The Greek myths are a near-endless source of wonder that have inspired Hollywood epics from Jason and the Argonauts to 300 and on down the list. One of the major themes that resonates with modern audiences is that of the hero or demigod. Technology augments our abilities in all sorts of ways, giving everyday people the chance to sample the strength of Herakles or the knowledge of Theseus, so it may be particularly fascinating to us to read about those who were blessed by birth with the ability to surpass the "limitations" of nature.
Developer Koei has earned a fair measure of fame and critical success from its Dynasty Warriors franchise, which also celebrates the hero. In Koei's case, the hero is generally set against throngs of ordinary men. As in the old legends, these heroes turn the tide of history by their great feats of superhuman prowess, both directly and through the heightened morale they inspire in their countrymen.
Warriors: Legends of Troy, known as Troy Musou in Japan, is the first Dynasty Warriors game to be set in Ancient Greece and the first to be rated "M" (PEGI 18). The events of the Trojan War serve as a launching point for a tale of pride, honor, and lust. And anyone that's read Homer knows that the Achaeans weren't exactly pillow-fighting the Trojans. Expect bone-crunching impact, laser-precise slashes, and general brutality all around. This will be the bloodiest entry in the series.
Weapons will consist of not only the swords, shields, spears, and javelins the Greeks were known for, but also elements of the environment, such as boulders and even other combatants. And you'll need all the help you can get. Remember, Homer is only the launching point here. Koei is bringing the gods into play more than they were in The Iliad. In addition to worrying about the humans out to tie your body parts to their chariots, you'll have to deal with supernatural interference in a battlefield that stretches for miles of virtual territory.
The story is told from two different perspectives, with Achilles. Ajax, Odysseus, and Patroclus representing the Greeks and Aeneas, Hector, Paris, and Penthesilea on the Trojan side. Besides the single-player campaign offline, up to four players can play Warriors: Legends of Troy online, with both cooperative and competitive options. Voice chat and team leaderboards make this a particularly friendly title for co-op.
With the wide variety of attacks available (accomodating different player preferences), parrying, blocking, finishing moves, and items that add moves and other bonuses, Warriors: Legends of Troy is a stand-out game in a month that already has its share. Will it be as good as the excellent Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage? Never bet against the gods.