The Warriors (video game)
|Developer(s)||Rockstar Toronto (PS2 & Xbox)
Rockstar Leeds (PSP)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2 & Xbox
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, beat 'em up|
The Warriors is a beat 'em up video game, developed by Rockstar Toronto and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on October 17, 2005 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and February 12, 2007 for PlayStation Portable. The Warriors is based on the 1979 movie of the same name (which in turn, is based on the 1965 novel of the same name), and features large scale brawling in 3D environments interspersed with other activities such as chase sequences. The console versions of the game were developed at Rockstar Toronto, while the PSP port was developed by Rockstar Leeds. The game was released on the PlayStation 3 on May 28, 2013 in the U.S. and May 29, 2013 in Europe via the PlayStation Network.
The game takes place in a 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 theme, 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 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 character's health has run out, 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 and money which can be used to purchase items from dealers.
The player can choose to help other people in Coney Island. In return for helping these people, the Warriors will learn new abilities, such as defeating policemen to receive cuffs to subdue and arrest anybody, cuff-keys that will allow you to free Warriors with keys instead of breaking cuffs, escape from cuffs yourself with cuff-keys, increase flash capacity, and earn brass knuckles and steel-toed boots to inflict more damage to the enemy. The player can also choose to have the Warriors members to exercise in the headquarters to increase stamina.
During The Warriors, there are a collection of levels, referred to as missions, which the player must progress through. Eighteen can be accessed, along with six more bonus missions, known as "Flashbacks", which show how the Warriors were formed, and each member of the Warriors came to join the gang, and to unlock an arcade machine that will allow you to play Armies of the Night. The setting in the game for the Warriors is their home territory, Coney Island. However, the player can also visit other gangs' territories. Completing the missions/game, can allow the player to replay levels, in order to improve on your score, and unlock new characters.
The design and casting of the characters was very faithful to what was seen in The Warriors. Each character is still portrayed as their respective role from the film ― Cyrus the Riffs leader, inhabits Van Courtland Park, where the meeting took place. Luther the Rogues leader, is based out of his hearse, The Baseball Furies' territory is Riverside Park, The Lizzies their apartment, with other smaller gangs based around the city. When starting a mission, the Warriors will occasionally stay at their home turf or travel to another place via train to use as a starting point.
Missions and events normally begin at the Coney Island headquarters, which is also used as a launching point throughout the game (except after the meeting), and the player can also travel to Tremont where the Warriors encounters the Orphans, a low-class gang, and also Riverside Park which is run by the Baseball Furies, a well respected gang. The main players travel from one turf to another, to let the public radio station know there is a new gang in town. This sometimes results in Warriors brawling with the rival gangs. At the Warriors hangout there is a machine which resembles a pinball machine called "Rumble Mode" which, upon completing missions, you unlock special stages where you can fight all of the gangs in New York City.
The primary protagonist is Cleon, the Warriors leader in the first half of the game, until shortly after the meeting. Cleon's role was to increase the Warriors reputation, and rid Coney Island of the Destroyers. The major protagonist is Swan, the second-in-command throughout the game, covering the film itself. Throughout the course of his leadership, Swan's role was to bring the Warriors back to Coney Island. Mercy is Swan's love interest. The primary antagonist is Luther, the Rogues leader, responsible for Cyrus' murder and framing the Warriors for the crime. During battles and encounters you have with enemies, other Warrior members will assist the player in various situations.
Other areas contain other gangs of New York City, which the player must defeat in a battle. On one occasion, gang members tend to be scouts that appear in orange dots on the radar in different areas and spaces. When you are spotted by the gang member, the scout will call for backup, and the orange circles up the radar ― the player can then choose either to attack or stealth kill the scout. Policemen will appear as blue dots on the radar (in some levels); if the player commits a crime, the blue circles up the radar, the blue dots will flash and the crime that is committed will appear on the middle screen, prompting the officers to chase and attempt to handcuff you― the player can also assault the officers or sneak into a hide area if no-one can see you at the time. Civilians in local places will rat you out to a gang member or the police when committing a crime that disturbs them.
