So let me start off by saying I am a fan of the series and on my first playthrough of the demo I was not pleased whatsoever. Here's how it went down:
I chose to play as a Spartan vs. Ninja (First mistake there, ninjas always win), my next mistake was charging in with my spartan spear in hand and getting pummeled by a combo by the ninja that stripped me of my precious shield and spear. I got up and pulled out a short sword, a really tiny one actually. Low on health after the backbreaking combo, I swung the sword hoping to land some crazy combo that would cause great, great revenge on that ninja. That hope was cut to pieces, along with my poor Spartan's neck.
There lies my third mistake, using the Spartan as some sort of chariot, or tank. I thought to myself, how would a spartan fight in real life? Oh right 300, stay in a pack, let them come to you. So second round, back up, the ninja came in swinging. I raised my shield and blocked his combo and when the ninja staggered afterwards I thrust with my trusty spear, aaaaaand the damned ninja rolls to my flank and mows me down once again. Match Over. I thought to myself as to what I was doing wrong, I played a few rounds with the difficulty set to normal, and played 5 matches with the round limit set to 5. I did decently, scoring some close wins against the AI. After that I felt confident enough to set it back to hard, only to get my ass whooped around 30 more times. Insanely frustrated I roared all the mighty expletives I knew at the damn game.
“Fuck this game” were the last words I said to the game before I shut off my Xbox. Fastforward to 12:00 am where I am awoken by a spider crawling on me, I screamed as silently as I could and brushed the spider off and watched him fall underneath my bed. Blankets off, Xbox on, after that near-death experience I'm not sleeping for a while. As my box boots up, I recall the Deadliest Warrior game, and decide to give it another try. I embraced the mechanics of the game, played as the spartan for a little bit and actually found some success with him, I let the ninja come to me once more, but I caught him on the first blow with a strike to his toe followed by a pretty slow spear combo. I found a lot of success doing this just by slowing down the ninja.
The ninja's slow pace after my beatings allowed me to experience the Spartan's final execution. A charge with his shield, cutting to a scene where he jumps to stab a curiously extra long sword than the one he wields, into the ninja's throat and running past without his shield. This little goof was small, but there were some bigger issues I had with the gameplay. A few times when I backed into a wall or pillar, the camera would place itself behind my giant Spartan making it difficult to fight the nimble Ninja, at this angle I may as well have been blind. Another problem, clipping, not little clipping such as a hand going through a cloak, but a spear or shield going through an opponent to cause NO damage or stopping the enemy's momentum. In a game where small mistakes will lead to a quick death, I found it to be incredibly frustrating to have this happen, fortunately it didn't happen often. Lastly, the most obvious flaw of this game is the framerate which always seems to dip just as you're trying to perform a combo, my bet is that the ninja bribed it to ruin me.
After playing the Spartan to death, I tried my hand at the ninja and oh boy was I good at it. I don't like running around tooting my own horn, but DAMN, I actually had the confidence to go into Deadliest difficulty and take on a fellow ninja, and actually won, with a few perfects thrown in as well.
Against the Spartan on Deadliest I couldn't rely on combos to take him down since his shield was magically better than my Spartan's shield. But that's beside the point, I had to learn to use my environment to take down the Spartan, such as running around a pillar to hit him in the back with my Ninjato sword. It was incredibly satisfying attaining these victories.
In the end I'll say the game requires some getting-used-to before you start liking it. Flaws aside, the game is enjoyable. I didn't get to play against another player, but I imagine that to be exponentially more fun than outsmarting the Deadliest AI. But the most amazing, innovative, exhilarating feature this game has that it is humble enough not to even mention it anywhere in the game...real time weapon change.
Thanks for reading if you did, leave comments and some advice/tips/pointers/whatever for my next impression of a game.