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The Warriors

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Xenophon was a Greek historian, essayist, and soldier, who often wrote about the state of Persia and quite often about the war which he was involved in between Athens and Sparta (431-404 B.C.). One of Xenophon’s most important and remembered writings was his writing Anabasis Kyrou (The Persian Expedition). This writing was about Greek mercenaries who fought their way back from the gates of Babylon to the Black Sea in 401-B.C.

Although Xenophon was an Athenian he spent much of his life in Sparta. After the war when democracy was rebuilt in Athens in 401, Xenophon turned his back on its new leaders and went abroad. There he joined with 10,000 Greek mercenaries participating in the march of Cyrus the younger into Asia Minor. Cyrus lost his life in the battle of Cunaxa. This left the mercenaries leaderless and alone in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. They were 1,000 miles from home and Xenophon was named one of the generals. He took one of the main parts in leading the struggling Greeks back home from the Barbarian world.

The story of Xenophon was eventually used as the basis for a 1970’s movie based on a similar journey. The leader of the largest gang, The Gramercy Riffs, from New York City, ironically named Cyrus; had a vision to combine all the gangs in New York City into one undeafetable gang that would take control of the entire city and claim it theres. Cyrus invited Nine unarmed delegates of each Gang, from all over the five boroughs of New York City to come and hear his vision in Riverside Drive Park. While in the park Cyrus gave probably the most infamous speech in movie history, sampled in the future by music artists, and professional wrestlers. The speech began, “Can you Count? I said, Can you count? If you can count i say the future is ours suckas!” In the movie as the camera turns we can only imagine the myriad of gang soldiers in the crowd. Much like in Xenophon’s Anabsis, Cyrus was killed. The murder of Cyrus was blamed souly on our subjects, The Warriors. The Warriors, a gang from Coney Island soon began a quest separated from there leader, Cleon who was soon overtaken by the Gramercy riffs after being wrongfully accused of killing Cyrus. Miles from home and being hunted by the armies of the night and 20,000 NYPD cops, The Warriors must survive the night and return to Coney Island where there is safety in numbers.

Any cinema fan can tell you the rest of the movie, however it takes a video game to tell you the beginning, the middle and the end. In 2005 Rockstar Toronto, a subsidiary of video game legends Rockstar Games, released a game based on the movie, which was based on the novella, which was based on real life events. Rockstar Games, infamous for there often controversial video game series Grand Theft Auto go in a direction which many times falls flat on its face. Before its release the concensius was that any video game based upon a movie would be nothing more then a novelty. However, Rockstar soon proved its critics incorrect as they released The Warriors in 2005.

The problem with making a movie into a video game is that often times the story has already been told and there is nothing new to learn from playing the game. However Rockstar seemingly shoots for the stars in this game as they embark on an adventure of pure unadulterated brilliance. Rockstar goes where no Warriors fan could imagine, the past, the events leading up to the murder of Cyrus, and the struggle to return to there home. The game is so in depth and gives an amazing back story in an original way, we find out how each member joined the warriors and actually how the warriors was formed when on April 16th of 1978 then Destroyer, Cleon is asked to go deliver a package to the Satan’s Mothers (one of the armies of the night) during the transaction Cleon finds that things with the Destroyers aren’t as they seem and he leaves the gang to form the subjects of this review, The Warriors.

I received this game in no time at all from Maria Tabia and the wonderful crew at Rockstar Games. As i took out the game from the packaging i noticed a similarity already. The Front cover of the video game was actually the same exact cover as the original release of the movie on vhs was. Showing The Armies of the nights this cover gives the gamer an idea of what to expect in this game. Now i must confess, I’m not an avid video gamer. As a child i loved playing video games and i would play anything i could get my hands on. My favorite games where the Brawler games, the games that would take the player on a fight through legends of antiheroes, while collecting points and earning bonuses; Games such as Streets of Rage, and Maximum Carnage. In the time that the then “Next Generation consoles” sony playstation, dreamcast, and xbox; The Brawler genre has been pretty much dead. Those that did attempt to recreate the Brawler genre failed miserably. So with that my interest for the games was seemingly dead. Until Rockstar revived the genre in an original way as well as offering other similar genres in the Grand Theft Auto Games.

Already a huge fan of Rockstar Games that i had played in the past including GTA: Vice City, and San Andreas, i could not wait to pop the game in and play it. So that is exactly what i did, armed with only my memory card and a controller i set out to take the warriors back home and past the myriad of gang soldiers that wanted so badly to destroy us. As the game began to play i was amazed at the cinematic opening scenes which played like a movie trailer, the game starting off the exact same way as the movie began, the hoping on the caravan that is the New York City subway system.

However as we arrived at our destination that was the “Hang out” of the warriors, i was not greeted by Cyrus or the Gramercy Riffs in Riverside Drive Park. Actually I was far from that, to be exact more then 70 days from that. I found myself astonished that i was in the past. This was perhaps the greatest idea Rockstar had with this game, to not only tell us what we already know but to give us background and the drive and motivation to be prepared for that night which we all knew was coming. The game takes us from The Warriors loft in Coney to Subway System, to back alleys, to Brooklyn, to Queens, to the Bowery, throughout the five boroughs and the crime that surrounded them.

As we become deeply enthralled with these Characters, we encounter missions which we must complete to move forward in the game and closer to the famed meeting with Cyrus. The missions are creative and never repetitive which makes game play always fun and never tedious. With more missions then you can shake a stick at, you get sucked into the game and do not want to stop playing until all is complete. However you must as the game is just loaded with extras and objectives to complete.

