Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Retrospective: Chaos Legion (PC/Ps2)

The Internet keeps dropping its connection so I'm finding it really hard to research some games! I'm going to leave it now till tomorrow and type up a retrospective on Wordpad today. What game to do? I don't know to be honest. My mind went blank when I started to ask myself that question. Ive been hoarding N64 & Dreamcast games of late as I'm considering doing some retrospectives from back then, to put the RETRO in retrospectives I suppose. With not owning a WiiU at the moment & the 3DS line up of interesting games drying up lately theres been a lack of Nintendo content of late from myself so hopefully some N64 gameplay over the next couple of weeks will beef up the Ninty stuff till something good comes along. Till then, today's piece is going to be on a PC/Ps2 release. The long lost cousin of Devil May Cry - Chaos Legion

Story (Wikipedia)
The story of Chaos Legion is a Gothic opera which begins November, 791 A.S. (Anno Satanis): The protagonist, Sieg Warheit, is a Knight of the Dark Glyphs who is on a quest under command of the Order of St. Overia to find his former friend, Victor Delacroix, who has stolen the forbidden book “Apocrypha of Yzarc”, and to stop him from releasing the evil spirit Azrail, who would destroy the three planes of existence: the Nether World, the Middle World, and the Celestial World.

From what I remember, the story for this did get a little convoluted at times and doesn't quite hit its stride till about 2/3rds of the way in. Its not that its bad, its not engrossing either, but you'll find that the story wont be the reason to return to the game if you decide to. Depending on how you like your games, its gameplay may make up for that.
 The game is very much a hack & slash adventure with many similarities to Devil May Cry in its combat system. Numerous enemies attack you in waves, and progress to the next part of the stage often requires you to kill all enemies in the area. Bosses also make an appearance during levels and as you'd expect, learning their attack patterns is key to victory. Anyone coming over from that series will feel right at home with its combat system. Where Chaos Legion differs the most is in its Legions system. There are 7 in total that you can collect by finding their coat-of-arms. Each has its own abilities and characteristics eg Guilt is a sword legion that uses broadswords for its attacks and their stance can be freely switched between attack & defence. When the legions are summoned, your own attacks become weaker and your are unable to run so its best to use them when the situation requires it. Special attacks can also be done using the legions when they are idle. While the legions do give the gameplay some variety, its the RPG like levelling system of the legions and collecting them that will keep you entertained most likely. Enemies drop 'souls' that can be bartered with and the legions themselves gain XP during levels. You can use the XP to boost just one legion, or spread it among several if you have more than one with you at the time. While the levelling system isn't quite as deep as you hope, it still serves a valuable purpose in the game (especially the 'Force' stat as it allows more legions to be summoned at a time) While at its core the game is your average hack & slash, the legion system gives the game a, somewhat, slight strategic edge to help differ it from its brethren. There is also a secondary character  called Arcia, that actually plays similar to Dante amusingly, to use once unlocked for a different flavour. Going back and playing through the games 10-12 hour campaign to collect all the pieces to build the most powerful legion, Thanatos, may or may not be enough to warrant another playthrough depending on how much you enjoy this type of gameplay though.
There's little to fault when it comes to the graphical side of the game, unless the European cities, Gothic look and a brooding tough guy as the lead character ain't really your thing. The enemy designs are superb at times though and the texture work is richly detailed, although a little lacking in variety.  If you loved the style of Devil May Cry, you'll like how this looks. The amount of creatures onscreen simultaneously is impressive though, we're talking 30+ at a time, and the special effects are really well done adding some much needed colour to the proceedings. Capcom must've managed to crank the graphics engine to its limit to keep the game running at 60 frames per second and the chaotic battles that ensue are a treat for the eyes in particular. When it comes to the background music a good medley of rock, acoustic and soft, heart-plucking tunes flesh things out. Nothing startling, but still decent music. The rest of the sound design ends up being exactly as you'd expect. Nothing more unfortunately. A technically impressive game at the time no doubt, even with the 'pea-soup' fog apparent on a few levels.
SO what do I think of it nowadays? It's still a decent game I suppose. I haven't played it for about 4 years now so I may be in need of a refresher. In truth, if I came across it again at any time cheap enough I would probably pick it up. For fans of DMC, its worthy of a try if you haven't played it. Its legion system is easily its best feature aside from the obvious technical flair. The Ps2 version should be easy enough to find at a cheap price, the PC version Ive never actually seen anywhere so good luck with that if you choose that route! While its an interesting offshoot of the DMC fanfare at the time by Capcom, it never quite reaches the same heights as its cousin and has been somewhat forgotten by many. Its still worth a go for those that missed it the first time around. Just don't go into the game expecting something on the level of Devil May Cry and you'll find some enjoyment.

1 comment:

  1. finally i found it thanxxxxxxx maaaaan a lot