E3 '07: Legendary: The Box First Look

Spark Unlimited shows off its first-person labor of love for the first time at Gamecock's EiEiO event in Santa Monica.

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During a recent visit to the Gamecock Media Group's EiEiO event at Santa Monica's Hotel California, we had an opportunity to sit in on a presentation of Spark Unlimited's recently announced Legendary: The Box. Set in the present day, Legendary casts you in the role of a renowned art thief named Charles Deckard who is hired to liberate a historical artifact from one of New York's museums. Unknown to Deckard, the artifact in question is Pandora's Box, and as he attempts to steal it in the intro movie, it quickly becomes clear that messing with it was a very bad idea.

Upon touching the box, Deckard's hand is branded with a strange symbol, and moments later, cracks start appearing in the walls and columns all over the museum. The chaos that ensues as you're afforded control of the game is impressive--walls and ceilings are collapsing, alarms are sounding, security gates are opening and closing, and museum visitors are screaming as they attempt to flee the scene. The situation is equally uncomfortable outside, where you'll see the destruction that was caused inside the museum emanating as a shockwave that, we're told, throws not only the city of New York into chaos, but the whole world.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

Shortly after being hit by the realization that you're responsible for this carnage, things go from bad to worse as an elephant-sized gryphon arrives on the scene and starts attacking people, throwing vehicles around like toys, and basically making a nuisance of itself. A large number of the intimidating-looking gryphons showed up before the end of the presentation, and it was really impressive to see groups of them flying overhead while others were diving down toward the street and often getting a little too close for comfort. Deckard didn't appear to be armed during this sequence from the game's first chapter, so when a giant golem rose up from the rubble--its body consisted of big chunks of what used to be the street as well as the remains of a vehicle or two--the Spark Unlimited representative who was playing the game opted to bring the demo to an abrupt end by letting it stomp Deckard into the ground.

The second portion of the demo focused on Legendary: The Box's fifth chapter, and could hardly have been more different. By this point in the game, it seems, Deckard will know that he was set up by an organization calling itself the Black Order. The group knew full well that Deckard would unwittingly open Pandora's Box when they sent him to steal it, but what they didn't count on was him surviving the ordeal and coming after them with revenge on his mind.

Fighting alongside a group of 20 or so soldier-types determined to stop the Black Order, chapter-five Deckard is not only proficient in the use of a great-looking arsenal of around a dozen weapons and several different types of grenades, but has also learned that the symbol on his hand affords him special powers. Chapter five is set inside a large cathedral, and will see you and your colleagues going up against a small army of werewolves. Members of the Black Order are also inside the cathedral, though they're too busy dealing with the werewolves themselves to pay much attention to you, and there's really no reason for you to interfere as two groups of enemies go about killing each other.

The werewolves in the cathedral are fast and intelligent. They scamper along walls every bit as easily as they move on floors, and we're told that, like all enemies in Legendary: The Box, they're smart enough to interact with destructible objects in the environment and to close in on you anytime you attempt to stay in cover for too long. The werewolves are also incredibly resilient, so even after you've taken one down and it appears to be dead it's not a bad idea to blow its head off--just to be sure. The symbol on Deckard's hand will afford you a number of different powers as you progress through the game, but in chapter five--at least based on the content of the presentation--the only one you'll have figured out how to use is stealing life from enemies to replenish your health.

In addition to a story-driven single-player game that's good for 8-10 hours of gameplay, Spark Unlimited plans to include a number of multiplayer options that "will not be standard." Information on the multiplayer features of Legendary: The Box is being kept under wraps for the moment, but it's clear that the game's many monsters will be coming into play somehow. Downloadable episodic content is also planned, though the first installment isn't likely to arrive until sometime after Legendary: The Box's Spring 2008 release. We look forward to bringing you more information on this one as soon as it becomes available.

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