New Legends is an action adventure game set in a mythical, futuristic China. The peace that existed within the country has now been destroyed. Roa Khan managed to unite the Middle Kingdom and claimed the title of China's Emperor. This brought calm to a previously war-torn nation. The peace was not to last though and before long the evil that was Xao Gon had emerged. He formed an alliance with a demon from the Otherworld. Swiftly they began to overthrow the existing order and before long the despotic Xao Gon ruled all of China. Hope was not completely lost as the Soo Kingdom still remained.
The early part of the game sees Xao Gon taking the Soo Kingdom. You play the role of Sun Soo who struggles and ultimately fails to repel Xao Gon. Instead of killing Sun Soo, Xao Gon takes him as prisoner. Whilst in a prison camp Sun Soo is about to be killed until a half-demon named Boo and a woman named Mai Khan comes to your rescue. After escaping from the prison camp you have to begin your plan to overthrow Xao Gon and again restore order to China.
New Legends is full to bursting with combat. Sun Soo can have a weapon in either hand and the X button corresponds to the left hand weapon whilst the B button corresponds to the right hand weapon. Once under attack the only way you can counter your opponent is by blocking his attacks with the Y button and then lunging forward and attacking yourself. In New Legends a constant barrage of attacks and combo moves will easily overwhelm most of the opponents that you will face. The amount of weapons that you will use is impressive. There are 10 melee weapons, such as the Kukri and Tiger Claws, and 6 ranged weapons, such as the Power Bow and the Flechette Mini Gun. Combat in New Legends is quite straight forward and once you have mastered a few combo moves you will probably prefer to use the melee attacks as these are far more effective. Occasionally you will be required to use explosives but these are simply placed by the use of the white button.
Sun Soo gains chi points from his successful combat attacks and once sufficient points have been gained, he will be able to launch special attacks against his enemies. With the game being heavy on combat you're going to find yourself needing to replenish your health. When you come across a shrine or medical cart you can hold down your white button to refill your health gauge.
Graphically New Legends doesn't quite live up to what is expected of an XBOX title. That is not to say that they look bad but they could have easily been done on the Playstation 2. You get the impression that the game hasn't been optimised for the XBOX. This impression is highlighted even further when you find that the frame rate often takes a nose dive in places where it makes no sense. Even when the game is in a cutscene it occasionally appears to get a little choppy. This is strange as in most of the hectic battles the frame rate remains good and smooth.
Camera angles are usually a problem in a game of this nature but thankfully in New Legends this isn't a problem. The right thumbstick is used to control the pitch of the camera and pressing the right trigger will take you back to the default angle. Holding the left trigger will take you to a first person view and this is useful for examining things and looking around.
New Legends is fine for deaf gamers. You have to select the dialogue subtitles in the options menu but once you do you'll find everything subtitled in the game. The cutscene subtitles are placed in the borders and the main game subtitles are placed in darkened text boxes. The text is always clear and easy to read. The text does not remain on screen until you dismiss it but if you ever miss anything you can access a message log from the pause menu. You can also access the mission objectives from the pause menu. When you first start the game though a voice says 'You have done it son, you have led us to victory' and this, oddly enough isn't subtitled (even after you have enabled the subtitles).
New Legends is a decent action adventure game but it is let down by the poor frame rates that it frequently displays. The story is good enough to keep you interested and the missions vary enough to prevent it becoming monotonous. The length of the game is also disappointing as about a week of casual play will see you complete the game. The game could have done with a multiplayer element as well to further extend it's life span.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10 New Legends is a decent enough action adventure game but it is a shame that it doesn't really utilise the power of the XBOX.
Deaf Gamers comment: Absolutely fine once you enable the dialogue subtitles in the options menu.