Throughout the Warriors endeavours, they will be aided by Flash, Spray, and Knife dealers, to help them out ― Flash dealers are there to supply the player with flash, the game's equivalent of health packs, which costs 20 dollars, Spray dealers supply the player with spray paint, which costs 5 dollars, while Knife Dealers supply you with knives, which cost 50 dollars. However, some of the dealers tend to rip you off and make a run for it, but the player can chase them down to recover their money. However, if the player chooses to attack the dealers, they will either retaliate or run, though they will respawn. In "Rumble Mode", playable characters can also be other gangs that have been unlocked in the game, to compete against other gangs in a match you choose.
In the story mode of the game, there are a total of 18 missions. Missions 1-13 take place three months before the meeting and missions 14-18 cover the movie itself. The player can only control one specific character in each mission, while the others are computer-controlled. The main Warriors that are controlled by the player are Cleon, Swan, Rembrandt, Ajax and Cochise. The only Warrior to not have a full playable mission to themselves is Snow. Along with the main missions, there are 5 bonus missions called "Flashbacks", which tell how the Warriors started and how each member joined. During each mission, the Warriors will meet and face off with other gangs in New York. In most missions, they will take the subway train to the other gang's turf. Although they are featured and mentioned in the game, the Electric Eliminators, the Panzers and the Van Cortlandt Rangers are the only gangs that the Warriors do not meet. Completing each mission unlocks gangs, arenas and mini-games.
The game follows the plot of the film The Warriors, focusing on a Coney Island street gang the Warriors. Led by Cleon ninety-days prior, the Warriors increased their reputation by confronting a small-time gang the Orphans, getting rid of their enemies the Destroyers (the only gang that is not featured in the film), spraying on trains, and made alliances with the Saracens by setting up their rivals the Jones Street Boys, along with a group of corrupt police officers of the NYPD. Meanwhile, Cyrus, leader the Gramercy Riffs, plans a meeting to unite the gangs as one.
On the night of the meeting, the gangs meet up in Van Cortlandt Park. Cyrus proposes to the assembled crowd a permanent citywide truce that would allow the gangs to control the city. Everybody opens to the idea, but the wannabe messiah is fatally shot by the Rogues leader, Luther―this murder enrages the assembled gangs, and the killer frames Cleon and the Warriors. Incorrectly deducing the accusations to be true, Cleon is beaten down by the Riffs. Swan, the Warriors "warchief" takes charge of the group and make their way home. Cyrus' death sends anger throughout New York City wherefore the Riffs call a hit on them through a radio DJ, while the Warriors remain unaware they are implicated in Cyrus' murder.
Attempting to run down the Warriors, the Turnbull AC's fail as they escape to the subway to board the train. While travelling to Coney Island, the train is stopped by a fire on the tracks and the gang is forced to walk on foot, where they come across the Orphans―a insecure low-rank gang who hold a grudge against the Warriors for trashing Sully's car after lying on the radio that they beat up the Warriors. Swan makes peace with Sully, who agrees to let them walk through their territory peacefully, but mocked by his girlfriend, Mercy. Encountering the Orphans again after an encounter with the police, the Warriors distract the Orphans by using a molotov cocktail, blowing the car in the process. Mercy follows the Warriors to escape her boring environment in Tremont.
Swan and the Warriors arrive on the 96th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, where they are happened upon by the police and separated. The three Warriors escape onto a train to Union Square. Mercy escapes, while Fox struggles with a police officer, falls to the tracks and is killed by an oncoming train. Swan and the remaining three Warriors run outside, and are chased into Riverside Park by the Baseball Furies, where a fight ensues and the Warriors emerge victorious. After fighting, Ajax notices a lone woman in the park, while the others walk off. He becomes sexually aggressive towards her; however, the woman is actually revealed to be a undercover female police officer and he is arrested.
In the meantime at Union Square, Rembrandt, Vermin, and Cochise are being seduced by an all-female gang, the Lizzies. However, the seduction turns out to be a decoy. Even though the Lizzies attempt to try and kill them, the trio eventually escape. In wake of this, they learn the truth―that everyone believes they are Cyrus' murderers.
