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The Warriors

Developer: Rockstar Toronto Publisher: Rockstar Games
17 October 2005
The Warriors - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.74 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
140 Ratings /
#602 All-time
#27 for 2005
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Releases 6
DVD
XNA 7 10425 27163 2 SLUS-21215
DVD
XNA 7 10425 29259 0
The Warriors Platinum
DVD
AU 5 026555 306263 SLES-53443/P
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FR 5 026555 280860
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The Warriors is a classic cult film, full of plenty of hammy acting and violence. While certainly a classic in my eyes, it is a niche film that isn't too famous. Which makes it all the more bizarre that Rockstar came out of left field in 2005 and dropped a 3D beat 'em up based on the film. Strange for several reasons. Firstly, Rockstar at this time were probably the most acclaimed games developer in the world. Fresh off dropping 3 GTA games that all received rave reviews, especially San Andreas released just a year prior to this. Secondly, beat 'em ups are kind of a dead genre. There's the classics like Double Dragon and Streets of Rage but they never quite survived the jump to 3D. Lastly, The Warriors was a nearly 30 year old film at this point. A 30 year old film with a small cult following. Still, for some strange reason Rockstar decided to work on this game in 2002 and damn I'm glad they did.

So, to anyone who's never seen the film. The plot follows a gang from Coney Island, NYC. Cyrus, the leader of one of the largest gangs in the city, known as The Riffs, invites a whole bunch of gangs to a summit where he explains that they outnumber the cops and could take control of the city; if only they got over their petty differences. For some completely unknown reason, Luther the leader of a small time gang called The Rogues, decides to shoot Cyrus dead. The police turn up right as this happens and in the ensuing chaos, Luther blames The Warriors for the act. Gang leader Cleon is elbowed to death, in a frankly kinda funny scene, while he attempts to buy time for the rest of The Warriors to escape. The gang makes it to a local graveyard and then realises they have to make it all the way through a brutally hostile NYC, with every gang between them and home out to get them. What follows is a slightly campy, very cheesy and fun violent romp through New York as The Warriors battle gangs and cops to get back home. The cast starts out as 8: Swan (the now leader of The Warriors), Snow, Cowboy, Ajax, Rembrandt, Cochise, Vermin and Fox. There isn't a whole lot of characterisation really. Swan is pretty stoic, gets in a romance with a girl called Mercy. Ajax is a violent nutter who ends up arrested by an undercover cop he tries to fuck. Rembrandt is a bit feminine, Cowboy's a bit laid back. Fox gets chucked under a train by a cop. These aren't exactly wonderfully memorable characters, but they pass. Eventually the gang make it back to Coney, the classic "Warriors come out to play" scene happens. Big showdown with Luther and The Rogues. Riffs turn up and tell The Warriors they know it was Luther and everyone goes home happy. Well, as happy as you can be with 2 friends dead and 1 in custody.

The games doesn't just follow the film, I'd say the film is about 40% of the game. The levels that take place beforehand tackle The Warriors' rise to power. They battle for control of Coney against another gang called The Destroyers. Their feud against The Hi-Hats. They team up with a gang called The Saracens at one point and set up a gang called the Jones Street Boys to get them arrested. The general story is, well meh. It's more a series of excuses to go beat people up. The characters do receive some more characterisation. But not to the point where you really fall in love with them. There are also a series of missions which cover how some of the members came to join the gang. If, somehow, you really love the characters then the pre-film story missions can be a great way to discover the characters and the lore of this weird, campy version of 70s NYC. But, it's not exactly a riveting tale. It passes is what I'm saying.

The main meat here is the gameplay. Which, Rockstar really deliver on. Each level is open and allows you to run around fairly free while you get to your next objective. What you spend most of your time doing is fighting There's a series of combos you can string together using square (light attack) and x (heavy attack). Pressing both square and x at the same time does a big sweep attack. You can grab enemies with circle and throw them at things or just beat the shit out of them. There's weapons available from bats and knives, through to one use things like bottles and bricks. There's also sprint attacks open to you, my favourite is sprinting at the enemy then pressing square. You just kind of, launch yourself like a human missile. It's hilarious. The combat is fun and frantic and chaotic. You're always in large brawls with multiple people, friends and foes. Learning how to crowd control is a vital skill as the AI is generally pretty decent but not fantastic. You can also team up with your fellow Warriors. You can grab someone, put them in a full nelson and then let your mate smash them over the head with a pipe. It even emphasises it with a little slow-mo camera shot. It is very fun. People and items flying about, lots going on and even lots of environmental options open. You can chuck them through a window, slam their head on a wall, toss them into a crowd of their mates. Fighting never gets old, which is good because you spend like 80% of your time doing exactly that. There are boss fights but, they're not too fun. Generally they boil down to chucking bottles at the guy then waiting until a chance where you can pound him for a bit. One thing I do like is the police officers are generally really tough and it makes them threatening. You may well need to run away from them.