The Graphics are superb and not over animated. Many games try to be as realistic as possible which often comes off as just amateur. The grime which is on the walls and the streets of the smog filled city is so realistic you need to take a bath after playing the game! The game just signifies everything that the gang life is on the street level, lined with graffiti and all around just dirty, you never know what is behind the next corner.

One of the best parts of the game is that as aforementioned, it revives the dead Brawler genre in a new and original way which brings it into the 21st century. There is never a lack of people to kill as the streets are lined with bums and civilians to unleash your anger on. However, be careful as the streets are also under the watchful eye of the New York Police Department. In the game you can rob stores, lay down your tags, steal radios, and trash cars. There is never a lack of things to do.

The game stays true to its roots and its time period, the streets aren’t littered with guns and ammunition. In fact the only gun in the entire game is the one that was used to kill Cyrus. The clothing styles are much similar to what you would expect the gangs to wear during that time period, and the store fronts and vehicles also are totally realistic to the 70’s.

The game brings a ton of originality and a deeper understanding of the back alleys of New Yorks Crime syndicate. You can make drug deals that boost your health, You can purchase knives, load up with brass knuckles and steal tipped boots, and collect cash from local vender’s for protection. You can get arrested, break free from the custody of the police and also direct your gang members as the designated warchief for the missions, some of the commands include “Wreck Em All!” which allows you to tell your gang mates to beat up everyone they see, You can issue the “Mayhem” command which directs the Warriors to smash everything in sight, and also you can tell them to “Scatter” which tells them to hide because the heat is on! There are plenty more but you will just have to play the game to find out!

There are in total about 18 story missions, not including flashback missions, and bonus objectives. As previously mentioned, the game has Bonus missions and objectives throughout the game. One of the most rewarding is the work-out area provided in the h=”300″ height=”300″ border=”1″ align=”right”> There are in total about 18 story missions, not including flashback missions, and bonus objectives. As previously mentioned, the game has Bonus missions and objectives throughout the game. One of the most rewarding is the work-out area provided in the comfort of The Warriors hang out in Coney Island. Not only does this offer something different for the gamer to do while playing the game; It also allows the player to gain increased stats which go towards stamina and health. In a game of this magnitude and intensity you need all of the advantages that are offered you way, this is no exception. The workout zone is just one of the many brand new initiatives Rockstar has been putting into there video games, that makes them so entertaining.

Going back to the section about the Brawler Genre one of the great things about this game is that as you interact with the other gangs you meet up with there leaders. It is then put up to you and the rest of your soldiers to not only single handedly defeat the gang but also destroy there leader. The leaders of the gangs are, as you would expect, jam packed with special moves and increased stats that make them harder to beat. This is not the first time we have seen this as it was also featured predominantly in the Streets of Rage series.

As you continue the game and eventually come to complete all of the story missions you are rewarded, without giving to much away one of the rewards is an arcade game located in The Warriors hangout. The name of the arcade game is “The Armies of the Night” The armies of the night literally puts you into the past, low quality graphics and all. You are set on the path as if you were marching down a street and into battle. You play as Swan and are set out on a mission to retrieve your love interest Mercy, as she has been kidnapped by the Gramercy Riffs. While battling to get her back into your arms you must soldier through all of the numerous armies of the night that you encounter throughout regular game play. This is literally a game within a game and it is just as fun as the main game. This prooves without a doubt that regardless to popular opinion, it is not the graphics that make the game; rather it is the thought and psychology put into the game.

> One of the last modes that i played in the game was the Rumble Mode. The rumble mode is consistent with a Mortal Combat type stage, the point is to defeat your opponents in hand to hand combat. To keep it interesting you can compete in many different styles of the Rumble Mode, be it in group combat, Multi player combat, King of the Hill, or a race, whichever you choose there is always something new to play. The Rumble Mode brings a whole new dynamic to the already jam packed game and allows the gamer to play for hours upon hours.

One of the greatest aspects of the game is the musical influence. The soundtrack is comprised mostly of all the original tracks from the movie which gives it a unique feel and just another level of trueness to an already so honest game. Featuring the original song by Joe Walsh “In The City” and all the other sounds from the movie. Just a little side note about the musical influence in the game, This game features guest voice overs by many of musics most notorious artists and some of Underground musics best. Artist featured in this game include, Styles P, Sheek Louch, J-Hood, Aesop Rock, El-P, Tron, and Poison Pen.

So as the Xenophon’s Anabsis ends with the words, “The Sea, The Sea!” How fitting is it that the movie and game both end of course, by the sea.

The Bottom Line: Overall this game is incredible fun, and now that I completed it I’m starving to play it again from the beginning. I can easily see myself playing this game time and time again for years. The versatility and overall playability depicted in this game make it unique and a worthy sequel/prequel to the original movie The Warriors. I did not once feel like i knew what was going to happen next while playing this game, they made new twists and turns and explained the stories fuller then the movie did. The graphics are top knotch however not over animated, the controls are easy however offer tons of combinations and new movement, the cinematic features offer not only what we know but also what we wanted to know, and the characters all have a unique personality. Bottom line, this game is something that everybody should go pick up today.




  • Rockstar Games / Rockstar Toronto


  • M

Release Date:

  • 10/17/2007


  • Kevin Dank


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