If you're a movie goer, by now you've surely seen the trailer for Frank Miller's newest graphic-novel/turned movie: 300. The man best known for the gruesomely awesome Sin City (the movie starred: Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Elijah Wood) has stirred up Hollywood once again. Warner Bros. secured movie rights to Miller's "300", a story about the last 300 Spartan warriors who went up against the Persian Army, and Xerces their commander. This battle was known as the Battle of Thermopylae. The most critical aspect of the war was that the Persian Army may have very well had over 2 million troops in it. But the Spartans weren't alone in the battle; they did have up to 8000 other troops join them most of which were Greek. History lesson aside, a movie of this caliber and a scope that epic couldn't possibly be left alone to just the screens of movie theaters. Surely licensed videogame adaptations were to be expected, and one of the first will appear on the PSP, of all consoles.
Looking at the trailer for 300: March to Glory, it looks to be reminiscent of Lord of the Rings: Two Towers; meaning it's an all-out action game. Hacking and slashing will play a role in the action, but you'll also be able to execute some pretty cool finishing maneuvers. Combining your attacks will be important in order to deliver long, uninterrupted, strings of pain and then a finishing move. Speaking of death, expect 300 to be pretty graphic and bloody, as Collision Studios hopes to capture the big screen experience and translate it into a solid action game for your PSP. And with Collision's collective background history ranging from Activision, EA, Warner Bros., and Vicarious Visions, I'd say that 300 seems to be safe in the hands of the developer.
Moving on, weaponry will consist of swords and a spear. With swords you can either wield one, or have a shield in the other hand -- or go shield less and dual wield swords. Likewise, with a spear you can perform various actions such as thrusting your enemy to his immediate death, or hurl it across a certain distance to take down someone before he even gets near you. Clearly all three types of weapon wielding will have their individual pros and cons, and throughout various points in the game, you'll find that playing one way is more suitable during certain kinds of altercations.
Much like God of War or even Onimusha, for every enemy you kill you will gain rewards that'll allow you to upgrade your weapons. Of course, upgrading isn't limited to just weapons, but you can purchase new combos too. This kind of gameplay system seems to have become a sort of staple in action games lately, hasn't it? But it should also be noted that you'll be able to play as either King Leonidas or as a group Spartan soldiers -- controlling a moving Phalanx in unison.
The game captures the grit and grim flare of the movie, and the graphic-novel too. The character's are replicas of their on-screen versions, as are the environments. Details per character are rather nice, as each fighter has noticeable muscle definition, with decent animation to match. Your surroundings will be largely influenced by what appears in the movie, and Collision has done a good job of rendering them properly on the PSP. The cut-scenes unravel the game's story through a hand-drawn, comic-like, presentation; if you're familiar with Frank Miller's work, then you'll know (and love) what's to be expected here.
300: March to Glory for the PSP is set to release alongside the release of the motion picture. So far release dates have the game pinned for a February 27th release. If you're looking forward to a nice hack and slash title (something in the vein of LOTR: Two Towers), then you may find 300: March to Glory to be that game.
1/31/2007 Arnold Katayev