Review: Arslan: The Warriors of Legend (PS4)

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Title: Arslan: The Warriors of Legend
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PlayStation Network Download (16.61 GB)
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games
Developer: Omega Force
Original MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: T
Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is also available on PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
So I am going to be completely honest and say that this is the first time I have played this type of game, and sometimes that is a good thing. A fresh set of eyes on a tried and true genre can bring a different perspective and hopefully something new. Unfortunately this is not entirely the case with Arslan: The Warriors of Legend.

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The story focuses on the main character, Arslan, who is the prince of Ectobania. The main thrust is about the war between two countries and for the most part is told well. All of the voice acting is in Japanese with English subtitles. Two small issues I had with this is that at times the subtitles sped by quicker than I could read and story sequences would pop up during combat, making them almost impossible to read while trying to get to your objective.

… gave the story depth …
I felt the story was pretty bland for the most part, but the highlights were at least interesting. These moments revolve around slavery and religion. They really sparked my interest in the story and were well received. I thought these choices were pretty bold for this type of game and genre.

At different times you will play as another character. Due to some of the character choices these moments always gave the story depth. This provided a different way to look at the main plot line from other perspectives, giving these characters insight and another way to approach telling the main story.

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Combat takes place in a third person perspective across a three dimensional playing field. The battles can be very nuanced. The basics are deceptively simple. You have three attack buttons of varying strengths and a jump button along with a block. If you just use this type of play style, the combat is plain and simple and not very exciting. Getting more in-depth with the battle system will make your game experience better.

Each character can equip different types of weapons for varying type of attacks, although I usually stuck with their main weapon. Weapon Arts give varying bonuses depending on the length of a specific button combo. Skill Cards are achieved during the story and combat which give attribute bumps to whichever character is active at the time. You can also synthesize duplicates of the same card to make a stronger version of that one card.

… art design is colorful and bright …
I found combat to get repetitive halfway through the story and there was not a lot variety with different enemy types. Another small gripe is with the area map. At times it was hard to see where I was on the map because it got so chaotic with objective markers and such.

The game also includes a Free Play mode. This allows you to just take part in the different combat areas and situations where you can play as any of the characters you unlock through the Story Mode. The camera is just okay for me at best. There were several instances that the camera would be hard to control, or I would have trouble looking for a specific enemy or objective.

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Visuals:
The graphics are the strongest part of Arslan: The Warriors of Legend as this game is strikingly beautiful. With a traditional anime approach, the art design is colorful and bright.

The characters have their own unique look to them that makes them pop off the screen. As for the technical portion of the game, the only problem I found was that enemy soldiers would just pop in, but beyond that small issue, the game ran great.

Audio:
As I stated before, the voice over work is all done in Japanese with English subtitles. As I do not speak or understand the Japanese language it is hard to tell if the voice work is done well. The music was engaging for the most part and only got repetitive during longer missions.

… unable to join someone on Free Play mode …
Online/Multiplayer:
There is a multiplayer mode where you can either join a random player in both Story Mode and Free Play. I was able to join someone’s game in Story Mode and it worked quite well. I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy the objectives were and the quickness on completing them.

I will say I had a lot of trouble finding a game to join in dozens of attempts. I was unable to join someone on Free Play mode at the time of this writing.

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Conclusion:
I will say my time with Arslan: The Warriors of Legend was for the most part enjoyable considering it was my first foray into this genre. It’s easy to say that while not finding the experience I was looking for, it did not deter me from this type of game in the future. It is also easy for me to say that if you are into this genre that there will be something here for you, either in the story or the battle system.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Shawn Hiers

Shawn Hiers

Disabled gamer. Married Father of 3, and playing since the Atari days. I have a passion for all things Lego and an avid Toy Collector. I am also an huge Doctor Who Fan and can talk all things Who for hours 🙂

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