Legion: The Legend of Excalibur
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
Midway
Developer
7 Studios
Genre
Action
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Decent looking environments
• Fair as a hack-and-slash title

The Bad

• Mediocre voice-acting
• Very little strategy needed
• Weak camera
• Poor save system

 
Grade
C

Legion: The Legend of Excalibur is loosely based on the Arthurian legend in which Arthur draws the sword Excalibur and takes his rightful place on the throne as the King of Camelot. From there, the game take huge liberties with the classic story, so much so that fans of the original tale might want to skip past the cutscenes. Apparently, Uther (Arthur's father) was at war with Morgan Le Fey, his daughter. After Uther dies in a battle with her, it's up to Arthur to fight her forces to save his land.

Graphically, the game isn't too bad. Laid out with a Diablo-style view, the game sports decent-looking environments that have a good amount of detail and quality textures. The lighting effects are done nicely. Character models look okay - the main characters are detailed enough, but the NPCs are rather plain looking. While the overall package looks good enough, it still has some rough edges that keep the game from being as high quality as say Baldur's Gate. The FMV sequences are fairly well polished, even if the character models look a little unrealistic.

The gameplay behind Legion tries to bridge to gap between hack-and-slash Gauntlet style melee and a more team-based real time strategy. You often will be roaming through locations with a series of objectives and a few NPC characters that you can rotate through to use or have them perform a certain degree of strategy (casting spells, etc.) Nothing too deep, unfortunately. During melee combat, you can either use a hard attack, which will use your stamina bar, or try to combo weaker attacks by timing the button presses in concordance with the sword flashing. Also available are magics and Arthur can even summon a dragon.

Audio-wise, the game is forgettable. None of the music is all that impressive and just serves as a backdrop. The voice-acting, while not the worst ever, is fairly plain and at times laughable. Luckily, the story sequences and cutscenes are really not that much of an important aspect of the game.

Even though you can zoom in and out the camera, there are times where you just can't see your characters well enough. You can't rotate the camera, so often, you might loose your team behind a piece of scenery. Not to mention the fact that character models are often hard to distinguish between friend and foe during the heat of battle. Even worse is when you're in a crowd. Since you need to see the flash on the sword to continue combo attacks, you'll be left just mashing buttons in hopes that your timing is right or that you're at least hitting the right people. Also, there are times when your NPC characters just aren't too smart. How hard is it to program a character to walk around a building rather than having them stand there, casting spells into it while you're on the other side getting swamped in a melee? Also, the lack of a save option mid-level will lead to numerous times where you're 30-40 minutes into a level and get killed by a cheap attack, or even worse - being too close to a river when a wooden bridge burns down.

Legion suffers from a case of mediocrity. It's never so bad as to warrant burning the game in effigy, but the fact that it can't decide what genre it wants to be in leaves the whole game feeling flat. Plus, the game isn't too long, so you could easily beat it in a rental, if the inkling hits you. To be honest, there are other games out there that would suit you better.

- - Kinderfeld

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