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Legendary: The Box

The premise behind Legendary: The Box is so simple that we're beating our heads against the wall for not thinking of it first. Take the balls-to-the-wall rush of Call of Duty, mix it with mythological creatures like golems, griffons and werewolves, then pump it full of chunky rock guitar riffs that pound through the speakers like a summer blockbuster. If that setup doesn't pique your interest, then move along to your $20 budget checkers game and make room for some real gamers starving for a fresh take on old ideas.

Like we said, the idea is dead simple yet instantly appealing. You're a dude tasked with stealing the contents of some ancient artifact in present-day New York. Turns out the item is Pandora's Box, and once you open it, spikes of energy erupt forth, blackening the sky and unleashing countless horrors on the modern world. Shockwaves from the release overturn cars and topple skyscrapers, while griffons fly off with cars and people in their talons. As you try to get your bearings, you realize part of the box fused with your hand, thus intertwining your fate with everything that's going on. The guitars are still methodically chugging away. All the dirt and debris from the chaos starts to mass together, slowly forming a gigantic golem comprised of concrete, parking signs and refuse from all over. This is how the first stage starts. We can't wait to see what the rest is like.



The nut-busting start isn't too surprising when you consider who the developers are - many are ex-EA peeps who lent their skills to early day Medal of Honor games. As such, you get a strong beginning that totally overwhelms every sense you have, then slowly introduces you to different aspects of play. As the levels wear on, for example, you'll discover that other humans are trying to control the monsters, pitting you against not just creatures of legend, but also gun-toting madmen. The thing is, the monsters really don't care who's who, so they're bound to attack anything and everything, creating three-sided shootouts in locations around the world.

Each creature will behave differently depending on their own attributes and anger level - a werewolf that's trying to get you may try throwing things at first, but after you shoot him a few times, he'll rush in for a mad melee attack. Similarly, the wolves will climb on walls or ceilings to get at you, ignoring the traditional boundaries of the level, while humans have to hoof it around all the overturned junk in the way.

The two opposing sides here, the Black Order and the monsters they're trying to obtain, offer more than target practice. Thanks to that bit of the Box inside your hand, you can absorb energy from fallen creatures and heal yourself, while the humans are good for pilfering ammo and weapons. So, according to the devs, you'll have to constantly consider what you need to kill to survive or simply progress through the level. And with monsters that recognize which doors, windows and walls they can break, you'll probably want to stay on top of them at all times.

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