The game is sewn together seamlessly by a number of well produced cut-scenes that further the story. What may seem like a simple task quickly turns into something bigger and crazier than you would have ever expected, some of the levels may take you the better part of an hour to get through, thanks in large part to the varying mission objectives and sometimes punishing difficulty. The emphasis on story really adds something to the game, you really feel like this is connected to the movie … something that not every movie game can boast.
While some might complain that this is not a very good looking PSP game (it is based on a 2005 PlayStation 2 game, after all), I personally found the graphics to be solid for the most part. The in-game graphics are actually pretty solid, especially when you look at the details in the various backgrounds. Where the graphics fall apart is when you see the characters up close in the cinema sequences, this is where the blocky faces and weird looking lips are apparent. But part of me was ready to accept the somewhat dated graphics, we're talking about a property that is based on a 28 year old movie, I think the dated graphics fit in perfectly with the theme of the movie's revival.
Graphics aside, there are a few problems when it comes to the overall control of The Warriors. If you happened to play the original Xbox or PS2 version of the game you will no doubt remember that The Warriors used just about all of the buttons (as well as the second analog stick). As is the case with so many PSP ports, Rockstar had to go back and tweak the controls so that this could be playable on the portable game system. Thankfully Rockstar has done a good job retaining the feel editing the control scheme, but from time to time you will wish that the PSP had a few more buttons. The main combat and running around controls are all good, but it is sometimes too easy to get stuck auto-focusing on one enemy when you're really trying to go after another. For the most part this kind of complain (and others) can easily be worked through, but I would be lying if I was to say that I didn't miss having an easier way to look around and disengage from my enemies.
Once you get started with The Warriors you will definitely want to stick with it until the end, because not only does it have a solid story and presentation (which includes almost all of the original actors reprising their characters), but it also offers one of the greatest extra features of all time. Complete all of the missions and you will be able to play a very special bonus game called Armies of the Night, a faux-2D that turns The Warriors into (and I'm not kidding) the original Double Dragon. Armies of the Night features all of the gangs and characters found in the original 3D story mode, but you will be walking from right to left giving off the impression of those classic 2D brawlers like Final Fight and Streets of Rage. Best of all, it even features the famous Double Dragon intro recreated with The Warriors characters, which will excite and amuse anybody old enough to remember fighting Abobo with Billy and Jimmy Lee.
Although this may have a simple concept and arcade-y game play, The Warriors is a surprisingly large game. The entire quest will take a good ten to twelve hours to complete, and you're going to be looking at close to twenty hours if you hope to do and see everything that the game offers. There's also quite a bit of replay, since you can warp back to any level and go through it a second time with a friend (using the PSP's WIFI ad-hoc connection). And even if you're all by yourself, each of the levels give you several bonus objectives that you will want to finish up if you're the type of person who is a completist.
The PSP version of The Warriors does have a few problems, but they are hardly worth worrying about when you're dealing with a game that is this much fun. There aren't a lot of games like this currently available on the PSP and the price tag (at $20) is just right. If you never had a chance to go through The Warriors on the PS2 or Xbox then this is a no-brainer, it's a rock solid action game full of exciting missions and some really cool bonus material. This game is just as much fun on the PSP as it was on any of the consoles, which is really a testament to how good this game really is.
The Warriors remains one of the greatest 3D brawlers of all time, even though it has been shrunk down and the controls have been revamped. Those who missed out on the original console experience two years ago should definitely go and pick this game up, especially given the title's $20 price tag!
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