The Warriors - PSP review

4 out of 5
£35

For

Enjoyable combat, cracking story, wonderfully moody

Against

No additions, makes us crave more games of its ilk, can be frustrating

Ah, this game takes us back. The Warriors started out as a 1979 Walter Hill film about a group of misfits running riot on Coney Island. Despite its poor box office performance, the film gained cult status thanks to huge DVD sales.

Ever seeking new ways to show young punks slugging it out, Grand Theft Auto developers Rockstar released the game of the film for PS2 and Xbox 2 years ago. One parent watchdog named it as one of the most violent games of all time and sales naturally went through the roof.

So a PSP version was always on the cards. We wonder whether the small screen and often irritating controls of Sony’s baby console will chop this title off at the knees though.

If you’ve already played Warriors on PS2 or Xbox, we’ll keep it short and sweet for you. This version is pretty much completely identical and not worth the cash second time round.

For the rest of you, The Warriors is at heart a hectic beat ‘em up in the Streets of Rage mould. Don’t remember that MegaDrive classic? Well, it featured yoofs beating each other to a pulp and, err, the odd guy in leather trousers.

Leather goods or not, there’s been precious little on the beat ‘em up front recently so we’ll take what we’re given. To sum up the story behind The Warriors without giving too much away, the gang are accused of a blood soaked murder they didn’t commit and, naturally, by beating up various hoods they clear their name. It worked in the film, but we guess you had to be there.

The game opens with the Warriors’ backstory. Cut sequences show how Ajax, Rembrandt, Swan and the gang got together in the first place, although they don’t explain how someone by the name of Rembrandt can be in a gang without getting his head stoved in.

The brawling itself is nice and simple. You pick a gang member, start a mission and kick, throw and punch as much 70s butt as possible. It’s not just about fighting though.

You’re also tasked with nicking car stereos, robbing shops and sneaking around when the odds are stacked against you. Some of the later missions will have you tearing your hair out and we apologise in advance for any premature baldness The Warriors causes.

Verdict

The game’s transfer to the PSP is as solid as we could’ve hoped for. The graphics faithfully capture the film’s dark and moody nature, while the controls are nothing special but as decent as Sony’s handheld can offer.

The major downside is the lack of anything new. Rockstar’s had eighteen months to come up with something to top the PS2 and Xbox versions, so the words "cash" and "in" spring to mind.

If this is your first trip to Coney Island, fine. For those of you who’ve already sampled its delights, we suggest an alternate destination.