The Warriors – PS2
The game takes place in gritty 1970s New York City. The story follows a street gang known as the Warriors, who have been accused of a murder they didn’t commit, and must return to their home turf in one night, although the game begins three months prior to the film events. Due to the game containing strong violence, language, sexual themes, etc., the game was released with a “Mature” rating.
The game was influenced by Rockstar Games introducing a substantial beat ’em up element to the gameplay. The actors from the film itself reprised their roles to perform the voices of their original characters. Upon its release, The Warriors received a positive critical response.
The Warriors is an action-adventure, survival game which focuses heavily on brawling. Like most games from Rockstar Games, several minor gameplay elements are mixed into the experience, such as the ability to use spray paint to mark turf or to insult other people. The playable characters are the Warriors leader Cleon, Cleon’s lieutenant Swan, heavy muscles Ajax and Snow, Cleon and Swan’s friends Vermin and Cowboy, the scout Fox, Harlem native Cochise, and Rembrandt, the Warriors graffiti artist. Cleon, Swan, Ajax, and Rembrandt are the most heavily featured characters. An arcade game called Armies of the Night is unlocked after you complete the main storyline of the game. The playable characters are Swan and Ajax.
In this prequel segment, The Warriors’ headquarters serves as a hub. From inside, you can train (10 ranks of physical fitness such as, sit-ups, press ups, chin ups, and heavy bag, that increase your stamina), talk to fellow gang members, play through rumble mode and other bonus material, walk outside to Coney Island for extra missions, or begin the next level of the story proper. The player is presented with mission objectives such as beating up a certain number of enemy gang members or stealing a certain amount of items, with more complex and creative tasks like winning a graffiti competition in SoHo, stealing goods to plant on crooked cops and rival gang members, and wild chases away from baseball bat wielding members of the Baseball Furies. Fighting takes the form of gang rumble style action with the player being assisted by other Warriors at the same time (a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 8). Combos are performed with 2-3 button chains for weak attacks, strong attacks, holds and throws. Grab attacks can be used for the playable character to perform their own unique power attack that will quickly decrease the enemy’s health. The games sees the Warriors fight their way through the ranks, building a heavy rep and getting their colors out in force, until they get the invite to meeting of all of the gangs of New York City, which is where the movie (and the last few missions of the game) begins.
The game progresses linearly from one mission event to the next, usually presented as a cutscene. Combat in The Warriors occurs in real time and involves pressing buttons to initiate attacks by the on-screen character. By pausing the game, the player can find combat techniques ― 2-3 combos, wall smash, grab and throws, charges, body cross attack, snap attacks, weapon attacks, and counter-attacks. The player can also look at the characters stats. This menu is manipulated by using the right analog stick, while movement is controlled in the 3D environment using the joystick, and camera controls are managed using the up arrow on the digital pad and the analog joystick, allowing the player to navigate the menu while avoiding or approaching enemies. In addition, players can choose to mug people, receiving money, flash, and spray. Each level contains items the player can collect or steal, such as car radios and jewelry. Completing these actions earn the player points, which count towards unlocking soldiers, arenas and game modes for Rumble Mode, the game’s free-for-all multiplayer mode.
The playable character has a bar below their feet to determine their health level, reducing whenever the character takes damage, although it can be replenished by using flash. The circular grey bar inside the health bar is your grappling stamina. When grabbing or mounting an opponent, your bar will drain. The top-left hand side represents the character rage meter, which, when filled, allows the player to pull off a variety of combos and styles. In rage, you will become temporarily invincible, using finishing moves and inflicting serious damage on the opponent. The player’s allies, if they are knocked out, the player can use flash to replenish their health. However, if the playable character’s loses all of their health, the mission ends and the player will be prompted to resume from the checkpoint or restart the mission from the beginning. Defeating enemies will cause items to fall from their bodies; flash to restore your health; spray to spray over enemy gang territory’s; and money which can be used to purchase items from dealers.