×

Legendary

"Legendary" has the heart of a great monster mash-up: it throws together mythical beasts that span the globe, from the Greek griffon to Jewish golems to Slavic pixies, and marries them to a cornball story about the rediscovery of Pandora’s Box.

“Legendary” has the heart of a great monster mash-up: It throws together mythical beasts that span the globe, from the Greek griffon to Jewish golems to Slavic pixies, and marries them to a cornball story about the rediscovery of Pandora’s Box. Though it brings gusto, wit and a sharp eye for horror cliches, “Legendary” is still at its core a clunky, mediocre first-person shooter that’s likely to vanish under the mountain of topnotch actioners shipping this month.

Originally saddled with the unfortunate title “Legendary: The Box,” the game stars clueless thief Charles Deckard, who unwittingly opens Pandora’s Box and unleashes a horde of monsters on the world. Deckard finds himself allying with one shady militia against another as he chases the titular container from New York to London, looking for a way to close it back up. The plot is perfunctory, as the real star here is the environment. The cities and buildings feel genuinely devastated: jagged walls crumble around the player, and the pavement cracks under a five-story-tall junk golem. Schlocky haunted-house logic rules the day: No sooner does an innocent civilian or a gung-ho soldier greet Deckard than a giant tentacle sweeps them away — or a bus lands on their head.

Deckard gains one novel trick from Pandora’s Box: a signet welded to his arm that can absorb “animus” energy from monsters and turn it into a burst of force, or a healing balm. Gathering animus is the only way to heal wounds, forcing the player to ration it carefully — and sometimes, stop to scoop up more in the middle of a firefight. Unfortunately, this resource is frustrating to manage. Thanks to a poorly designed meter, it’s easy to unwittingly use it up on a quick heal, and there’s no feedback later to remind players that they’re firing blanks.

The monsters show engaging variety, and the challenge of wearing down a frighteningly bull-like minotaur leaves the player winded. However, the bestiary peters out well before the end: After a climactic battle against a Kraken that knocks the top off Big Ben with one lazy tentacle, “Legendary” runs out the clock by rehashing the same monsters and battlegrounds. The weapons are fairly conventional, and while they look realistic, they feel underpowered. When a van-sized bird gets hit by a flamethrower, at least a few of the feathers should singe.

Basic gameplay mistakes also mar the experience. The rockier the environment becomes, the more frustrated the player will feel as six-inch-high obstacles block a grown man’s progress and silly impediments — like the electronic door locks — pop up for no clear reason. Aside from werewolves, who are limber and erratic, most enemies follow predictable patterns, and human foes often don’t hide while under fire.

And while a humans-vs.-werewolves multiplayer mode may extend the game’s approximately eight-hour campaign, at press time, other players were hard to find.

Legendary

Rated M. $50-$60.

Production: A Gamecock presentation of a game developed by Spark Unlimited for the PC, Playstation 3 and XBox 360. Reviewed on Xbox 360.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. More Reviews Film Review: 'The [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Star-Wars-The-Clone-Wars

    Netflix Will Lose Disney's 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars,' James Bond Movies in April 2019

    More Disney content is about to roll off Netflix: The 2008 “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” animated movie as well as six seasons of the subsequent “Clone Wars” series are among the titles set to leave the streaming service next month. According to Netflix, the original Lucasfilm movie along with “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content