by: William Usher
; edited by: J. F. Amprimoz
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Legendary could have been an interesting, engaging and satisfying adventure with fun and entertaining combat. Instead we're left with a game that is messy and incomplete. The battles are too easy, the shooting mechanism fails, and the story falls short of telling a compelling and engaging tale.
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The Good Parts
Legendary has agile werewolves that can jump from wall to wall as they move toward you and giant griffons that swoop down on you screaming their desire to taste your blood. At one point you're challenged by a giant boss golem constructed from concrete, wood, and cars: anything that's lying around. In another part you fight a Kraken with flailing tentacles and mean disposition. These scenes and boss creatures are the high point of the game, after this everything becomes confusing and fails to entertain. Read on to find out where else the game falls short in this Legendary review.
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Parts That Need Improvement
The environments in Legendary are generic looking, with basic textures and details in the buildings, and dull and lackluster colors that kind of put your eyes to sleep. It's very similar to the dozen-and-one other shooters out there like Soldier Front or Sudden Attack. Lines appeared occasionally on the screen when moving from one area to another and the sides of some screens were jagged.
Legendary has level designs that use a host of generic themes and objects that have been done before. The layout of the levels is cluttered with objects that, while destructible, just get in the way. The cluttered nature of the environments makes shooting and moving a problem in areas filled with objects.
The scripted scenes included with Legendary are annoying rather than entertaining and most of the battles have design flaws and technical problems that affect the entertainment level of the game play. Quite a few of the included scenes are heavily pixilated, pre-rendered cinematics, and the real time scenes are no better.
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The Game Graphics
The overall graphical presentation of Legendary is poor, there are a few nice scenes that will get your attention, but other than this Legendary has dull, colorless, and lackluster looking visuals. The good scenes were all set pieces that involved boss fights and major events in the story line, like the fight with the giant golem.
The human character models used in Legendary are lifeless looking; their expressionless faces stare blankly ahead like porcelain dolls. The art design lacks detail and has poor visual texture with muddy looking backgrounds. The environments are all bland, nothing looks crisp and detailed, and the lighting is too bright at times.
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Sounds in the Game
The sound track included with Legendary is a collection of generic rock tunes that aren't coordinated with the action occurring in the game at all and therefore don't add to the entertainment, except by accident. This also extendeds to the effects heard in Legendary, at points of the game you'll hear glass break but there won't be any glass around. Other than these problems synchronizing the sounds, the effects are all good, especially the eerie sound as you suck up Animus from your victims. The voice acting was solid and the written dialogue only mildly offensive.
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The Story Line
The story line of Legendary is interesting and in the beginning does a good job of getting you involved in the characters and actions. You're a professional thief called Charles Deckard who is hired by a shadowy employer Lefey and his associate Vivian to sneak into a New York museum. Once inside the museum you're to insert an object into an ornate golden box kept under lock and key and this is when the story begins to pick up pace.
The story of Legendary is poorly developed, many of the elements are poorly constructed and don't work well together to create a believable story that comes together in the end and make sense. In fact, the story line of Legendary appears to have been included just to provide a reason for the character to kill everything. This wouldn't be as obvious if it weren't for the problems with killing everything.
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Legendary isn't a very playable shooting game and doesn't provide an experience that can be recommended as entertaining and satisfying, unlike Mirror's Edge. Moving and fighting mythical creatures in the cramped environments is a hassle rather than fun. The weapons are poorly balanced, sound weak, and the visible damage they do makes it impossible to tell when your opponent is close to death.
Legendary works using environmental triggers, so playing made me feel like I had no freedom of action and was being directed down a scripted path. The puzzles add a bit of variety to the game play but they were too easy to provide a challenge. There's no option to level-up your abilities or powers while playing Legendary, which is a missed opportunity.
Legendary has an average Single Player mode but the Multiplayer mode was more interesting, engaging, and satisfying to play, although it was no Halo Reach. In this mode two teams of four players kill werewolves to collect their Animus and then use it to charge-up the generators powering the team headquarters.
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The Last Word
Legendary has combat and movement problems that will make it a legend for the wrong reasons and isn't recommended as an entertaining experience for the PC. Add to this the visual and audible problems that shipped with the game and one wonders why they bothered to waste your time. The way Legend ended Spark Unlimited obviously plans a sequel. Let's hope they get the message and come up with somthing better.