Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom PS3 Review

With two games already released on the PSP, the Untold Legends series has been doing the hacking and slashing business for quite sometime, but only now has the series made its epic journey to the shiny, new PS3. Making it the first time the series has featured on a fully fledged console.

Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, is like its predecessors, essentially a hack and slash title, that doesn’t require much in the way of brains to play, but does require fingers and controllers that can both sustain a bit of a battering.

Such is its focus on action, the hack and slash genre isn’t exactly known for well crafted narratives, but rather for its fantasy clichés, albeit usually with a good script and voice acting. Dark Kingdom’s storyline is just like this, but lacking the well spoken voices, as here the acting is as wooden as Arnie.

You’ll start by picking your character, from a disappointing choice of three, all of which are fantasy stereotypes. There’s the powerful warrior, the nimble scout and the grizzled old wizard. Sadly character appearance customisation extends no further then a simple colour change, so no freaks here, we‘re afraid.

Unsurprisingly all three characters have their own strengths and weaknesses. The powerfully built warrior cannot only dish out a high level of damage, but he can also absorb a tremendous amount of punishment, before he kicks ye olde bucket. The scout uses stealth and cunning to defeat her enemies, and is therefore unable to take as much damage as the other two. Finally the wizard is at his best when he’s chucking spells about. Whilst all three may have obvious differences to one another, they’re not as diverse as you might expect, and all are more than capable of simply just cutting through their enemies with physical force.

Due to limited moves, doing this, can become a bit dull after the first few minutes playing the game. But as you level up, fancy new combos and abilities will begin to come available to you, all of which are simple in execution. They also allow for an otherwise shallow game to have at least a modicum of strategy, as well as going some way to assisting in sustaining interest in what is an undeniably repetitive experience.

As is usual, stronger equipment can be found, by smashing things and killing all manner of strange beasties. There’s no shops as such, but save points can be used to upgrade your existing equipment, with the currency being essence, that you’ll largely gain by defeating enemies.

A requisite for the genre is a co-op mode and in this respect Dark Kingdom doesn’t disappoint, well that’s not entirely true, as for some inexplicable reason, the offline game can only be played by two players as opposed to the four that can play online. Even so multiplayer – offline or otherwise – remains as the most entertaining way to play the game.

Regarding the visuals (frequently an important talking point of a shiny new console) Untold Legends is rather pleasant to look at, though rarely ever eye poppingly beautiful. Some technical deficiencies, such as an occasionally obtrusive camera and the fact that your character often gets stuck on objects, leaves the game feeling disappointingly unpolished.

Dark Kingdom isn’t intelligent, nor is it brilliant, but it does offer an entertaining old time. It may not exactly be worthy of legend status then, but it shouldn’t be an unsold legend either, especially if you happen to discover it for a bargain price.