From previous experience, I’ve noticed that video games based on movies don’t tend to be all that great! However, The Warriors for the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft XBOX is most certainly an exception to that rule.
A True Cult Classic Reimagined
Based on the 1979 cult classic of the same name, Rockstar games have successfully ensnared the status quo of Walter Hill’s, 1970’s, gang ruled, New York City.
When Cyrus, leader of the notorious Gramercy Riffs, summons the cities other influential gangs for a meeting, things don’t go accordingly to plan. Shot in plain sight of representatives from almost every gang in the city, the Warriors are wrongfully accused of Cyrus’s murder. Now they must make the long journey home to Coney Island, whilst avoiding numerous bloodthirsty gang members all seeking retribution for the leader of the Riffs.
The game sticks reasonably heavily to the film’s storyline, however, does throw in a few entertaining chunks of original content. These all feel perfectly constructed and fitting to the original story. Those extra scenes help to create a great sense of exposition, thus informing the player of The Warriors previously undisclosed past.
The Warriors Combat System
In true Rockstar fashion, there’s no holding back when it comes to violence in this game. The combat system feels incredible and is a far stretch from Rockstars classic, clumsy punches and kicks. What I love the most is the ability to string together fluid and varying combos, whilst feeling as if I’m actually causing some real damage to my enemies. The fighting system has a true gang brawl feel to it. It’s still more than manageable though, even amongst all of the chaos. It’s very refreshing to see Rockstar Games get a combat system right. Bravo!
Be prepared to use a range of varying weapons whilst taking on New York’s roughest and toughest. Knives, bats, pipes, bottles, bricks, pool cues and even guitars are all at your disposal.
Injured? Not to worry. If you’re low on health, a quick snort of “flash” sourced from the local dealer is the miracle cure. The combat system plays an integral role in The Warriors; you’ll find yourself splitting a fair share of heads during your journey home to Coney Island. If the police get in your way, play them at their own game. I had a lot of fun handcuffing police officers throughout my journey.
The Warriors Storyline
The storyline itself is great and being able to play as various notable gang members, each with their own individual skills and talents is a nice touch. Rembrandt, for example, has killer graffiti skills, yet he’s nowhere near as reliable in a fight as his brother in arms Ajax. This changing of characters, in essence, helps to make the game feel more three dimensional and not just your regular beat-em-up.
Adding to the already sizeable storyline, there’s also an abundance of bonus missions you’ll be able to unlock. These explore how certain members came to join the ranks of The Warriors. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a Rumble Mode including games such as Survival, Burner Battles and Battle Royal (move over Fortnight).
The Warriors – More Killer Less Filler
At times, the game focuses quite heavily on The Warriors attempt to boost their rep by painting their name anywhere they can. Personally, I’m not really a fan of the graffiti aspect in this game. Yes, I understand that graffiti played an integral role in the 70’s gangland upheaval and as such is a necessary aspect of the game. However, I found the graffiti mechanics more of a chore than an actual entertaining feature of the game. It feels like one of those extra features that so many developers feel the need to include.
In my opinion, if you’ve got a killer game to begin with, you don’t need padding. Having mandatory missions which revolved predominantly around spray painting practically everything slowed the pace of the game for me. Some may enjoy this mechanic, but personally, it wasn’t for me. If the graffiti had to be obligatory, then I would have preferred something more creative and interactive
A Verdict on The Warriors
Graffiti hate aside, if you haven’t played this underrated gem from the Rockstar library then you’re in for a treat. Its minimal flaws are more than overshadowed by its epic accomplishments and original ideas. Once you pick up the controller, I can guarantee that the adrenaline will soon start to flow.
A physical copy of The Warriors on PS2 really shouldn’t cost you much. If you’re not repping a PS2, be sure to look out for a Rockstar sale on the PlayStation Store. The Warriors on PS2 tends to be featured.
Whatever you choose to do, pick it up! You’re in for one heck of a skull smashing, wall tagging, gang thrashing ride!