Reviewed: June 15, 2008
Reviewed by: David Hillyer

Publisher
Atari Interactive

Developer
Stainless Games

Released: May 28, 2008
Genre: Arcade
Players: 1-4
3
6
3
2
4.2

Supported Features:

  • Online Multiplayer: 2-4
  • Online LIVE Vision
  • HDTV 720p, 1080i

    Screenshots (Click Image for Gallery)


  • I remember Warlords. Way back in the 80’s my brother and I used to play Warlords on our coveted Atari 2600. If I remember correctly, we didn’t play Warlords for long.

    Now it’s time to get all medieval on my Xbox.


    Warlords is kind of a multi-player version of breakout. Each corner of the screen has a castle and you defend your castle from the little balls flying around on the screen. You can capture a ball and hurl it at one of the other 3 opponents. If you break through their wall you eliminate them and the game continues until only one person is left. I guess this is what passed for brilliant back in the day.

    Back when I played Warlords on the Atari 2600 we had the paddle controllers. I can’t remember if they came with Breakout or Kaboom but somebody really needs to resurrect them for the Xbox 360 before they bring out these kinds of games. The normal Xbox controller just isn’t made for these things.

    The only real “innovation’ in Warlords is the support for the Vision Camera. So you can see your online opponents… if you can find some online opponents. I was only able to scare up a couple of games in 2 weeks and one of those as with another reviewer who was also being forced to play Warlords. It’s an occupational hazard.

    The first time I played Warlords on Xbox 360, I played the same game for over an hour. It’s insanely easy. I got to the point where I was begging for death. Just for fun I decided to put down my controller to see how long it would take for the console to take out my undefended castle. It went 3 more rounds before I was eliminated.

    There is a “throttle monkey” mode which puts everything at maximum from the start. That really wasn’t fun either because it was just moving the stick back and forth to try and survive. There isn’t any strategy there.

    Warlords kept my attention for about the same amount of time it took to replay the 1980’s memory in my head. It’s just another boring retro game. Is it any wonder Atari is having financial trouble (again)? Who is deciding which classic games they are to translate over to Xbox? Why are they paying someone to sit in a room and make these? These questions and more will likely never be answered in my lifetime.


    Warlords has two graphics modes: Classic and Evolved. The classic mode gives you that total retro look. It’s frightening what we used to play. The evolved mode updates the graphics in all their 1080i HD glory. There are nice animations of the canons and explosions. It’s not bad, but for 400 Microsoft Points you can’t expect too much eye candy.


    There isn’t much to be said for the sound either. There’s just the typical explosion and warning alarms when your wall is about to be breached. I suppose that’s all there needs to be, and again you can’t expect a whole lot from a game like this.


    The only value in Warlords is it’s only 400 Microsoft Points. It’s not really worth that either, but it’s not a horrible ripoff.

    There are 12 Achievements that have cool medieval names like “Marquess” and “Viscount” and “Archduke”. But most if not all of the achievements are simply a test to see how long you can endure the repetitious torture that is Warlords.


    They are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Is it possible for a game to immediately qualify for Microsoft’s new “delisting” policy?

    Warlords did resuscitate some brief memories of my childhood… which only proves that my brain has a lot of useless junk floating around in there.