Every six months or so, I enjoy playing through a low budget game. I like the stripped down feeling these games have. There aren’t 56 weapons to choose from, you aren’t lost in a huge open world, and the game designers don’t waste your time with hours of expository dialogue in cutscenes.
Legendary was a perfectly satisfying short game for me. The story was presented simply in very short motion comics or in-game dialogue. As Deckard, a secret agent for hire, the player breaks into a museum and unleashes chaos in New York City by unlocking Pandora’s box. Mythical creatures emerge and terrorize the city, and a glowing glyph appears on Deckard’s left hand. This glyph can absorb the Animus, or life energy, left behind by slain creatures, and can be used to force push foes or regenerate health.
The rest of the story is only there to move the action along, and the creators seem to know that because little time is spent on it. The game is very linear, putting the player through many different corridors, sewers, and office buildings. I never felt stuck at any part of the game, the levels were designed very well to keep me moving forward. This would be a negative for many players, but I found it fun to always be moving on. The corridor effect is broken up nicely with staircases, sudden drops underground; you are never just traveling in a straight line.
Let me pause a moment and acknowledge the budget title nature of this game. There are many jagged edges, and textures are very low resolution. Many surfaces have the slick plastic look of the Unreal Engine. There are only 4 or 5 basic weapons to choose from throughout the game. Werewolves are the most common mythical creature in the game, and they are overused. Thankfully I did get to slay other mythical creatures, but I got kind of sick of werewolves.
Despite these limitations, the game does manage to pull off a few impressive scenes. Without giving anything away, I will say I enjoyed a few of the giant set pieces and large monsters I battled. Speaking of large monster boss battles, I want to comment on the ending briefly. Many games feel the need to present you with a giant boss at the end of the game, and sometimes that feels forced and awkward. Unlike Bioshock or Mass Effect 2, Legendary doesn’t fall into this trap. Agent Deckard completes a task at the end of the game that makes sense with the story, and while there is action involved, there isn’t one Big-Bad to destroy. I found that refreshing.
Legendary was played for 12 hours on Xbox 360. 25/50 achievements earned