"Def Jam: Fight for NY" and GTA: San Andreas rolled into one.

User Rating: 9 | The Warriors PS2
Rockstar Toronto's "The Warriors" is a great urban brawler with a bit of "Grand Theft Auto"-type gameplay thrown in for good measure. This isn't an updated throwback to classic side-scrolling beat em' ups like "Double Dragon" or "Final Fight". It plays a bit more like AKI's "Def Jam" wrestling games within a non-linear open environment. Of course, this title is based on the 1979 Walter Hill cult flick about a New York gang on the run from its rivals. So, it does recreate classic scenes through the use of the in-game engine, but also establishes a backstory for the Coney Island gang known as The Warriors. If you've seen and love the movie, then this title's stylish presentation will bring a smile to your face. The opening sequence has been reproduced shot-for-shot and music composer Barry DeVorzon's original score is utilized as well. Gangs and characters are introduced through colorful freeze-frames and the fast-paced story is told with great voice acting (most of the original actors reprise their roles) and entertaining cutscenes. The story mode has you running rampant amongst New York City neighborhoods by fighting rivals and committing petty crimes. Like in "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas", you can issue commands to your gang on the fly, "tag" enemy territories, evade the police, practice hand-to-hand combat moves, workout and go on stealth missions. "The Warriors" is actually three games-in-one: Story mode, Rumble Mode and Turf. Complete bonus missions in the Story and you'll unlock extra challenges, character models and arenas for the Rumble mode. You can also unlock extra abilities for the Story mode by completing objectives on your Turf. The cool thing is that you can have a friend join in at anytime for cooperative play. If you and your buddy want to complete different objectives simultaneously, you can since the screen splits apart when you walk in different directions. The language is every bit as harsh as what was heard in "San Andreas", but the game's tone is much lighter. I've always said that despite the monumental achievement "San Andreas" is, it's not as much fun as it could've been because of the serious gang related aspects of the story. Not so with "The Warriors", though it is all about gang violence. It's a lot of fun due to the light, almost campy feel throughout. Overall, this is another Rockstar Games masterpiece. It was three years in the making and it certainly shows in its quality.