Published on October 16th, 2012 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Developer: Griptonite Games
Platform: Xbox LIVE Arcade on Xbox 360, PlayStation Network on PlayStation 3
Release Date: Oct. 9, 2012
MSRP: $9.99 or 800 MS Points
Review Notes: A Code was provided for review purposes
When it comes down to remaking a classic these days, it’s usually a hit or miss–much like what the movie industry does remaking classics from the ’70s and ’80s. However, in the case of the video game industry, remakes are apparently faring better than the movie industry. Warlords, though, stands as proof that not every remake can be considered a re-classic. Warlords, which initially came out on the Atari 2600 in 1980, was a very primitive and simplistic game. Warlords, now available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, is a remake that adds some elements that would make it relevant in today’s time, but the changes keep it from maintaining its classic status.
The original Warlords played much like Pong, except it was a four-player game where each player had a castle in the corner of their screen, and a shield that moved around the outside of their castle. The objective was to deflect fireballs away from your castle to your opponents’ castles. If the fireball hit any part of your castle it would then leave that particular section vulnerable. If a second fire ball got through the wall it would destroy your castle and you would lose the game.
The remake is a return to the original with some major aesthetic differences. For starters, instead of the play field taking up the corners of the television screen, the game is played on an oval, allowing for better deflection of the fireballs.
The game does get more complicated as you play the other modes: 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, and four-player free-for-all. The added element to Warlords in the remake is the ability to control these little minions called “Snoods”. These minions can attack other castles, rebuild your castle and collect power-ups that get dropped on the map. I like the real-time strategy direction the developer took with this remake, however, with everything else that seems to be going on in the game, and during the course of a match, the amount of action can become overwhelming. There are some ways to eliminate some of the confusion by setting your Snoods to auto perform actions by using commands on your D-pad.
In addition to the Snoods gamers also have access to the Black Knight, who appears randomly and runs through the play field with the mission to attack castle walls. But generally the knight creates more of a distraction for you as a player.
Frame rate issues also deter the game at times and can cause some aggravation, especially when there are four castles still up. And five fireballs flying around the map, and minions all working from different people the frame rate stutters, which causes some missed opportunities for deflections.
Warlords is a solid remake when playing it traditional style, however with many of the advancements and issues that proceed this game if makes it look more and more like a waste of time and energy. Many times I would play a solo game and be bored after five minutes of game time, however with four other players it becomes a different kind of game. The only downfall to that is the technical issues that lead to frustration. Warlord will always be a game that I remember and enjoy but it was not for this generation.
[xrr label=”Rating:5/10″ rating= 5/10]
+ Classic game mode
+ Four-player action
– Frustrating gameplay
– Frame rate issues
– Overwhelming action