At first glance, Chaos Legion looks suspiciously like its hack-and-slash Capcom cousin, Devil May Cry. But in reality, it plays like a tactical strategy game that places you in near-complete control of units rather than having you issue orders with icons and cursors. Commanding an entourage of supernatural soldiers is heady but fulfilling work. Some of your minions specialize in combating mechanical creatures, while others fare better against flesh and blood- so to eviscerate the opposition, you’ll need to plan accordingly. Factor in artillery and protective units and the potential for strategy is staggering. Yet because you do all this while controlling your own character, in reality, you’d need the dexterity of Star Trek’s Data to consistently carry out all your calculations. Luckily, this inherent complexity is more rewarding than frustrating-spearheading your phalanx is always fun, even though enduring the pandemonium is the most you can hope for at times. And you can always revisit completed levels, both to refine more-graceful approaches and to gain experience points for legion upgrades-which, for me, ranks high on this game’s long list of ingenious features.
Damn you, Capcom, for stealing the name of my future death-metal band! But bless your heart for attaching it to a gorgeous, action-laden game worthy of the rulesome name. Legion isn’t just mindless melees-allies that grow with experience add the strategy and RPG-ish depth that make playtime fun. But my excitement started to deflate a few stages shy of the end. As the button-mashing ramps up near the too-soon climax, the game relentlessly recycles the same enemies and bosses over and over. For the few hours you’ll spend, Legion has “rental” written all over it-Shawn and Bry are just easy-to-please gaming newbies, I guess.
In addition to its lush visuals, Legion excels in two areas where most hack-and-slashers don’t. First, it provides an engaging story (told through beautiful cut-scenes) that kept me on my toes till the very end. Second, as Shawn said, building up each legion’s stats keeps the action from feeling monotonous. Sure, some of the dialogue is over-the-top hokey, and the game’s Spawn-like creature collection could be more diverse- but these are really minor problems. I can only hope a sequel is on the way.