Excerpt: Dynasty Warriors was an impressive showcase of the current console technology five years ago, and whilst the visuals have improved over time, it’s a series that is now beginning to look rather aged and in need of a spruce up. Now that Spartan: Total Warrior has proved to be a treat for the eyeballs, the old dog that is Dynasty Warriors is struggling to keep up with the times.
Excerpt: The first console game from legendary RTS developers The Creative Assembly is bound to cause quite a stir. Famed for their Total War series (most recently Rome) they haven't strayed too far with Spartan: Total Warrior in terms of setting. The game itself, though, couldn't be more different if it tried. Sega and The Creative Assembly can say whatever they like about the game, and what they see it as, but it's a hack 'n' slash - no doubt about it.
Excerpt: One of my fondest childhood memories is the Sunday reruns of classic sword and sandal movies like Spartacus and Ben Hur. I am not exactly sure why, but I was somehow ensnared by those ancient times of wonder and mystery. And I carry a little bit of that childhood fascination with me today.
Excerpt: Creative Assembly's "Total War" franchise has, thus far, been a big hit on PCs - their focus on extremely large-scale battles and realistic troop behavior has even been used to recreate famous show-downs on the History Channel. In their new title for consoles, Spartan: Total Warrior, Creative Assembly aims to bottle that lightning and repackage it with arcade-style gameplay.
Conclusion: Essentially, you'll be running into groups of enemies and mashing the sweep attack button to try to clear out as many of them as possible. Even with the rage moves the combat can get pretty dull after a while. You can switch things up by using different weapons. As you progress through the game, you'll get new weapons, like dual swords, a magical shield, a spear, and a hammer.
Pros: Fair amount of mission variety in the story campaign, Multiple weapons let you adjust your strategies on the fly, Some of the boss battles are pretty cool.
Cons: Blocky character models and fuzzy textures, The autosave checkpoints can leave you stuck in a tough spot with little health, Bad voice acting, terrible dialogue, and a misplaced soundtrack weaken the impact of the story, Combat gets repetitive.
Conclusion: On the PS2, the game looks sharp, clean and smooth, which is impressive for a game of this caliber on a console of that power. Impressive visuals and clean framerate will complete the graphical package, and the scores of characters on screen duking it out should WOW any gamer. Level design is as various as ever, as Creative Assembly didn't stick to simple flat planes. Staircases, walls, uneven terrain and more is all present in Total Warrior.
Conclusion: Spartan: Total Warrior is a game I had immense fun playing. Being a big fan of Greek mythology, I loved facing some of the interesting creatures in battles. Fans of hack and slash games will be right at home here, as the game backs up the gameplay with a good story. Although the graphics do look a bit dated, the game engine is a joy, you might wish it was not though, as it can put so many damn enemies on screen at once.