Now, not to be overly negative but, well, Warlords didn’t need a remake. It was a fine little game that didn’t try to do much more than give 4 players some projectiles to bounce off each other. The arcade cabinet was a lovely little thing and was incredibly inoffensive. This remake, however, tries to put a fresh spin on the classic gameplay by throwing in more variables and gaudy visuals. It doesn’t do much more than complicate and irritate the player, unfortunately.
A simplistic tutorial explains the cluster of new features that have been brought in to a successful degree whilst also getting the player used to the speed of the gameplay. It’s serviceable enough and sets up the campaign. A shoehorned story accompanies the, unforgivably short, campaign that barely even lasts an hour, leading to believe that Warlords is best played with a friend or 3.
It’s still the basic Warlords gameplay at heart though the addition of “Snoots”, basically henchman, changes the pace slightly. These Snoots can either help repair your castle, destroy the opponent’s castles or capture points. These capture points that are laid out in each level help the player who captures them by gifting them a small power-up or, for example, creating an explosion that damages all enemy castles. Obviously, this addition adds some much needed depth but it still feels utterly pointless within the confines of the game and only helps to punctuate that Warlords isn’t really suited for modern consoles.
See, with the arcade table of Warlords 4 players sat around each corner to flick balls at each other and, despite the fact it was simplistic as anything, this made it work. Translate this to a console where you can play either online or offline and, well, it’s not the same in the slightest. It hits home how utterly vapid the core gameplay is when you’re playing alone as there are moments where a ball may never even come close to you, leaving the player bored as anything before more than 1 ball is put onto the play field. However, when 4 players are involved and as many, if not more, balls are in play then it becomes an experience at least resembling fun as projectiles fly around the play field and various powers are activated.
The small attempts of “personality” in the form of victory animations and the Snoot’s antic are incredibly tedious. Sure, the chunky visuals lend themselves well to the silliness but it always feel incredibly shoehorned in. It’s the type of humour that feels incredibly unnatural and reignites flashbacks to the old, drunk man in the corner of the bar who believes himself to be hilarious. At least the music is somewhat inoffensive to the point that I cannot remember a single melody merely 3 hours are my last play session.
Warlords feels incredibly flat. It’s simply not interesting enough to excite anyone. Some small flashes of brilliant chaos occurs but never for long enough to do anything other than pine for what could’ve been if the remake was handled differently. It lacks anything gripping and simply isn’t worth a purchase. If you’re a huge Warlords fan then give it a try but for anyone else, which is pretty much everyone, it’s best to simply avoid and forget about this title.
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