Category Archives: Warriors: Legends of Troy

My thoughts on Tecmo Koei Canada new Musou game: Warriors: Legends of Troy.

WARRIORS: LEGENDS OF TROY – CHARACTER UPGRADE & ITEM SYSTEM REVEALED (PARTIALLY?)

I haven’t posted about Warriors: Legends of Troy (WLOT) recently, largely as there has been no new information…

However, buried within yesterday’s new screenshot release from Tecmo Koei was a couple of interesting tidbits that explain part of how the character growth/level-up system in this game is tied to its item system.

The Grid

In  the above screen you can see the status screen/grid for WLOT’s main-man: Achilles.  To the left we can see his stats grouped into Health, Fury, Quick Attack, Focused Attack and Stun Attack (presumably this means shield strike?). I like the way the attacks are ‘bar-based’ rather than just represented as numbers as this makes the game a little less abstract/’RPG-ish’.

In the middle of the screen we can see the item grid itself and on the right we can see a selection of items that that Achilles can equip.  In this image he is equipping the Gem of Bellerophontes which unlocks a ‘Focused Attack Combo 3′ for him – square, square, square, triangle.

The Gem of Bellerophontes takes up 2 horizontal blocks and in 5 x 7 grid.  In the above image we can also see items of other shapes and sizes.  This suggests that players will have to manage their item grid space effectively and use mix of items tailored to their playing style – it’s unlikely that they will be able to fit every item into the grid.

The Troy item grid is reminiscent of the inventory grids in games like Resident Evil..

This item grid is important as it fits into WLOT’s overall theme of being a more strategic Musou game.  It looks like character growth will not be completely linear (the-longer-you-play-it-the-more-powerful-you-get) but players will have to put some thought into which items are the most effective to equip to their item grid.  Hopefully it will not just be a case of there being a ‘best’ line up of items and different players will be free to explore different selection patterns.

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce did quite a good job towards a non-linear character growth system via it’s chi, orb and weapon matrix – hopefully WLOT will go even further.

WLOT also offers a 'shop' where players can purchase new items.

In the above screen you can see that like many other Musou games WLOT will have a shop where players can purchase upgrades for their character – in this case new items.

Important information to glean from this screen is that players can actually upgrade the size of their item grid – allowing more space for equipping items.

We can also see that more expensive items such as ‘Foreign Soil’ take up large blocks of space in the grid – in this case 2 x 3. This suggests that players will have to select their items carefully and may only be able to have 2 or 3 ‘big’ items per grid.

Also it looks like players can stock multiple copies of the same item.  This either means that effects will be ‘stackable’ or items are going to wear out over time…this adds another little layer of depth to things.

One other thing I like is that WLOT’s items also add a little texture to the back story of the game.  For example the aforementioned Gem of Bellerophontes: a quick google search showed me that Bellerophontes was a legendary Greek hero that not only tamed a pegasus but also defeated a chimera.

Bellerophontes may not be a character in the game but it's cool Tecmo Koei Canada are putting some of this lore into WLOT

That’s it for this little WLOT update – I think this item system looks quite promising and non-linear character growth is definitely a good upgrade for a Musou game.  Hopefully we should see more of the game revealed soon.

Leady247 ^^

WARRIORS: LEGENDS OF TROY – MCM MEMORABILIA NOV ’10 PARRYING SYSTEM

In the last few Warriors: Legends of Troy (WLOT) blogs I have written about my experiences with the demo that I played at the MCM Memorabilia show in November (NEC, Birmingham). Playing the available Achilles demo many times I found a few interesting innovations in WLOT that gives it a different feel to other ‘Warriors’ games.

In this blog I want to cover the ‘Parrying’ system that I think works very well. Past Warriors game I have played such as DW5 have had a blocking and counter system but it was never really that important to the gameplay as on the normal difficulty modes the enemies don’t possess much threat. Also the action in DW5 etc. is so chaotic it is hard to the predict enemies attack frequency, speed and direction.

In WLOT the sub-boss and officer characters are quite smart, defensively-minded and dangerous (yes they are Warriors character that actually want to stay alive). These type of battles are usually fought in a ‘duel’ format similar to what we saw in DW4 – just the player character vs the enemy – this means the fights can be more tactical.

Powerful enemy officers will block the player’s combos with their shields and counter-attack swiftly and powerfully. The trick to defeating them is not to try and button-mash them to death or use powerful combos with lengthy recovery times as you will be picked-apart by counter attacks.

One way to succeed in these fights if you are confident of your skill and timing is to play defensively and use the WLOT’s Parry system. In the demo I played if you timed your press of block (R1) and raised your shield just as the enemy was about to strike your character a Parry would be achivated. The Parry knocks you opponent’s shield aside and breaks their guard. This give you the chance to counter with a combo to their soft underbelly and do tons of damage.

