Deadliest Warrior: The Game was developed by Pipeworks Software and published by Spike Games for XBLA on July 14, 2010. Retails for 800 Microsoft Points.

When I think of Spike TV, The Ultimate Fighter and endless reruns of CSI are immediately transfused in to my recollection. What lies between the cage fighting and continuous autopsies is a show about putting yesterdays warriors up against each other in a scientific manner to see who would leave the fight alive; that show is called Deadliest Warriors. With a cult following and the success of the show, what better way to rejuvenate our imagination than to make a game where we can depict our shameless childlike interest in history’s baddest of bad asses.

Right from the beginning I’m enticed by the warrior-like theme music. Both visuals and sound slightly resemble Mortal Kombat. The menu layout looks nice but act quickly, 20 seconds of idleness will start a quick AI demonstration fight. It all seems quite easy to navigate through.

Single player has only a couple of modes to choose from. The main mode is arcade, your basic choice for ladder progression combat that you see frequently in other fighting games. Earning new weapons and costumes through the arcade mode is rewarding and at times challenging. The computer really knows how to kill. The other modes include practice and battle… these are great inclusions, but I’m guessing that only fighting genre fanatics will find use out of them. There’s also a Challenge mode, which is locked and the only way to unlock it is by beating the game with every character.

The online multiplayer seems up to par with its stability and competitiveness. Playing online is awesome and it takes just seconds to get in to a match. I have only experienced lag twice since it came out. Tournament mode is the only feature that slightly irritates me, it’s fine once you understand how to participate… I’ll talk about that more in a little bit. Overall, the multiplayer has been great.

What we liked:

The Decapitations and Severed Limbs– The blood and gore in this game is borderline insane. You can chop off your opponents head and limbs with a perfectly placed cut. At times, you or your opponent will be fighting with one arm… it’s hilariously awesome. When a warrior receives some arm or leg damage, it’ll effect your characters movement… that arm or leg will even show signs of weakness during the after-match footage. Arrows and spears will be sticking out of your body, this game is just great on violence.

The Unpredictability– You never know how a fight will turn out. In one round, you may parry your opponents combo, lash back, and decapitate him with a mere 10 seconds left. In the other round, you may shoot a fatal bullet to his head in the first couple of seconds.

The Distinct Fighting Styles and Characters– This game has a strong lineup of eight fighters to choose, from a Viking to a Spartan. Each iconic historical figure has its own unique characteristics, fighting style, and persona. These independently driven warriors can certainly leave you intimidated. Whether you prefer to be quick and precise as the ninja or patiently merciless as the centurion, you’ll feel tough.

What we didn’t like:

Figuring Out The Tournament Mode– The developing team should have spent a little more time and constructing a more appealing tourney. Once you’ve completed(and won) a tournament match, you’re brought back to the main menu… it doesn’t tell you what you need to do or where to go. So, automatically you assume you’ve won the tournament – No. You have to go back to the tournament matching options(quick match/custom match/create match, search, and win another match. Once you’ve won 2-4 ruthless battles, it’ll say “congrats on placing first.”

The Capability To Just Run Around For A Win– It’s a rare and crappy situation, but you may play online against someone who has more health than you and just runs around until the clock runs out… they win.

Sluggish Button Response– It feels as if the characters reaction to the button pressing has a slight delay. It’s not a really noticeable irritant, but it’s definitely there.

Deadliest Warrior: The Game is a very respectable XBLA title. It looks really good and plays out awesomely. I would highly recommend buying this game without hesitation. If you’re looking for a fighter game on disc form, just buy this one… it’s cheaper, funner, bloodier, and a great alternative to Mortal Kombat.

Final Score: BUY