Deadliest Warrior is a fan favorite television show on Spike TV that pits various warriors against each other by analyizing the strengths and weaknesses of each warrior. Who would win, a pirate or a ninja? Well, by playing Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat you may just be able to find out yourself. Does this retail release warrant a purchase, or is it best kept in the dark like a silent ninja?
Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat is a retail release of the two downloadable titles, Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior: Legends. Upon inserting and attempting to play the disc you will install both titles which come with all the DLC that is currently available on the PSN/XBLA stores. From there you will be required to insert the disc from now on in order to play the games as to prevent players from lending the disc around to just simply download the game. So if you already have the games on your console, this basically makes the purchase of the disc based version null and you would be better off purchasing the DLC directly.
Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat remain delude of any real story mode, however the later has a Risk type of mode titled Campaign where you pick a Legend and they use their army against the enemy army to control areas of a map until one player gains overall control of the place. You set up brigades or troops to send off to siege and capture enemy or even neutral territory. If the number of attacking troops is greater than the number of stationary troops for the enemy your chances of winning the battle take a turn for the better. Rounds are fought in three phases, distribution of troops, attacking, and sorting of troops/brigades to transfer them around your owned territories. Each warrior legend has up to three bonuses that can help them in battle which raise the morale of their troops and give them certain benefit such as extra brigade when being attacked. These bonuses can only be activated once you take over a neutral castle. Castles and main bases are where players will actually brawl for the current residence of the post in a 1v1 single round ‘Champions Duel”. It’s a kill or be killed survival match, so be sure to bring your shiniest of weapons.
The gameplay is roughly the same with the two past titles with the exception of unlockables and the Campaign mode in Legends. The variety comes as every character has specific projectiles and unique fighting skills. The fighting mechanics narrow themselves down to a basic knowledge of how to get through another fighter’s blocks and attack for a nice clean hit. Some are fast but weak, while others are slow yet powerful. There is great diversity and requires a heap of practice to master each character with each carrying two main weapons and something nice to throw at the enemy’s face. Offensive and defensive stacking armour can also be unlocked as you progress to give you a more strategic edge. The inclusion of realistic severing and decapitation moves add to the cool factor but barely add anything significant other than some ‘oh that’s cool’ moments to a rather bland fighting game.
Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat squishes two downloadable titles onto the disc with all the bits and bobs of DLC available along with a few episodes of the show for fans. Each game has around 17 total character types and 22 total between the two as quite a few legends are of the same origins as the classes in the first. The realistic damage is great and the fighting can be fun at times but is very stiff and sometimes relies on luck rather than timing. Fans whom already have both titles and do not own the downloadable content might be better off buying the DLC and skipping the re-release since it is just a few dollars-worth of goodies for those who already own the downloadable versions. Hardcore fans who do not have an internet connection should pick this up but one would suggest around the $20 price range. They had plenty of time since the original release to add more but chose not to. We’ll have to wait and see if there will be a third title that will answer the age old question; pirates or ninja?
Final Score: 2/5