Hack n' Slash fun has come to PSP in the form of the new title from Sony On-Line Entertainment (the people that brought us EverQuest II), Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade. Featuring randomly-generated environments, hundreds of monsters and items, 3D graphics, and four-person wireless cooperative multiplayer gameplay via the PSP handheld system's built-in wireless connectivity, the action is definitely hot with this title.
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade introduces four customizable playable races; an original storyline; a huge game world of over 100 levels; 150 different creatures to battle; hundreds of thousands of items to discover; and beautiful, vibrant environments that take full advantage of the PSP handheld system's technical capabilities.
Action RPG : Wield your blade and cast powerful spells in this action-packed, hack ‘n slash RPG exclusively for the PSP handheld system.
· Epic Adventure : Create a unique hero and set out into the wilds of Unataca to battle powerful creatures, save your city of Aven from imminent extinction and unravel the mysteries of a looming peril.
· Wireless Multiplayer Gameplay : A wireless multiplayer mode features gameplay through the PSP handheld system's built-in wireless connectivity . Connect directly with multiple PSP handheld systems for the ultimate in hack ‘n slash action with no wires (up to four players).
· Four Playable Character Classes : Select from four unique character classes including an ancient order of valiant Knights, a foundation of brilliant Alchemists, an order of noble Druids, and a race of feral hunters known as the Berserkers. Each character class has unique fighting abilities or magical spells.
· Beautiful 3D Environments : Battle through more than 100 diverse levels that come alive with brilliant 3D graphics, stunning lighting, dynamic visual effects and highly-detailed player characters and monsters.
· Dynamic Game Experience : Play in randomly generated environments and fight against unique monsters for a different experience every time you play.
· Items and Artifacts : Collect hundreds of items, usable gear and rare magical artifacts to aid in your battles.
· Character Customization : Modify your hero for a completely customized look and ability set.
· Hordes of Monsters : Battle over 150 types of monsters with 50 unique models and textures.
· Challenging Boss Monster Battles : Engage in strategic combat with humongous bosses, each with their own distinctive combat techniques.
I found myself pleasantly surprised at the graphics of this title, although compared to others we've been playing, it seems a fairly middle of the road game when it comes to the graphics. That's not to say that the environments don't look great – they really are one of the real highlights of the game. The various monsters that rampage through the game are nicely animated and overall the title has pretty nice graphics for the hack n' slash adventurer.
One bone to pick about the game is the music – it's below par, very repetitive, and got on my nerves fairly quickly. I ended up consistently turning it off whenever playing the game. The good news with sound is that the sound effects for fighting and walking around are really nice – it's just too bad there's no voice-overs in the game.
You'll immediately jump into the action with your created character and get into the storyline driven game. The quests involve going into new parts of the environment (this dungeon, or "that" area) and fighting through the monsters to find an NPC or kill a boss monster. On the way you'll get new treasures, new weapons, new armor, and beef up your character while he/she learns new skills. Pretty straight forward stuff for your RPG'er, but the difference is that instead on a PC or PS2, this is running on a portable console system – impressive to say the least. Gone are the days of mindless games for portable consoles!
The gamepaly is addicting if you are a person, like myself, that loves a good hack n' slash and just has to get up to the next level. Sometimes the gameplay of these types of RPGs can be very repetitive (just a level ladder), but the interesting storyline progresses well throughout the game and offers up some great gameplay for a good gaming experience.
ONLINE / MULTIPLAYER
Since you can play through the game as 4 different characters, as well as have the opportunity to play on the wireless LAN, there's tremendous longevity with this game. Since the levels are randomly generated it offers up some new challenges in running around, making sure things aren't as mundane as they could be.
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade is an awesome RPG game in he mold of the finest hack n' slash titles for the PC or PS2. The varied monsters made a nice gamepaly experience, as well as the variety of skills that the various heroes can perform. The graphics of the game are pretty decent, and the sound effects are a nice addition to the action intensive game. The best feature of the title is most likely the longevity, since gamers will find plenty of incentive to play through again either on the LAN on by themselves with a different character type.
Overall, this is a very solid game that really helps redefine the portable console gaming experience – a real life hack n' slash adventure usually reserved for PCs can now be enjoyed with the PSP. Just plan to lose many hours in the wee hours of the night to the game.