In the demo I played there seemed to be two types of Parry. A normal Parry and a ‘Super Parry’ (which gives a slow motion-effect and allows you more time to attack the stricken enemy). I am not sure how either Super Parry is activated but I guess it’s down to perfect timing of the block button press.

I really liked this Parry system as it added a good dose of realism and skill to the officer encounters in the WLOT demo. Picking your moment to Parry and strike successfully feels more inkeeping with the gritty setting of the game in WLOT. It was nice to feel that player skill and timing was really having an impact rather than just relentless button-mashing until the enemy was dead.

Anyway, I filmed a short video of me fighting one of the sub-boss officers outside the Temple of Apollo. You can see at the beginning of the video some failed parry attempts that result in me getting knocked over. Later you can see some examples of correctly timed Parrys and Super Parrys and my bloody counter combos decimating the poor enemy!

WARRIORS: LEGENDS OF TROY – MCM MEMORABILIA NOV ’10 SHIELD ATTACKS & FINISHERS

Here’s another video from the Warriors: Legends of Troy Memorabilia demo.  As I wrote about in my previous two blogs the flow of the combat in Warriors: Legends of Troy is changed from an normal Musou game by the addition of shields and Finisher moves to the mix.

In the video below I wanted to show how those two system interact to make taking down a group of enemies more dramatic than what you would see in past Musou games.  In this video I am using the slash, slash, slash, shield (X) attack string which finishes with a round kick that unleashes a ‘force-wave’ (sorry do not have a better name for it yet) which breaks the guard of the shield-holding enemies and allows Achilles to use this Finisher moves.

As you can see the Finisher moves animation depend on Achilles distance and orientation to the enemy when pressing Triangle.  Up close you can see that Achilles stabs them through the neck while when he is far away he does a flying slitting of the throat.  Their are other variations of Finisher that are not shown in this video – personally I like the one where he gets behind his enemy and stabs them in the back.

You can see from the video that if you successfully manage a Finisher you can sometimes unleash another ‘force-wave’ that drops the enemy’s guard again and allows you to use another Finisher.  At the moment I am not sure what causes the ‘force-wave’ to be combo’d after the Finisher.

The group of enemies in the video are eliminated very precisely in the video.  Achilles first Finisher instantly kills the Officer of the squad then having broken the grunts morale he can use Finishers and slashes to kills off the the rest.  I hope you can see what I mean when I say the flow of the battle is not what you would see in a normal Musou game.

Anyway here is the video:

WARRIORS: LEGENDS OF TROY – MCM MEMORABILIA NOV ’10 ACHILLES COMBOS

I wanted to share a little video I made at Memorabilia Nov ’10 at the NEC.  As you know there was a playable demo of Warriors: Legends of Troy (WLOT) there.  It was a combat demo featuring Achilles.

As discussed in the last blog.  Shield attacks are very important in WLOT as they allow you to break the guard of your enemy and then use a finishing move. One cool thing is that you can now finish string combos with a choice or either charge or shield attack.  This raises the number of available strings for each character above a normal Musou game (usually we can only finish a combo with a charge move).

Depending on the situation and the type of enemy you are facing you need to choose the best way to finish your combo.  For example if you are surrounding by shielded enemies you might use the slash, slash, slash, shield combo which results in a round kick that breaks the guard of all the surrounding enemies. If you have alot of enemies in front of you without shields you can use the slash, slash, slash, charge move which has a wide arch of damage in front of you.

Anyway, here is the little video displaying Achilles fighting against thin-air to show his move set. Sorry for the bad quality of the video and shakey camera (and the bad text lol!).

WARRIORS: LEGENDS OF TROY – MCM MEMORABILIA NOV ’10 ACHILLES COMBAT DEMO IMPRESSIONS

WARRIORS: LEGENDS OF TROY – MCM MEMORABILIA NOV ’10 ACHILLES COMBAT DEMO IMPRESSIONS

This weekend I have been at the MCM Memorabilia show at NEC, Birmingham and between buying Stars Was figurines (Jawas, Astromechs & the ‘fit him with a restraining bolt’ driod from Jabba’s Palance) I got to spend some decent time playing the Warriors: Legends of Troy demo on PS3.  This was  the same ‘Achilles’ demo that has been shown at E3, TGS & London Expo this year.

The demo involves bad-ass Achilles bloodily massacring his way through grunts and officer squads towards the Temple of Apollo and then fighting the supernatural-possessed statue in a boss fight that involves a God of War-style QTE sequence at its climax. (On a side note – I wonder if the games industry’s developers are paying enough tribute to Yu Suzuki for inventing the Quick Timer Event [QTE] in Shenmue?).

Whilst playing the Warriors: Legends of Troy (WLOT) demo I noticed a number of changes to the Warriors/Musou system combat formula.  From this point on I will call Warriors games ‘Musou’ as it just sounds so much better.

