and to preserve the contents of the Box for the greater good of mankind.

The story is very cookie cutter. However, it does a serviceable job. It is told in the way of cut scenes, and some very neat hand drawn art style pictures.

--[Graphics]--

The graphics in Legendary are powered by the Unreal Engine. Sparks Unlimited for the most part have put it to some pretty decent use. While it may not be on the scale of Gears of war or Unreal Tournament 3. It is a decent coding of the engine. Within in the game is some nice water and light effects. Textures are pretty decent. Nothing too great or bad. Its just decent. The character and creature models are surprisingly detailed and pretty nice looking. It is very awesome to shoot a creature only for his backbone to reveal itself under its flesh.

Now for the negatives. Legendary has a array of graphical issues I came across. Its nothing that ruins the experience, It is noticeable though. One of the biggest things I thought was the animations. Some of them were jerky and stick figure like. Also some animations never completed a loop. What I mean by this like in one scene there is a helicopter and its blades are spinning. However, it doesn't make a full spin it just jumps back to the start of the animation...not a full smooth loop.

Another thing I noticed was when turning valves the shadow of the valve doesn't stay, it flickers back and forth. Yet for some valves the shadow stays? Its weird. Its like more effort was put into some things than others. There is also texture pop in and screen tearing but I do not consider these bad as they are in a lot of games. However, pop in is really noticeable. Like walking up onto a blood splat to see it change. There is also some frame rate issues in cut scenes at times, its like they stutter or something.

Like I said though these do not ruin the experience. As they are very minor and something that can be overlooked. Unless your really picky.

--[Gameplay]--

The gameplay in Legendary plays out like a linear fps shooter. There is no branching paths, no side missions. It is the player going from point A to Point B. Killing anything in your way. As the game starts out you get the sense that it is keen on destruction. The creatures you face like Griffins, Firedrakes, Werewolves etc. They are all causing mayhem around the places you visit. As such there is many scripted events. A lot of these scenarios are pretty cool. One scenario has Deckard inside a Council 98 helicopter only to be taken down by griffins. Another sequence has you riding a elevator only to see your friendly helicopter get taken down and fall down through the roof of the tower you are going to. Its awesome to say the least. In the game you visit primarily New York and London. Both are well represented and offer some nice set pieces. One has you fighting around the Statue of Liberty's head.

Apart from the creatures you face, you also fight LeFey's Black Order soldiers. These guys are not the smartest guys out there. They do take cover and they do put up a fight but ultimately they offer their greatest challenge in numbers. The same can be said for the friendly guys as well. They are not great shots, do not offer great resistance. They are mostly cannon filler for the creatures. Which is the shining plate of the game. Without them it would ultimately feel generic. It is just so much fun to shoot a werewolves. Its not long into the game that you are introduced to the minotaur. Fighting these things are awesome and frantic. They are tough and they become even tougher when the game puts you against 2 of them. Its insane.

The controls in legendary are your typical fps controls. It handles well and its responsive. One nice touch I always like is putting the sprint button on L1. It just feels more smooth and fluid compared to the analog stick press. In the game you use many firearms at your disposal to take down the creatures. These range from shotguns to rocket launchers. Its standard affair. More couple of been added but it feels so awesome to shoot off a werewolves head with a shoty.

There really is no bad to say about Legendary's core gameplay. For what it is its pretty fun. It feels like a sci-fi movie brought to life in a game. The negative things I can say about it is that it never expands. There is so much potential here for something greater. In the game the characters talk of monsters invading Europe, smashing the great pyramids. Yet none of this is seen. There is also some potential to bring more monsters into the mix like Dragons, Cyclops monsters, Vampires etc. This could prove unique its modern setting and provide something more than what's offered. Hopefully in a sequel this is realized. I mean imagine the humans fighting in the middle of a war between vampires and werewolves. Also imagine a squad of humans assaulting a base of vampires in the night. With the final boss being Dracula. It could be awesome!

--[Sound]--

The sound in Legendary is good. The music is a retro hard rock style soundtrack that fit's the game perfectly. The voice acting is kind of iffy for some characters and Deckard doesn't even speak which is odd to me. The guns sound appropriate to what they are. I wish the scoped assault rifle didn't sound so flat though. The creatures from the werewolves to the minotaurs all sound good. All in all pretty decent sound production here.

--[Replay Value]--

Legendary has mild replay value. While it is great fun to shoot the creatures. It doesn't expand beyond that. There is data to collect in the levels, but its not something that is needed. Online play is here but no one plays. Which is a shame because I heard the creatures get involved in the mp. Trophies are not here as it was released in 2008. The game will also take around 6 hours to beat depending on how you play. I played this game on hard and it wasn't too hard at all.


Overall Legendary in my opinion is not as bad as what everyone made it out to be. Its very fun and at times engaging in its concept. Its just a shame it never expands and goes beyond what it could have been. However, do not let this turn you away. I recommend picking it up if you can find it cheap, like sc-fi type stories and enjoy killing mythical creatures. As you will find something to have fun with inside Legendary.

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