By Kieron Gillen on December 15th, 2008 at 1:12 pm.
We’ve followed Legendary before, generally in a, “We hope this is good, as it looks agreeably spectacular, but it’s by the guys made Turning Point so it probably won’t be” way. And if you don’t want to just throw down cash and buy to discover, there’s now a demo for you to experiment with. For a trifling 1.9 Gigs you get about fifteen minutes of linear shooting from what’s apparently the middle of the game. Werewolves, Minotaurs and soldiers. Get it from here, if you wilt. And if you need some opinions before burning bandwidth, you’ll find ‘em beneath the cut.
Well, it’s not very good, either as a FPS or as a demo. It’s brought into sharp focus when the demo ends and a stupendous video of other sequences in the game plays – streets explode, enormous Kraken-esque things menace the world and griffins fill the sky. But in the fifteen minutes beforehand you walk down a city street, go into a sewer, climb out, find yourself in a city, and you fight some monsters. And men.
Mainly it’s Werewolves – who can only be taken down permanently by dissolving their heads with lead projectiles – but there’s some black-armoured normal humans to deal with too. The Werewolves are the most appealing, picking up your AI-team-mates and climbing walls and generally causing trouble, though the effect is undermined by the sense of the corridor in this corridor shooter being so narrow. They don’t seem like predators – just slightly more nimble creatures trapped in the same little area.
Bar the monsters, the demo doesn’t really demonstrate anything which makes the game special. The weapons are pretty standard. You can drain some manner of mana (ah! ah! ah!) from the corpses of magical beasts, which you can use to do a short-range knockback attack or (more often) just re-charge your health bar. In other words, the only special thing is that you have to manually recharge your health rather than the de rigeur sitting behind a log and tapping your fingers. I suppose this could be used to generate tension and create a tactical decision of whether you want to stop and drain a fallen enemy before dealing with his fellows, but that didn’t really come into play.
There were bigger problems than just being a tad average too. Firstly, seemingly in a hold-over from Turning Point, the collision isn’t all too great. I regularly found myself crouching over a wall, looking down my gunsight at an enemy and not hitting them – because my gun was presumably firing into the brickwork. When you’ve your enemies in the sights, jigging around to try and find a position which works is more than a little lacklustre. Worse, when fighting the Minotaur, he eventually got stuck running into a wall so allowing me to unload shotgun blasts into the back of his head until he fell over.
In short: rubbish.