Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat Review

Spike TV once had a show called Deadliest Warrior which ran from April 7, 2009 to September 14, 2011, in which the hosts of the show pitted one warrior from history against another in a quest to find the deadliest warrior of all time.

Obviously, they’re not accounting for the nuclear age, because I’m going to go ahead and say I know whose stick is the biggest (its ours – America!)

Deadliest Warrior spawned two Xbox Live DLC games, Deadliest Warrior: The Game in which the player fights as different types of warriors throughout history (ninja, viking, knight, etc.), and Deadliest Warrior: Legends in which the player fights different military historical figures (Alexander the Great, Shaka Zulu, Joan of Arc, etc.) Both Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior: Legends cost 800 Microsoft points, or $10.00 each. Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat combines those two games with a couple of extras for $29.99. Personally, I found nothing of interest in Deadliest Warrior: The Game. It’s not as good as Legends, and not as interesting. I played it an appropriate amount to review it, but every bit of fun I’ve had with this game has been with Deadliest Warrior: Legends. If I were in the market for a historical fighting sim, I’d easily plunk down $10.00 for Deadliest Warrior Legends and leave the box and the first game to their separate fates.

To be honest, I was totally going to give this game a 4 out of 10 and say that it was a mediocre fighting game inspired by a mediocre TV show (believe me, I tried to love this show better, I wanted it to be great but it was med-i-ocre), and that it’s only saving grace is that it beat the games-made-from-other-media spread by only being just as mediocre as its inspiration and not 10 times worse, like every other franchise title on the market. That is, of course, until ZOMBIE MODE!

Move over whipp-its, there’s a new party drug in town, and it’s called Deadliest Warrior Ancient Combat/Legends Zombie Mode.

Concept art for Attila the Hun, Hernan Cortes and Sun Tzu

In Legends, you can play as your favorite historical warrior. I chose Joan of Arc, because she has both the reach and the flexibility – also the vagina – that I look for in an avatar. You get little historical facts about the character as you play through as them, which is nice. The characters also have vocalizations before and after a match which are usually quotes attributed to them, but not always. For example, I’m pretty sure Genghis Khan never said “so little time, so much to conquer,” but I am just as sure Joan of Arc did say “act and God will act.”

The single player campaign is fairly intuitive with 3 different difficulty settings, as well as practice rounds if you so desire. The settings are pretty and interactive, my favorite one(s) being where you can hurtle your opponent to their death with a well timed shove. The character detail is generally good, and the bloodwork is fittingly gorey.

Hannibal and Shaka Zulu face off in Deadliest Warrior: Legends

When it comes to multiplayer, things get a little tricky. Not least of which is the fact that there is no one, and I mean no one online playing this game. Over the course of my review I tried several different times to find a live match, to no avail. There were no players. Something I learned while playing local multiplayer is that projectiles are absolutely insane. One headshot with an arrow will completely end you, and if you’re opponent is fast enough on the uptake, it can happen in the first milliseconds seconds of gameplay. It’s the Deadliest Warrior version of legsweep legsweep legsweep legsweep.

In addition to the fighting game, Legends has a Risk-esque board game/fighting game combo called Generals that is completely useless in my eyes. Then again, I hate Risk. If you love Risk, and only wished that there were small breaks between troop movements in order to battle your opponent to the death video game style, then you are in luck because this was made just for you.

Now, back to the reason I love this game and think you should buy it and play it with your friends: zombie mode. If I were the type of 20-something I wanted to be when I grew up I would have the type of friends who would come over for margaritas and we would talk about all the people we went to college with and play this game and laugh and laugh. But since I’m totally not who I wanted to be when I grew up, I don’t talk to anybody I went to college with (except the boyfriend,) and I live in a neighborhood that people are afraid to park in – in fact there’s been a ghetto ass shouting match going on outside my window since I started writing this review 30 minutes ago that has absolutely no signs of letting up, I played local multiplayer in my underwear with the aforementioned boyfriend. Who, might I add, reluctantly gave up cleaning the office to play this game with me – that’s how low my opinion of it was until zombie mode came along. First of all, any game that you can keep playing without your head is a fabulous addition to my life, let me tell you. Secondly, it’s hilarious and that’s awesome.

Zombie mode: where all your dreams come true

Anyway, in zombie mode things like broken or missing limbs or heads make little to no difference in your ability to keep living, which is great fun. Blood sprays everywhere, the zombie legends are already just red balls of agonized raw flesh anyway, and you can keep fighting literally until you are on your last leg. Ever watch a one-armed Joan of Arc chase a single Shaka Zulu leg around a tower turret in a circle yelling “hah … aaaa.. hah hah” as she jumps after the solitary leg and misses time and again? No. And that’s why you need this game.

Like I said, if I had any friends I’d make this game a part of a friend gathering. It’s fun to play and fun to watch. I got to sit mostly naked on my couch today and shout “try and catch me ya! ha! waaaa!” While my boyfriend laughed and laughed. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The laughter. And the nudity.

In conclusion: Don’t buy the box, but do go download Deadliest Warrior: Legends for some super fun zombie warrior action that will take your mind off the fact that your neighborhood is sub-par, your house doesn’t have air conditioning and somebody just called the cops because you can hear sirens in the distance. Overall, 6 out of 10. Points off for costing three times as much as you actually need to pay to have awesome zombie mode fun.

Rating 6/10

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat for XBOX 360 was provided for review by 345 Games.