Could a once arcade and Atari fan favorite return and reclaim its title of best party game in a generation where FPS titles dominate the scene? Or does sitting on the sidelines for over 30 years age it to the point where it stumbles onto the gaming world in a wheelchair and a walker? Well how about neither. Warlords is not here to compete with COD, Halo or Battlefield, but at the same time it doesn’t fall flat on its face. It does offer something totally different to the online gaming market and can succeed as a game to turn to on those nights when you keep getting trolled or are off your A game, and even a game to turn to when you want to take a break from all the carnage of head shots and tea bagging.
Warlords falls into the into the action genre. Me personally, I categorize it as PONG with a twist. The concept is a very simple one: destroy your opponents castle before he destroys yours. There is a dragon that is flying overhead that shoots out fireballs onto the field durning the course of the match. With your shield you try to redirect the fireball towards your opponent’s castle and try to break down his walls to make him more vulnerable and easier to finish him off with a well placed fireball through the fallen walls and into the heart of his castle to claim victory all while defending your own castle. You have command over a small unit of troops, called snooks, which can be used to help you on the offensive or on the defensive depending you is your strategy of choice. There are also power ups that depending the type of strategy you use could be the difference between a massacre or a tragedy.
Let’s start with the lows of the game. The first low that I noticed was the graphics. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t bad just after playing a ton of games on my Vita I was like, “What? Madden (Vita) looks better than this.” It also lacks variety. It has a story mode and a multiplayer mode, but I wished that the multiplayer had more options. The story mode is definitely the “weakest link” of the game. The story is told in a small square with dialog which had me thinking, “Really, no cut scene?” One last thing the game suffers from is no good music.
Now time to get into the goodies of the game. The game mechanics are really good and handle perfectly. Even though the game lacks a variety of modes, what modes it does have are really fun and feel like the original game with a touch of added variables likes power ups and strategies. It is still a ton of fun playing with friends on the couch and online.
In closing, age has taken its toll on Warlords, but it’s vital signs are still really strong. It’s not here to beat down Halo, COD or BF3 with its walker for title of multiplayer king. However, it does offer something very different from what is out there. The graphics aren’t stellar, but the mechanics are very good and help mask such shortcomings. Warlords on PSN/XBLA is a great tribute to the original with a fresh, current generation touch.