With the latest trilogy of Grand Theft Auto games completed, in 2005 Rockstar Games turned its attention to a somewhat controversial genre of video games: those based on movies. Rather than make a game on an upcoming movie, Rockstar tackled the 1970’s cult classic: The Warriors.
As mentioned in my original review of The Warriors, “Many ‘blockbuster’ movies that have been released in recent years have a video game tie-in. Most of those tie-ins are designed with one purpose: to sucker parents into spending more money for their kids on a game that is mediocre at best. Rarely has there been a video game tie-in that is worthy of its movie heritage.The Warriors is a noteworthy exception.”
Rockstar does a masterful job of not only using the movie license to its full potential but also adding a tremendous back story to the game which helps draw you deeper into the experience. This is one of those rare times where it’s important to see the movie before playing the game. The game makes much more sense and with the back story Rockstar gives the Warriors gang in the game, you appreciate the movie that much more.
As a top-notch revision of the old-school “beat-’em ups” the Warriors are definitely able to throw down successfully both as part of a team and when going solo. But just because you can fight back doesn’t mean you have to. Much like Manhunt, stealth plays a vital role in your success. Sometimes the odds become overwhelming for your gang meaning hightailing it is not only the wise option, it is the only one. Stealth allows the Warriors to get the drop on scouts and pass them undetected instead of always fighting through hordes of enemies.
Like the Grand Theft Auto series, Rockstar marvelously portrays New York City in 1979 — a rough place that swallowed you if you weren't paying attention, not the tourist-friendly place we hear about today as well as a great soundtrack featuring songs from the movie as well as other great tracks from the period.
The only real “downside” of the game is the limited open-endedness. Unlike Grand Theft Auto games there are limits to where and when you can visit certain locations and once the movie ends, the game ends. It would have been nice to see what happened to the Warriors after their hellish night, but the ending is completely understandable.