The Warriors review

  • Great backstory and film recreation
  • Fighting is fun and works well
  • Ambiance is superbly accurate
  • Plentiful weapons don't last long
  • Always broke when starting missions
  • Some targeting issues

Resurrecting old and much-loved movies and turning them into games is always going to be a dangerous business. You've got to please a lot of different sets of people at the same time; fans of the original film, fans of the genre of game and gamers who've never heard of the movie that need to be won over. As you'd expect from Rockstar, The Warriors manages to pull it off, delivering both a worthy and worthwhile homage to the 1979 classic and also a worthy and worthwhile videogame.

It's hard to fault the game's atmosphere thanks to spot-on period music, genuinely excellent voice acting in the cut-scenes and a highly detailed and dangerous New York City to gang bang your way around.  Heavily story-driven, most of the game is set prior to the film, and creatively involves you turning The Warriors from a little known gang to big players on the New York scene. The final third of the game lovingly recreates the events of the film.

Increasing your gang's rep is done in two main ways: plastering your tag around the city and fighting other gangs. You'll get to play as a number of different Warriors, depending on the mission goals. Mostly, Rembrandt plays as the gang's artist. The graffiti side of things works okay, where a massive amount of optional bonuses involve tagging.

Fighting is the other main occupation and this is fairly decent stuff.  It relies on two button combos of light and heavy attacks that vary according to your stick-pointing and context plus there are throws and grapples that are executed and some special tag-team moves, which work very nicely in the two-player co-op mode.

Complex this isn't, with nods to retro urban scrappers such as Final Fight and Streets Of Rage. One-on-one scrapping poses few problems but things get reasonably tough when you're up against multiple enemies. It's positively hectic if there's a full on gang rumpus kicking off around you and you'll find yourself struggling to keep tabs on which character you are as the melee ensues.

You'll need money to support your artistry and Flash habit (the wonder drug you snort to regenerate health). And as you're not about to get a job at Starbucks, petty crime and a spot of extortion is always the way forward here. Ripping off car stereos, breaking and entering stores and mugging innocent bystanders are the main ways to "earn" cash and you'll also collect protection money in a few of the missions.

If you're expecting a new GTA from the people who made it, you'll be sorely disappointed but The Warriors. But it nonetheless provides an entertaining and very playable tale bearing the usual high production values and intense violence we've always lovingly associated with Rockstar.

More Info

Release date: Feb 12 2007 - PSP
Oct 18 2005 - PS2, Xbox (US)
Available Platforms: PSP, PS2, Xbox
Genre: Action
Published by: Rockstar Games
Developed by: Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs, Use of Alcohol


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