Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Post-Launch Review
Legendary (PC)
Developer: Spark Unlimited
Publisher: Gamecock Media Group, SouthPeak Interactive, Atari
Released: November 4 2008 (XBox, PS3), November 18 2008 (PC)

Legendary is an FPS following professional thief Charles Deckard. Hired by an organization called the Black Order, Deckard is hired to steal Pandora's Box from a New York museum. Of course, Deckard opens the box, unleashing a horde of mythical creatures on the world. Deckard, a Black Order defector named Vivian, and the military force the Council of 98 set out to save the world from the rampaging creatures. Meanwhile the Black Order works to steal the Box, intending to harness its power to take over the world.

At Launch
Professional review scores were mixed to low, averaging out to about 50% across all platforms. User scores tend to be noticeably higher. It's tough to find any points that are agreed upon by critics; the few details in common are complaints of linearity and general averageness. The greatest point of criticism was the lack of variety in enemies — not counting bosses, reviews cited 4 enemy types.

Post Launch
I find no evidence of post-launch support.
The Good
Opening Sequence
The first level of the game is intensely action-packed. Crazy things are happening all around you. There are explosions, griffons screeching by overhead, shock waves blasting cars into the air and demolishing buildings. The music adds to the intensity. There are tons of people around. Injured people leaning against walls, scared people running for cover, cops shooting at the monsters, corpses on the ground. That also adds to the It's a crazy sequence that really makes you feel like something huge and terrifying is going on.
I don't know WTF game the reviewers played, but I saw plenty of enemies. The werewolves are pretty cool, fast but not too tough... but unless you remove the head, they regenerate and come at you again. Werewolves force you to make tactical decisions (remove the head or keep shooting), especially when mixed with gun-toting soldiers. I think the issue that wasn't made clear in the reviews is there are a lot of enemies, but the game uses a few of them a LOT — expect to fight werewolves of varying toughnesses for the entire game. I had fun, but I can see how others might get bored of werewolves.
Also, there's a particularly awesome “sh*t just got real” moment when the kraken attacks the British Parliament.
There isn't a lot of variety in Legendary's soundtrack — I think there are only three or four songs — but they're very effective at making the game feel intense. Constant electric guitar strumming and a heavy beat make you feel like a badass as you blast your way through hordes of werewolves.

The basic premise of the game is pretty cool. Fight powerful mythological creatures with modern weaponry? Yes please!
The Neutral
I don't expect FPS games to be long. 8 or 10 hours is pretty normal. Legendary, however, was 4 hours long, at least for me. That's not a bad thing, as long as you know and expect it before you buy the game.
Reviewers also complained about the lackluster weapon selection. There isn't anything new here, just the standard FPS loadout: pistol, shotgun, SMG, scoped assault rifle, machine gun, rocket launcher. But there's a reason those guns are used over and over in FPS games: because it's a solid roster.
A more interesting criticism was that the guns don't feel powerful enough. I found that it really depends on your aim. A single well-placed shotgun blast at point blank will blow a werewolf's head clean off, when it could take a whole magazine if you're less careful. The machine gun feels gloriously powerful when you first get it, and the rocket launcher will blast even the mighty griffon into bloody chunks with a single shot.

There's no save-anywhere, but the checkpoints are placed reasonably enough. Didn't bother me the few times I died.
The Bad
Character Animation
Human characters have very exaggerated animation, as if they're on stage a long distance from the audience. Plus, those animations seem way too fast. For example, when one character looks back and forth for enemies, it makes me wonder how she doesn't get whiplash. Characters in cutscenes look comically emphatic.
This doesn't apply to the mythological creatures. They look fine.
Iron Sights
For some reason, when using sights, it seems like mouse sensitivity goes WAY up. I think what's actually happening mechanically is that the game simply zooms in without adjusting the sensitivity to compensate. In any case, it's incredibly annoying. Turn down the sensitivity to work with iron sights, and you'll probably find it too low otherwise. Turn up the sensitivity so you can actually look around, and it's too high when aiming. Bleh.
I'm not sure what Spark did with the cutscenes. They appear to be rendered in the game engine, but with some kind of filter. For the most part, they actually look worse than the game engine at maximum settings.

The ending is pretty unsatisfactory. There's a sudden twist and what appears to be setup for a sequel, without real closure. Or maybe its length indicates that it was intended to be episodic. Not to mention that one or two major monsters were partially seen and referenced, but never made a proper appearance. Unfortunately we'll probably never see a sequel due to the poor review scores.
The Verdict
Recommendation: Play it on Steam for $10.
Legendary isn't a great game, but it's a competent (if short) shooter with a fun premise and some real badassery. It's only $10 on Steam, and probably less during sales. It's worth that much at least, and you'll have some fun with it.


  1. Good reviews.. keep going.

  2. Kyle Christenson9 December 2011 at 17:02

    I don't think I've even heard of this one. Sounds pretty fun though. Good review.

  3. It's less than $2 today so I'm going to buy it, thanks!