I thought for my first blog I would list my top-3 combat system changes.  I hope this helps the Warriors fans out there to understand a bit about where Tecmo Koei Canada are going with this game. WLOT is not just a DW game which switches Achilles in for Zhao Yun, adds some blood in and is done what it.

So here are my top-3 changes to the Musou combat formula for WLOT:

1. Shields & Enemies with Defence Tactics.

In WLOT enemies of all levels have developed ideas of self-preservation.  Soldiers, squad-leaders and even the sub-boss of the demo I played – Troilus – hunker down behind large (sometime spiked) shields.  Trying to attack with the usual Musou game hacks and slashes will just see your sword harmlessly ping off your enemy’s shield – leaving you stunned and easily counter-attacked.

The addition of shields and enemy defensive strategies adds a new layer to the Musou combat system – it’s  also the reason why your character cannot jump.  Pressing X now results in a shield attack.  If you time you shield attacks well you will be able to knock your enemy’s shield down and break his guard.  Once the enemy’s  guard is broken you can hack and slash at the exposed flesh of the enemy and do some serious damage.

The shield attacks tend to be focused directly in front of the player’s character and slow to launch hence they are not useful for crowd control. This means players cannot just spam out shield attacks – instead using them only when they have an enemy singled out and under-pressure in most cases.

The satisfaction of killing and enemy that has actually made some attempt to defend itself certainly adds a level of excitement and tension to WLOT that hasn’t been there in Musou games before.  (I actually felt a pang of guilt as Achilles deftly whipped a cowering grunt’s shield aside and ran him through the heart!)

Which brings me neatly on to too:

2. Finishers

If you stab someone through the neck in real-life does it instantly kill them or does it take off some hit-points from their life-bar?

In past Musou games the amount of damage done to an enemy is generally calculated by the relative power of the player’s character + weapon vs. the enemy’s defence stats.  Depending on how the equations played out you did a set amount of damage to the enemy’s life-bar.  This type of ‘RPG Rules’ combat worked great within a Musou formula that constantly forced players to keep levelling their characters – however it is not conducive to a player’s suspension of disbelief.  If you impale someone on your spear/sword/axe/claws etc by the laws that govern our reality you expect them to just die right?

In WLOT –  if you play smartly you will open up your enemy’s guard and get the opportunity to perform a one-hit-kill finishing move.  (In the game the possibility of executing a finisher is signified by the appearance of a triangle symbol over the enemy’s torso – it’s kind of like a bulls-eye for Achilles glinting blade.).

In the demo shown at Memorabilia we could see Achilles using a number of finishing techniques depending on his position relative to the enemy.  Recognition of the player character’s position relative the target enemy and execution of a suitable/believable finisher animation is another example of WLOT attempting to keep the action within the realms of the believable.

During the Memorabilia demo I saw four finisher animations for Achilles:

1. Sword straight through the belly and out via the spinal column.

2. Sword through the spine and out via the belly

3. Overhead throw with the shield and stab through the neck of the prone enemy.

4. Flying neck slash.

Who knows there could be more?

In the demo finishers can be used on basic soldiers, squad leaders and sub-bosses.  This means that if you play smartly you can kill the most threatening enemies with a single a move.

For me the finisher system in WLOT represents a big change from the traditional Musou game  system where more powerful enemies just require more slashes with no real change in strategy required by the player.

3. Two Combo String Options

WLOT has a neat addition to the Musou formula in the form of a second option to finish slash-string combos.

As you will know the traditional Musou combos are things like:

square, triangle

square, square, triangle

square, square, square, triangle

Simple, addictive stuff really.  We have seen changes to this basic system recently such as the addition of boost chaining in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam but overall the system has stayed the same.

In WLOT we have the option of using X (shield attack) to finish slash-strings rather than triangle (charge).

This doubles the amount of combos each character has at their disposal and because of the shield system mentioned earlier adds an extra tactical level to the game.

For example Achilles’ square, square, square, X combo ends with a very slow to launch but devastating circular kick and shield attack that breaks the guard of all surrounding shielded enemies.  That means that all surrounding enemies are then susceptible to a finisher.

If the player is fighting shielded enemies finishing a slash combo with an X is the superior option.  If the enemies are unsheilded then finished with a Triangle charge is quicker and has a wider AOE. It’s not exactly rocket-science but at least WLOT is challenging the player to employ some sought of tactical thinking to the way they deploy Achilles’ movset.

In this blog I have limited myself to the top-3 changes WLOT combat makes to the Musou combat system.…

…..There are other cool things such as rag-doll physics that means each enemy death animation is unique depending on the force and direction of the killing blow, dead bodies that stick around, picking up dead enemy’s weapons, throwing swords and spears, squad based AI, the best lock-on system I have seen in a Musou game ….

….but I do not have time to write about them now…maybe in a forthcoming blog if anyone is interested?

I want to say thanks to Gischie who is helping with the graphic design on my blog.

Please keep checking back for more info. on WLOT other Tecmo Koei games.

LEADY 247/365 ^^