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Hands-on: The Warriors: Street Brawl

7:00 PM on 08.04.2009 // Dale North

At Comic-con we got to take a look at The Warriors. No, this is not The Warriors that you played from Rockstar Games a few years back. This is a new one, set to come to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 from Paramount Digital Entertainment, in celebration of the movie's 30th anniversary this year. This time around, it's a side-scrolling brawler. After getting my hands on it I wondered: Why didn't they do this earlier?

The Warriors still follows the story of the movie, but now it's presented in a fashion that will remind you of older brawlers, like Final Fight or Streets of Rage 2. This means that you'll take down waves of baddies and work from left-to-right to eventual boss battles. Multiplayer is supported in The Warriors, with support for both 4-player co-op and 4-player online action. Each player can pick to be one of the Warriors, naturally.

Continue on for our preview of The Warriors: Street Brawl.

If you've played any side-scrolling brawler, then you'll know exactly how this game plays. Kicks, punches, and jumps are used to take down approaching enemies, and just like the games that inspired it, you'll be able to pick up bats, knives, and other weapons for a fighting advantage. You'll nab power-ups along the way, throw down combos, and bust out special moves when things get critical, just like those old games.  I got to play bit of the game in two-player mode, and other than sometimes having a bit of difficulty finding my character among the many on the screen, I had no issues. Street Brawl is easy, approachable fun.

There's a cool style to the presentation that sets it apart from those older games, though. Aside from obviously being in 3D, you'll find that the camera moves in and out dynamically to bring you into the action of fighting. Sometimes, in tight quarters like on a train or in an alley, the camera pulls tightly in, making your Warriors fill the screen. In more open areas, the view widens, letting you appreciate the gritty New York scenery and get a heads up on approaching enemies. Story elements outside of gameplay are told through pictorial sequences that will remind you of a comic book.

In the final version, there will be some extras, like unlockable characters and a boss-only mode, where you'll see how long you can survive fighting the big guys only. I wouldn't call The Warriors: Street Brawl groundbreaking -- it's not trying to be. It's just simple fun, just like those old 16-bit games we played back in the day.  It's a game that pays homage to the movie, and provides a pretty good time for the $10 asking price.

The Warriors: Street Brawl will be released some time in September on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade and a bit later on the PlayStation Network.

Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
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