Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat preview

Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior has answered some bizarre questions over the years. Who wins between pirates and Aztecs? Are Vikings tougher than Mongols? Spike TV has spent years analyzing how various warrior cultures would fare when faced against one another. This concept was later expanded through 345 Games and Pipeworks Software’s series of downloadable Deadliest Warrior fighting games.

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat packages together the first two games of the series, Deadliest Warrior: The Game and Deadliest Warrior: Legends, into a single retail disc. It also features all of the games’ DLC packs along with some new features.


Anyone who has played the Deadliest Warrior series knows what to expect from these arcade fighters. The first Deadliest Warrior has players choosing between generic representatives of various warrior cultures — Aztecs, Vikings, and Ninjas among them. Legends offers a choice of various historical figures from different eras, including Macedonian king Alexander the Great, Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan, and African warrior Shaka Zulu.

Battles remain the same from the original games. Each player wields a single weapon, useful from different ranges, and go to town on one another. Depending on how mortal the blow, fights can last either a fair length or a mere couple of seconds. I remain unimpressed over fights that can end from a single spear or arrow to the cranium.

Yet that’s also the charm of Deadliest Warrior. It doesn’t rely on outlandish combos or complicated gimmicks, but rather on realistic fighting and physics. The controls are simple enough that anyone can pick up and play, while holding their own against players of any skill level. It’s mindless fun and I had a good time lopping off arms and scoring the occasional decapitation. It’s not the deepest fighting game by any stretch, but I enjoyed it for its sheer accessibility.

In addition to bringing back all of its predecessors’ game modes, Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat also adds in a couple of extras. A new arena, the Graveyard, is included and features fighters fighting atop a field of graves in the daytime. New weapons (30 in total) are included, many of which are unlocked by progressing through the Arcade mode. Fans of the Deadliest Warrior TV show can also enjoy never-before-seen episodes.

Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat will be available on PS3 and Xbox 360 next week, on January 10.