Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code

Untold Legends dies by The Code, but not before redeeming much of what was wrong with the first game.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: May 2, 2006
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Though we certainly weren't fond of it, the first Untold Legends game, Brotherhood of the Blade somehow managed to emerge as the hottest-selling game in the PSPs launch window (which says a little about those that purchased the PSP, and makes us a little bummed about games like WipEout Pure and Lumines). As such, it takes no crystal ball to see that Sony Online Entertainment would want to continue the franchise.

Here's the thing, though: The Warrior's Code is actually a sizeable improvement over the first game, and adds a ton of new features that take it from a tiring, mediocre hack and slash dungeon crawl with a questionable setting to, well, a competent spiritual successor to Gauntlet that brings much more of a story, improved graphics, more character types, melee and ranged combat, the ability to transform into a monster for short stints, and gameplay... well, that's kinda where the game falls apart.

It takes quite a while, though. A series of animated artwork pieces sets the scene of a prosperous kingdom that is suddenly overthrown when the kind-hearted king's half-brother, sporting some seriously out-of-place high-tech gear, starts slicing his way through the kingdom. Apparently, the guy can't be harmed, no matter what he's cut or shot with -- at least until the king, in a final bloody conflict with his half-brother, manages to nick him on the cheek. Apparently it's something in the bloodline, but it's a small victory as the king is slain and the kingdom falls under the tyrannical rule of the despot.

Among the new self-appointed king's demands are apparently the mass genocide of changelings, beings that can shift into monster forms when the situation calls. As it happens, you are one of these changelings in one of five different yet common classes that essentially boil down to tank, magic user and ranged fighter in a 3/2 male/female ratio that's sadly locked (sorry, no female tanks here, but there is an amazon and a cute raver chick). So, the city is probably not a place you want to be.

After scampering around the undercity, rescuing some changling buddies and then getting cut off from them, you're forced to wander the mountains until you uncover a hidden monastery hidden for a millennium. With their secret exposed and lots of monsters on your tail, they're none to happy about their first visitor in a long while, but hey, it's not like they have a choice now. Thus begins your adventure on the side of the uprising that seeks to overthrown the quasi-robo-king and restore peace to the kingdom.

You'll do this, like any good warrior/mage/raver chick, by mowing down thousands of badguys with the almighty power of a endlessly hammered X button. Oh, there's far more than that available; spells can be mapped to all four d-pad buttons, Circle and Triangle, and if an enemy is stupid enough to miss a big attack, it opens them up for a Attack of Opportunity, which lets you hold the square button to issue a charged-up attack, plus there's always ranged combat, but to be honest, most enemies charge you so often that just wailing on that X button is almost always the most efficient way to go.

One of the more interesting additions -- beyond actually injecting a storyline that's interesting enough to keep you going after the first chapter -- is that of the changeling transformations. Each of the character classes can morph into a faster, more powerful monster version of themselves that regenerates health better and has their own buffed versions of the special magic attacks. This is especially handy in mid-boss or full boss fights because the monsters are usually immune to status ailments.

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