If you are looking for non-stop, multiplayer action, you might want to check out Atari’s HD remake of Warlords, the 1980’s classic. Warlords pits one to four players in a medieval-themed arena where you must frantically defend your castle from the oncoming onslaught of fireballs and minion enemies.
Be warned: this Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network remake isn’t the same one you’re accustomed to. In this medieval recreation, you will face the ultimate test of speed, wits, and endurance.
Watch the Warlords ‘Character’ Trailer
Playing solo, or as a team, the basic premise of Warlords is about protecting your castle while destroying your opponents. To do so, you must deflect fireballs towards enemies and move your minions around the battlefield, collecting power-ups, attacking the enemy, and repairing your own castle. Catching fireballs allows you to charge them and blast them back towards your enemies for even more damage. If that isn’t enough to keep you on your toes, a giant Black Knight will also hack away at your castle and kill your minions.
Atari got a little fancy this time, adding some additional gameplay mechanics that heighten the intensity of the game and increasingly challenges your ability to multitask. In addition to protecting your castle walls, you will move the minion leader to control points. These control points grant power-ups, allowing you to immobilize your enemies or beef up your defenses.
At first play, it all seemed very chaotic. Moving my shield with the left control stick to fend off fireballs while moving the minions with the right stick was a little overwhelming. As I continued playing and getting the hang of it, I began to understand how to manage both tasks at once. As the confusion dissipated the more I played, the sense of chaos and urgency remained, creating genuine excitement every time I played a match.
In addition to these new gameplay elements, Warlords looks to have revamped it’s graphics and cameras. For the first time, Warlords can be played from a three-quarter view or from a top down view. This three-quarters view creates a more immersive 3D environment, allowing you to feel part of the action. The environment, though simplistic in nature, is visually appealing and works in perfect unison with the craziness that ensues in the arena.
Whether you battle solo, as a cooperative team, or with four players playing as split teams or alone, Warlords provides a pleasurable experience filled with excitement and intensity. The speed in which you must make decisions will determine your success or demise in this highly anticipated game. In the words of a fellow GameZone journalist, “This is what video games are!”