Sunday, August 29, 2010

Deadliest Warrior Review

Deadliest Warrior is a nice little Xbox Live Arcade title that looks like a cheap Street Fighter alternative, but that can't be further away from the truth. Strategy is thrown out the window and is replaced with the serious urge to cut off the other competitors arms before they do the same to you. This game is all about the blood and gore as you shock anyone within view of the TV screen as you throw an arrow in between your opponents eyes. This isn't a serious game, it is all about having some true arcade fun in a challenging environment.

Deadliest Warrior is based off a TV series of the same name which is all about battles between famous names from history. If these battles actually happened you could just imagine how gruesome they would be and in a way Pipeworks Software has recreated what would unfold. I love this game because it is excellent for a laugh and losing doesn't seem like a big deal.


For an Arcade title Deadliest Warrior doesn't look too bad to be honest. While there isn't anything that will blow you away, the characters and arenas look quite good and I would put them on par with original Xbox titles. The real standout are the unique characters and the many ways that they can be decapitated. You can literally see limbs fall off injured opponents and blood splurt out, which might sound over the top but really makes this game so good. Each character has their own arena to fight in and they are all unique and feature different layouts. Since there aren't many different locations they have been able to keep the game looking pretty good.

The animations manage to stay at a smooth level throughout the entire game. This is very handy seeing how this game is 70% eye candy. I didn't encounter any lag during my playing time and the overall design of the game is at a high level. There isn't much in the way of sound, but it does set the scene and gives a sense of danger when you begin the fight. It's your basic fighting music and isn't anything to write home about.


There are 8 fighters to choose from. They are a Viking, Apache, Centurion, Knight, Ninja, Pirate, Spartan and Samurai. Each one has different weapons that they can use and more can be won by winning mini games during the arcade mode. They have a melee weapon that will take the bulk of the fighting and ranged weapons which can be thrown or shot at your opponent to hopefully impale them in one go. Different outfits are also available by winning the arcade mode. All the weapons are unique to the fighter and all weapons and fighters have unique speed and power stats. No fighter is a standout dominator and you will find yourself picking a character to fight with based on their weapons or looks rather than stats.

All characters are available to play with at the beginning. I am a bit annoyed that they don't unlock as you go along, just to give you a bit more incentive to continue repeating the arcade more until they are all unlocked. There are two main modes to play, one online and another offline. The offline mode is called arcade and is the main part of the game. I was quite disappointed with how it is set out. You play through with a single character until you defeat all 8 fighters in a best of 3 set-up. It is the classic way to play fighting games, but I was hoping for a bit of initiative and a newer way to play. We do get this in survival mode, but I guess people do like the arcade mode so why throw it away? The online mode just matches you up with either your Live friends or people around the world. A small warning: Unless you are very good at Deadliest Warrior expect to get decapitated early and often. All matches last 60 seconds but the decapitating theme of the game means that it's highly unlikely that you are both alive at the end of the minute.

It all sounds alright but what is the game actually like. I have heard the game being labelled as not taking itself seriously and that is just about on the money. They have just avoided everything that makes Street Fighter a serious fighter and gone for something fun and quick to play. The interesting concept is the decision to let fighters fall apart as they are hacked and slashed to pieces. While it may shock some other people, I love the direction in which Deadliest Warrior has taken. While the controls may take some use to mastering, especially how to decapitate body parts, it is very rewarding when you figure out how to do so.

There isn't much in way of tutorials so I found that I had to work most things out by myself. The achievements in this game are also very fun to earn and focus on performing cool moves instead of just playing through the game. And after all, this is only a $10 so you are getting quite a bit for your money.


I went into playing Deadliest Warrior not knowing what to really expect from it. I was happily surprised to find out that this is a very fun game. While it doesn't have all that much depth to it, I can see myself playing for hours to come because the awesome way to kill (or be killed) by other fighters is down right exciting. I haven't played any other fighting game that has taken it to these extremes and now I wish they had.

Deadliest Warrior is an excellent Xbox Live Arcade title that will be a blast for casual fighters and hardcore fans alike. While it isn't Street Fighter, it doesn't try to be and that is what makes it such a blast to play.

Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 5/10
Gameplay - 8.5/10
Overall - 7.5/10