On the subject of things that’s take away from the mood, there’s a tragic lack of battle music. Each fight is a fight to the death and has a considerable amount of drama going into them, and the fights could have been more intense if there had been some music in the background to match. Deadliest Warrior has some music for the selection screen and for some of the intros, but the fights are musically silent. This is confusing because the show does have music when they get around to fighting, and it adds weight to the situation. They could have easily used the music from those fights here, but instead we’re left with nothing.
There is no story behind the arcade mode, nor is there any sort of ending to achieve or even a high score to obtain. You select a character, and just fight all other characters. Along the way, you’ll unlock additional and more powerful weapons, which feels unrewarding. What good is a more powerful weapon when I can win a battle in seconds anyway? The final product is a fighter that gives you little reason to play, and no reason to come back.
Deadliest Warrior: Legends also comes with a bonus mode called Generals. Here you control one of nine warriors, all of them famous generals who’ve won wars. Again, this is a fun idea that has a bad follow-through. Generals is essentially about taking over land by attacking adjacent enemy forces with your own. Unfortunately, whoever gets the most land and troops first usually wins (but not necessarily). The only fighting done is when you try to take over a castle, but the stalemate — your opponent trying to take you as you defend — gets old quickly. This mode could have been an interesting and taught something of the actual battle strategies that the characters used in their time. Instead there is no reward for winning here, as all it does is show you a picture saying you won and that’s it.
Multiplayer offers even less than you’d expect. The Generals Mode has no option for online play despite being able play locally. Your options are limited to tournaments, ranked battle, or a normal battle. Winning allows you to unlock titles, but that’s about it.
Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat could have been more, but it’s very flawed. I do believe it had a lot of potential, but it’s hurt by a lack of creativity. With less reliance on button mashing, decent battle music (or any whatsoever), better polished animations, and more interesting rewards, Ancient Combat could have had some legs. As it is now, I can’t recommend it.
FINAL GRADE: D+