The Warriors is based on the 1979 cult classic film of the same name. In the movie, the most powerful gang leader, Cyrus, calls for a meeting of all the area’s gangs. This is where the movie begins. Some chaos happens and The Warriors get blamed. Their only goal in the movie is to get back to Coney Island alive. Rockstar’s almost forgotten PlayStation 2, Xbox and PSP classic allows players to experience this gang riddled world. It released on October 17, 2005 and while I’m playing on my PS2 and PS4, it seems like it never aged a day.
The story mode takes place three months before the movie’s events, leading into the movie. Can you dig it? You get to play as a majority of The Warriors. You start off as the newest recruit, Rembrandt, and are in for a lengthy brawling tutorial–which you’ll need to remember. As you progress, you get to play as more and more of The Warriors through different scenarios. In some cases, you’re just wrecking havoc through an unsuspecting part of Coney Island. In other missions, you take over other gang’s territory with spray paint.
You even get to enjoy the big New York black out during a mission. Let’s just say you beat up lots and lots of unsuspecting people. As you progress through missions, you see what happens before the big meeting and what makes it come around. As a huge fan of the movie, it was a joy to see certain events that brought us to the fateful meeting.
The controls are actually well done for a PS2 era game. Yes, sometimes if you’re surrounded while brawling, they may not respond as you’d like them to, but that isn’t a huge detraction. Light and heavy attacks are Square and X , respectively. While brawling, you grab foes with Circle. Holding Circle lets you pin them down and beat them.
TL1 locks onto specific enemies. X and Circle together initiates a strong attack and X and Circle is strong grapple. Square and X shoves enemies around when you’re surrounded. This helps you escape to regroup and split up your attackers. Should you be in a huge brawl, your Rage Mode meter will fill and can be a very useful if you’ve got your back up against a wall. Tapping L1 puts you into rage, causing serious damage to anyone in your way.
Controlling Your Gang
When you’re roaming the streets of Coney Island there are many possibilities for you to explore on your missions. You can buy spray-paint and tag over enemy gangs tags while in their turf. There’s also a playable mini game for tagging up their territory, which can make it challenging if you’re on your last can of paint. You also control you’re fellow Warriors as they back you up. These are called Warchief Commands. You can tell them to “Wreck ‘Em All,” “Mayhem,” “Let’s Go,” “Scatter,” “Watch my Back,” and “Hold Up.”
All of these come in useful, especially “Wreck ‘Em All”. There’s nothing like having The Warriors back you up in a brawl. After that fight, should you need to heal, you can buy Flash, which is somewhat expensive. To get funds for Flash and spray-paint, you can rob people, break into stores and steal car stereos. All of which are fun to do The stereo mini-game is pretty fun, which makes it a bit more life-like.
Rockstar nailed the character models for the leading actors. The Warriors that you know and love from the movie are easily discernible and look great. Rockstar even went out of their way to cast as many of the original actors from the movie as possible. The voice acting is top notch. The only problem I had in one mission was a lady saying the same thing over and over until I went over there and beat her senseless.
I doubt that was a mission in the game, but at least I didn’t have to hear her prattle on anymore. Unfortunately, the load times between missions really break up the flow of the story for me. The bonus to that loading screen, though, is hearing the game’s awesome synth music without other sound effects drowning it out. Basically, Rockstar nailed the whole feel of this movie in the game, and while you’re playing it, you feel like one of The Warriors.
I have three copies of this game. That’s how much I adore what Rockstar did with this licensed property. The game isn’t just for fans of the movie, though. Anyone who enjoys games would have an amazing time with this title. Fan of brawlers? This game is for you. Like the somewhat open worlds that Rockstar created on the PS2? Jump into this one. Huge fan of the 70’s? This music will make you fall in love with the decade all over again! The Warriors is a game for everyone.
If you happen to have a copy of this game lying around for the Xbox or PS2, dust off those consoles and give it a go. Your best bet may be to download the HD PS2 Classic on the PS4. That’s how I played it and the only thing they changed was the look. The HD sticks well to this game and the controls were never a problem in the original or in this release. Go find The Warriors and come out to play!
Editor’s Note: The reviewer played the PS4 classic version for this review.
- Rockstar really nailed the feel of the film
- The synth music is great
- Fighting feels great once you master it
- Brawler controls have a steep learning curve
- Long loading times