Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom

Let's forget this was ever in the launch line-up, OK?

Pick any cliché from the beardy world of fantasy role-playing and you'll find it in Untold Legends. Let's see. Overthrowing a tyrannical ruler? Check. Ridding weirdly named lands of hordes of monsters? Check. A choice of three characters - one a nails warrior who wouldn't know a magic trick if David Blaine levitated in front of him, one a puny magician
who'd get laughed at if he stepped foot in a gym, and one who swings both ways? Check, check, er... check.

The hackneyed story and setting is at least fairly unobtrusive - bar a few unskippable cutscenes - compared to the problems you face once the game starts. Hack-and-slash games are repetitive by nature, but Untold Legends takes it to new levels of tedium. Endless swarms of creatures, critters and undead are thrown at you in an attempt to make the game seem challenging, but once you've worn out your digits in the first few levels, they and the environments blend into a giant nondescript blur of button bashing.

The combat would be more fun if it weren't for the persistent camera problems. The camera has a nasty habit of moving behind walls, trees and rocks - which then don't turn transparent! - so you have to really fight to get it in a decent position to see your character, by which time he'll be taking a proper beating. It's even worse in a two-player game when you can't move the camera.

Salvaging something from the wreckage is a surprisingly in-depth upgrade system for improving your character's attacks, magic, weapon and armour. It offers plenty of choice and different paths to take, though you'll soon succumb to the numbing dullness of the combat and find yourself using the same couple of combos repeatedly.

With the superior Genji: Days of The Blade already available, Untold Legends is even more pointless. At best, it's a simple hack and slasher with an okay Co-op mode, but 10 minutes of play is all it takes to realise how shoddy the action is. We'll be surprised if anyone downloads the promised extra content post release.

The verdict

Insipid button basher that doesn't even get basic stuff like its camera right. Rubbish.

  • Upgrade loads of stuff
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Obstructive camera
  • Dull, dull, dull
PlayStation 3
Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment
Action, RPG