Upon arriving back into the 96th Street Station, Swan meets up with Mercy. During their arrival in Union Square, already aware they are being stalked by the Punks, the pair reunite with the other Warriors, and defeat the Punks. Later, the Riffs receive a visit from a gang member, who attended the meeting and witnessed Luther firing the gun.
The next morning, the Warriors finally arrive back home, where the Rogues are waiting for them and decide to face them. Luther, with no remorse, freely admits to the murder. Swan suggests he and Luther have a one-on-one, but the Rogue leader pulls out his gun. Swan throws his knife at Luther's arm, which disarms him. The Riffs arrive and confront the Rogues, now unmasked as Cyrus' killers, and eventually make peace with the Warriors. The Riffs turn to fighting, executing the Rogues and a shattered Luther; the DJ announces the big alert has been called off and apologises to the Warriors for the situation. In the aftermath, Swan and Mercy begin a relationship. The Warriors, safe and finally home, walk on the beach. The DJ salutes them with the song―"In The City".
Rockstar Games began working on The Warriors in 2002. The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game were developed by Rockstar Toronto, who were previously known as Rockstar Canada. Promotion of the game was aided by its appearance at E3 2005. The game was later ported to the PlayStation Portable platform, and developed by Rockstar Leeds. This was first announced in October 2006, and Rockstar Leeds worked with original developers Rockstar Toronto in order to make the port easier. A spokesperson had said "We have worked closely with Rockstar Toronto to maintain the extremely high standards they've set for this game," said Gordon Hall, President of Rockstar Leeds. "The PSP system allows us to deliver the experience in an entirely different way, while staying very faithful to the original source material and maintaining the high standards we set for ourselves as a developer."
The Warriors then began to look a lot like several of Rockstar's other projects such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Manhunt, and Red Dead Revolver. The look and presentation are definitely familiar, despite coming from different production houses, each developer shares their toolsets and proprietary technologies with each other on a consistent basis A combination of the company's biggest hits like State of Emergency and Manhunt, The Warriors successfully mixed multi-character co-op brawling with stealth action. Just as was the case on PlayStation 2, if there is anything that positively sticks out regarding how The Warriors plays, it's the surprising depth of its characters. All nine playable fighters, while similar, have their own unique selection of moves and strengths and offer slightly different takes on the same concept. Due to the PlayStation Portable being a handheld platform, differences to gameplay came about as a result of the port, such as the control configuration receiving a drastic change.
During the review, a spokesman had stated "the audio, on the other hand, is on the other side of the scale". Many of the original actors from the film have returned to voice their characters—at least, most of the ones that are "still alive". Michael Beck, James Remar, and Dorsey Wright once again were praised in their excellent performances (despite sounding quite a bit older than the 20-something characters they play), and the remaining voice cast delivers, too. The spokesman further explains "it helps that the dialogue is well written, but there's hardly a bad voice actor in the bunch; the one weird thing about the voice work, though, is that a lot of it is made up of lines directly from the film." It seems as though, in some situations, Rockstar might have been better off just taking audio directly from the film rather than rerecording it. Obviously, they'd want the voices to match, but there are situations in which they could have easily gotten away with it, and ultimately would've had a better piece of dialogue. The audio in this game is great. As the spokesperson further explained he said: "To begin with the voice acting for all characters in the game is very, very good. From all the main characters to plain NPC, each and everyone is done amazingly. On the subject of sounds effects in the game it's also very good. Every little thing makes a sound and does it well."
The Warriors features voice actors for both the 1979 film and the game versions. The film and game version use the respired Michael Beck as Swan, the protagonist of The Warriors. Other notable voice actors included returning actors, James Remar as Ajax, Deborah Van Valkenburgh as Mercy, Dorsey Wright as Cleon, Thomas G. Waites as Fox, and David Harris as Cochise. A special effort was made to preserve the official voice actors of characters from The Warriors movie used in video game itself.
