There’s a lot that’s cool about Legendary, in theory. The opening level is a tour-de-awesome that’s fifty percent “Oh hey, everything’s exploding!”, and fifty percent “I hope I get to shoot something soon”. The story is simple – you’re an art thief who was tricked into opening Pandora’s Box, and you’ve unleashed the creatures of myth into the modern world. It’s still sounding great, and the opening scenes of Gryphon filled skies and the huge metal Golem all set a self-consciously over-powered mood – even if the graphics do chug along at times.
Pandora’s box has given you the power to consume animus, which is pretentious for “absorb energy from dead monsters”. You can use this animus to heal yourself, or create a short-range blast wave that’s occasionally useful. Magic aside, Legendary is mainly about the guns. Shooting lots of monsters, with guns.
There’s nothing new or thrilling here. It’s as playable as it is dated, and the early promise never really develops. The mythical apocalypse world is a harsh one; everyone around you serves mainly as a tutorial in death. Whether their head is inside a werewolf’s mouth, or their torso’s pecked to ribbons by a gryphon, everyone dies. No such fear for you – master one creature’s nuance, whether that’s decapitation, water, or a quick blast of animus, and all you’ve got to do is fight loads more of them. Getting through the level is a matter of finding the bits of the environment that act as ramps (you can’t jump very high), crawling through airshafts, finding buttons, and turning valves.
You get the feeling you’re supposed to be looking at the monsters and developer Spark has tried to make the creatures a bit different. But sometimes, decapitating a werewolf can involve walking around the corpse and swinging your axe around until the collision detection kicks in. With an imaginative but limited multiplayer that only adds a couple of hours to the game, Legendary is just about acceptable.
Nov 4, 2008