There are other elements to the game though, several little minigames. Tagging, where you trace a line to graffiti over a rival gang's tag. Mugging, grabbing a member of the public and holding your analouge stick in the right direction. Stealing car radios, where you smash the window and rotate the stick to unscrew it. These help break up the game a little and make you some cash to spend of healing items (a general multi-purpose drug called flash) which you buy from dealers scattered around a level. You can also pick locks to get into certain stores to nick all their stuff. Also unlock your teammates handcuffs if they get arrested by tapping R1 and L1 over and over. There is variety which helps to break up the fights and makes the game feel fleshed out. You do feel like a gang member. Stealing radios, mugging people, getting in street brawls. It's all good fun. What isn't though, is stealth. This was the time period when stealth mechanics were shoved in every game. You can hide out in shadows and chuck bottles to attract attention away from yourself. There's about 2 parts of the game where it's necessary. Thankfully you can just skip it most of the time. Who the hell buys a beat 'em up to hide in shadows?

In terms of production values, the game kills it. The graphics are fantastic. You can definitely tell it's near the end of the PS2s life cycle because it pulls every bit of power the system has. Character models are detailed and the animations are fantastic. The fight animations have a real feeling of weight and power to them. Environments are generally well designed but feel very samey. But the game takes place entirely in a city so, free pass really. The music is fantastic too. The original score sounds like tense late 70s disco. Plenty of Giorgio Moroder style synths and deep, tight sounding bass. It sounds just like the original movie score and fits right in. The voice acting is great as the game retains the original voice cast, bar a few omissions but it was like a 30 year gap so fair play. This helps the game feel authentic and true to the film. Sound effects are good, hits sound like they have real weight and strength. My only issue is the grunts are used for every member of the gang. Feels a bit silly for Rembrandt to sound like Ajax.

In terms of replayability, the game features a 2 player mode. The entire thing can be played 2 player and it works brilliantly. There's a few camera issues here and there, the camera will be sometimes splitscreen and sometimes just one camera; gets a little confusing at times. Playing 2 player is penty of fun. Removes basically any challenge like, but it's a damn fun game to play with your mate. I actually spent about 6 hours doing exactly that last Sunday and time flew by. Outside the story and flashback missions, you can free roam around a very limited section of Coney Island. There's a few things to do, you know, beat up rival gangs on your turf and that. I honestly didn't really pay attention to these. There's a Rumble Mode where you just fight. A real Ronseal thing there. You can unlock different gangs and that but, it's a minor distraction at most. You can do some mini-games to increase your stats but again, a distraction. After completing the main missions you can play an arcade game called Armies of the Night. A nod to the classic 2D beat 'em ups. It actually opens with a wholesale homage to Double Dragon. It's pretty fun really, you fight through different stages based on different gangs. I was having fun right up until it glitched and wouldn't let me progress, which is why I started writing this review.

Overall, The Warriors is a solid game. It's exactly what a game should be: fun. The combat is visceral and gripping, the mini-games are enough to give you variety and the story is just ridiculous enough to keep you interested. A great co-op game, plenty of fun to be had with a mate. A decent length game too, I'd say between 12-15 hours of gameplay here without factoring in Rumble Mode. This is one of those games which you can get for like a tenner now from any retro games shop and I would really recommend it. Even for people who have never seen, or even heard of, the film. A great beat 'em up and just all round fun experience.
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Catalog

fullereney The Warriors 2022-07-30T17:43:28Z
2022-07-30T17:43:28Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
NovaSahar The Warriors 2022-07-28T21:55:33Z
2022-07-28T21:55:33Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jatamansi The Warriors 2022-07-23T07:44:05Z
2022-07-23T07:44:05Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CiaoWatanabe The Warriors 2022-07-20T03:13:37Z
2022-07-20T03:13:37Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AnubisIwakura The Warriors 2022-07-15T14:43:14Z
PS2 • XNA
2022-07-15T14:43:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
StarmanRJK The Warriors 2022-07-14T16:21:57Z
2022-07-14T16:21:57Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DaBlackGoku The Warriors 2022-07-03T23:57:27Z
2022-07-03T23:57:27Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LukeBrassai The Warriors 2022-07-01T06:06:17Z
2022-07-01T06:06:17Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Brunocore The Warriors 2022-06-23T05:48:21Z
2022-06-23T05:48:21Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
8.3
cosmicjoke_astronomer The Warriors 2022-06-09T16:26:23Z
2022-06-09T16:26:23Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
HayleyNihilus The Warriors 2022-06-04T03:12:59Z
2022-06-04T03:12:59Z
3.0
4
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
666LILGILGAMESH666 The Warriors 2022-05-28T18:16:53Z
PS2 • XNA
2022-05-28T18:16:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: M
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
1x DVD
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative , Deathmatch / FFA
Multiplayer options
Local

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  • Romanshower 2018-12-08 23:14:18.604991+00
    Solid game and lots of fun
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2020-01-11 01:24:36.175073+00
    underrated and overlooked rockstar title
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  • lowplacelikehome 2021-07-13 14:34:28.295859+00
    Needs a steam release badly. WHAT A GAME
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  • TheRealJimMorrison 2021-12-29 02:10:13.953136+00
    Smash everythin' in sight
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