Barbarian - Xbox

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Also for: PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Saffire Soft. Co.: Titus
Publishers: VIE (GB)
Released: 5 Dec 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


A long awaited update to the 1980's hack 'n' slash 8-bit extravaganza, Xbox's Barbarian super-sequel is a medieval beat-em-up of epic proportions. In a last-man-standing adventure, Barbarian is quite different from its modern day beat-em-up counterparts, and is perhaps more believable as a 3D Gauntlet clone or a combat-based RPG without the soul-destroying dialogue.

Taking control of one of eight very different and accomplished warriors of the days of yore, your job is to wreak havoc in ten sprawling fantasy arenas whilst exploring the nooks and crannies of the Barbarian game world for any valuable items.

In some of the most imaginative and interactive arenas devised, players can destroy much of the surrounding enclosure to reveal hidden treasures and stat bonuses as well as uncovering completely new areas. But with a new area comes a plethora of new challenges, obstacles and hazards. And if that wasn't enough to put you into fifth gear, you'll still have to contend with an army of fellow barbarians.

Gamers can also utilise magic powers and attacks that are built up by successfully executing beat-em-up style combination moves. Each move rewards the fighter with a specific magic energy that encourages tactical battles, so they have to fight smart as well as fight hard to be victorious.

A non-linear storyline in the single player mode ensures that lone warriors will be challenged every bit as much as the next warrior, and a unique RPG element has been included for extra longevity.

Once you feel you've suitably bolstered your warrior's vital statistics, you can then engage in a bloody multi-player skirmish. Much simpler and far more intense than the single player adventure, multi-player mode pits you against several of your sword-wielding friends in a 'friendly' bout of kill-or-be-killed combat.

It's all good fun, and at the end of it all, you get to walk away free of injury. Bonus!