Before we get into this review It should be noted that Arslan: the Warrior of Legend is not a game for everyone in more ways than one. the most notable of which is related to the requirements for the PC version of the game. That being, that the game’s minimum CPU requirement is an intel I7 cpu, and for anyone that knows PC CPU’s, you’ll know that an I7 is what one would consider to be among the highest end PC CPUs, and as such they aren’t cheap.
So with that in mind let’s discuss the game…
Arslan: the Warrior of Legend is a game developed by KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD for the PS3, PS4, Xbox one and PC (Steam). For our review we used the steam version of the game. This meant that we had to do some tweaking to get the best out of the game, due to the PC used for the review having a mid ranged 8 core AMD CPU. We were able to get it to run at 60 fps at 1280 X 720 resolution with medium graphics settings. This however was only while there was not much happening on screen. Every time the game had more than one enemy on the screen it dipped to 45-50 fps and when performing special moves it dipped to as low as 8 fps. So from a technical point of view I’ll have to say that this game is poorly optimized for AMD CPUs. I can’t say if it’s any better on an Intel setup, but I’ll assume it is due to the developer only listing I7s on their recommendation section for the game’s steam store page. Technical thing aside, I have to say the game seemed to run really well for me. I didn’t notice the frame loss unless I was using a particular special move that summoned numerous units on screen at once, and those didn’t last much longer than a few seconds.
Chalk it up to a minor annoyance.
Gameplay in this title was pretty fluid, and responsive for the most part. If you have played a Dynasty warriors style game before then you’ll be at home with this title. It’s pretty much the same formula as every other game in that franchise that I’ve played. Defeat a few hoards of mindless enemies, then a stronger enemy, followed by a few environmental related sequence, a boss, and mission complete. Repeat this with different characters over, and over, and over again, and you have the basic gameplay of this game. Most times I don’t find myself enjoying these types of games, but I liked this one a lot more than I expected due to the variety of unique characters to try out, level up, use booster cards, and other weapons to mix up their style, allowing for enough variety for those that are willing to put up with the same enemy types and mission objectives, over and over again. You may also have to play each mission numerous times to be able to read all the dialog between the characters, because the game has Japanese voice acting with subs, which are not really readable while fending off hundreds of enemies.
The second half of this game’s formula is based on an anime by the name Arslan Senki:
In the prosperous kingdom of Pars lies the Royal Capital of Ecbatana, a city of splendor and wonder, ruled by the undefeated and fearsome King Andragoras. Arslan is the young and curious prince of Pars who, despite his best efforts, doesn’t seem to have what it takes to be a proper king like his father.
At the age of 14, Arslan goes to his first battle and loses everything as the blood-soaked mist of war gives way to scorching flames, bringing him to face the demise of his once glorious kingdom. However, it is Arslan’s destiny to be a ruler, and despite the trials that face him, he must now embark on a journey to reclaim his fallen kingdom.
Because I have not seen the anime I can’t say if it follows the plot closely or not, which is not a bad thing because the story presented in the game is a pretty solid one about coming of age, war, betrayal, and a few other plot points that I’ll not not share in this review to avoid spoilers. What i will say is that the story is one of the best parts of this game It’s one half button mashing against hoards of the same foes, and another half watching multiple long cutscenes. Cutscenes that are helped by the game’s great looking graphics, that even on medium settings were able to almost duplicate the look of the anime cutscenes. Each of the playable characters are very detailed, when placed against the varied stages in the game they all pop in their own way.
Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is a good looking, mechanically sound game with a really interesting story, but like all other games in the genre it belongs to, it is only going to appeal to a smaller demographic of gamers that either like these types of games or are fans of the anime that the game is based on. This is also not helped by the game’s high end requirements. At it’s current price of $53.99/$59:99 I’d only recommend it to the biggest DW fans with excellent PC specs. everyone else should probably wait for a better price drop and more optimization for lower end PCs.
The copy of Arslan: The Warriors of legend used for this review was supplied to us by it’s publisher, Koei Tecmo.