While the movie version featured David Patrick Kelly as Luther, Roger Hill as Cyrus, and Marcelino Sánchez as Rembrandt, the game version featured Oliver Wyman as Luther, Andy Senor as Rembrandt, Joe Lo Truglio as Vermin, Michael Potts as Cyrus, and Kurt Bauccio as Cowboy. Supporting characters involves Darryl McDaniels and Jordan Gelber.
Upon its release, The Warriors received a largely positive reception from critics. Many praised the game for its deep combat and control, stating that the game helped breathe life into the brawler genre. The game was also praised for its unique seedy underbelly style, along with its story and music. Critics praised the audio as it "really shines above all else", with a replicated soundtrack and absolutely superb voice acting by many of the original actors who starred in the film. Rockstar Toronto has gained the most media coverage for its development of The Warriors, which overall received positive reviews, and made about $37 million worldwide. "Like the best of Rockstar’s games, 'The Warriors' immerses you in a world that feels at once authentic and highly stylized, and it might just be the best game adaptation of a film ever in terms of capturing the mood of the original movie." 1UP admitted "As fanservice, The Warriors is a treat for anyone who loves the movie, and as a beat-em-up, it outclasses recent efforts from competitors. Yet as a complete package, it's somewhat inconsistent. But with bonus missions, multiplayer rumbles, and a very fun 2-player co-op mode...we can most definitely dig it". The Warriors received a score of 7.4 for the design, the story received 8.5, while the gameplay received 7.9.
Game Informer praised the feel and style of the game, stating "The Warriors immerses you in a world that feels at once authentic and highly stylized, and it might just be the best game adaptation of a film ever in terms of capturing the mood of the original movie. Fans will notice that all of the iconic scenes of the film are recreated almost shot for shot. In addition, Rockstar Toronto has gone to the trouble of creating a completely new storyline that shows players how the Warriors came together, and the events leading up to the start of the film." The reviewer went on to applaud the developers, saying they "Tried to stretch the conventional formula for what's considered a "brawler". Unlike most of the genre, where you walk down single-path alleyways, The Warriors, taking cues from other popular Rockstar titles, creates the illusion that you’re in a real, living city.
Although, sizewise, the levels are much closer to Manhunt than Grand Theft Auto, there are areas to explore both on the ground and vertically, hidden items, amazing unlockables, and numerous side missions. They’ve also tried to expand the gameplay to incorporate more than just fisticuffs. You can engage in all sorts of petty crime, including muggings, stealing car stereos, lockpicking, and tagging graffiti. Throw in a little more variety in the form of some cool chase and stealth sequences, and you've got something more than a typical brawler."
However, critics of the gameplay was mixed. Complaints were mostly directed towards the multiplayer. Critics complained about how the game's screen splits vertically for two players, creating a narrow field of vision—when compared to the "normal" view—and often cluttered screens. However, in the PSP version, this problem is rectified by virtue of the fact that the game is already being played on two separate screens, although they are thankful the Rumble Mode, which has a ton of unlockable minigames, is there for the multiplayer enjoyment. Critics also mentioned the camera doesn’t help matters much, as it’s sometimes erratic, even leaving view obstructed in a few instances.
As Game Informer further explained, he stated "The fighting engine itself is fairly deep, allowing you to pull off some very brutal moves with a modicum of button presses (including some cool co-op maneuvers). You’ll definitely feel cool kicking ass as a Warrior, whether hand-to-hand or with any of the numerous weapons. However, I found the feel of the combat to be sluggish and chaotic at times, especially when fighting large numbers of enemies. He recommended that "turning on the option that makes it stay in split-screen, but even that is hampered by your very narrow field of vision." Critics enjoyed the graffiti writing, which is done through an "ingenious mechanic". He stated "Although it’s certainly not a masterpiece, The Warriors gets by on style, flair, variety, and simple fun. The gameplay – while still enjoyable – isn’t nearly as polished as it could be, the story and the appeal of the world that The Warriors recreates will be enough to pull you through to the end."
In 2006, Roger Hill, who also played Cyrus in the movie, filed a lawsuit of USD$250,000 ($293,454.94 when adjusted for inflation) against Take-Two for using his voice and depiction in the video game without his permission. He claimed that it would not have been difficult for Take-Two to pay, since the game made $37 million ($43,431,330.47 when adjusted for inflation).
