Hands-on with Spark Unlimited’s Legendary

As mentioned last night, I got to play Legendary again last week. This is actually the third time I’ve previewed the game, and each time, it’s gotten better and better. The game looks nothing like when it was first revealed, as a ton of details have been put into every facet of the game.

Since Destructoid has already previewed this game a few times now, I thought I would cover just the essentials this time around. Hit the jump to read about what’s changed in Legendary.

 

Controls and levels:

The controls felt a lot tighter now than the last time I saw the game. There were some hiccups here and there, but otherwise felt pretty good. Sprinting has been implemented, which is a big aid when trying to get some distance from werewolves. Sprinting has a time limit represented by a blue bar that appears as your sprint. The bar has to fill back up a little (catching your breath) before you can try and run again.

I played through the same levels as last time, except now the levels are three times their original length. Levels have been fleshed out with more places to explore. The game is very linear but sometimes you can still get a little lost. Pressing down on the left directional stick will pull up a nav point that shows you where you need to go to and how far you are from your goal. 

Weapons and powers:

Before, it felt like werewolves could take a lot of punishment before they were taken out. Now, a few swings of your axe can take out the basic werewolf. Granted, the werewolves are supposed to be the cannon fodder enemies and shouldn’t be too hard to take out anyway. Alpha Wolves and Minotaurs, on the other hand, are a whole other story. More on that in a bit.

When you kill the mythical creatures, they drop Animus. Animus will both heal you and be used to perform your magical attacks. When you have Animus in the reserve, you can perform this “Force Push” type of move where enemies that are too close to you will get forced back, giving you some elbow room. Werewolves tend to attack in groups and this Force Push maneuver will make it a little easier to take on groups of enemies. 

Puzzles and environmental weapons. 

I didn’t run across that many puzzle elements, but the ones I did run into were a nice surprise. I honestly thought that there would be no puzzle elements at all in Legendary. They aren’t anything too hard, but you have to be very mindful and remember to look at everything in your environment. 

Early on in the game, you enter a warehouse to escape the action outside (only to soon realize that the warehouse isn’t safe at all). To get to the second level of the warehouse, you need to shoot some barrels full of water in order to lower a few boxes that will act as steps for you. There will be environmental clues for most of the puzzles that will show you that can to be interacted with in some way (in this case, the barrels were leaking water). 

Some of the enemies will also have puzzle/strategy to them. There are these dog-like creatures made out of gravel that you’ll come across many times while in New York. They burst forth from the ground as if they’ve just escaped Hell and will shoot fireballs at anything that moves. They can be taken out with your guns but if you’re near a water main or fire hydrant, simple get the water to start flowing onto these fire dogs and they’ll be taken out almost immediately. 

The Minotaur is a bitch.

OK, remember the part in my last preview where I said:

This is the part where I become a pretentious asshole and let you all know that this boss fight is nowhere near as hard or difficult as the person in this video makes it out to be. Sure, it took a lot to take it down but I was able to take it out before the battle turned into a toreo match.

That was in regards to the Minotaur battle video towards the end of my last preview. I have to eat my words, as the Minotaur is a definite challenge now. I was surprised at how much more brutal the creature has become. It attacks you a lot more and is on your ass throughout the battle. 

About halfway through in the game, I finally got to fight a Gryphon. These things are gigantic and it’s no easy task taking one of these on directly. I was stuck in a small little courtyard for this battle and the Gryphon will knock away any cover you’re trying to hide behind to get a piece of your flesh. 

Everyone uses electronic locks.

The only problem I seem to have with the game is the door system. Almost every single time you hit a blocked door, it’s locked with a electronic key code lock system. You’ll always break open the key code panel and hot wire the thing to get it open, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right code. 

I’m fine with dealing with this every once in awhile, but you tend to hit a lot of these as you play through. It just feels like an unnecessary hurdle as it simply just slows you down.

Overall, I was left very impressed with Legendary once again. I am so sick of aliens and soldiers in my first-person shooter games and the mythical creatures of Legendary are a very welcome change. Expect the game to drop later this year for the Xbox 360 and PS3. 

Hamza Aziz