Other media and cancelled sequel
A spiritual sequel was planned by Rockstar, which was to be unrelated to The Warriors. The game was to be titled We Are The Mods and was to be set in 1960s England during the mods and rockers brawls. However, later in 2009, an arcade game was released entitled The Warriors: Street Brawl which is a beat 'em up scroller video game created by CXTM and released on Xbox Live Arcade. Dabel Brothers Productions in 2009, began a five issue comic book adaption of the film. Following that was a four issue mini series entitled The Warriors: Jail Break, which takes place several months after the film's events.
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- Cleon: Virgil's gone way too far this time! We're going to war tonight! I want all the Destroyers stomped out. Now they know we're coming and Virgil's gonna be holed up in the hangout. If we bop right in there, we're gonna get wasted. We're gonna have to-- / Vermin: Bullshit! I'll kill 'em all! /.../ Cleon: Vermin! / Vermin: But, Warlord, they killed Ash! They-- / Cleon: Listen to me! We gotta use our heads! We gonna have to draw them out! Take 'em down bit by bit! Everyone split up into warparties. Divide and conquer! Take out everything they got! Gambling, pimping, and their stores! They won't have no choice but to send out their soldiers. It's time to end these fools! Let's do it! Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- Swan: We're going back. If this truce is off, anything could hit us between here and that train. If you get separated, make it back to the platform at Union Square. Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
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- Luther: There he is! That's him! That's the Warrior! He shot Cyrus! / Cleon: Hey, man, you're crazy. I didn't do nothing! / Luther: We saw him. / Crospy: Yeah, that's him. / Luther: He's the one! He's the one! The Warriors did it! The Warriors did it! The Warriors did it! The Warriors did it! Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- Masai: There must be some word. I want them all. I want all the Warriors. I want them alive, if possible. If not, wasted. But I want them. Send the word. Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- DJ: All right, now. For all you boppers out there in the big city, all you street people with an ear for the action, I've been asked to relay a request from the Gramercy Riffs. It's a special for the Warriors. That's that real live bunch from Coney. And I do mean the Warriors. Here's a hit with them in mind.Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- DJ: Now for the latest word in the big city. Turning the break beats against the Judas Bunch, the Boppers danced back to retain their reign supreme in Harlem. Up in Riverside, the Baseball Furies continued their winning streak by knocking out some Jones Street Boys. In the minor leagues today, the Orphans report that they been making some major moves by knocking out the Warriors, that outfit from Coney. / Ash: This is bullshit, man! / West: We never even met those wimps! We oughta kick them in their lying mouths! / Cleon: Yeah, you're right. We oughta. The rest of you dudes stay put. Me and Fox is taking the new blood out to see if they as tough as they talk. Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- Sully: Listen good, you fucking pansies. It don't matter whether we rumbled or not. What the Orphans say goes! Heh! Who the streets gonna believe? A solid outfit like us, or some bush league rejects from the ass-end of Brooklyn? / Cleon: Hey, Sully, that's a fine-looking car you got going on! Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- Mercy: Hey, Sully, aren't these the guys who trashed your car? You just gonna let 'em army right through here any time they feel like it? Pretty soon, every gang in town is just gonna boogie right in; soldier right through. I'll tell you, some man you are. Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- Sully: You see what you get, Warriors? You see what you get when you mess with the Orphans? / Jesse: We're gonna rain on you, Warriors! Yeah! /... / Swan: Now! Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- Starr: So you're the famous Warriors. The guys that shot Cyrus! / Rembrandt: Shit, the chicks are packed! The chicks are packed! Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- Masai: You Warriors are good. Real good. / Swan: The best. / Masai: The rest is ours. Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
- DJ: Good news, boppers. The big alert has been called off. It turns out that the early reports were wrong. All wrong. Now for that group out there that had such a hard time getting home, sorry about that. I guess the only thing we can do is play you a song. Rockstar Toronto (2013-12-24). The Warriors. Rockstar Games.
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