I still have my PlayStation Three. It was a Metal Gear Solid edition console, with the reason for the purchase owing to the game Metal Gear Solid 4. It was also a 21st birthday present from my mother - which means that my console is 12 years old, and some change.
But, the console wasn't young when Metal Gear Solid 4 was released. It was 2 years old or so, meaning the most of the launch games on the console hadn't aged well, even for that time.
So, What is it like playing a launch game now, fourteen years later a month before the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X start to make their way into gamers homes?
Well that's an easy question to answer.
What it feels like resurrecting this game
But not in every way. I'm continually amazed at how good game audio and soundtracks are - often outstripping hollywood and tv series audio but an extraordinary margin - there's always the feel of a larger sound stage, more dynamic range, and more epic-ness.
Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom is the story of one of three heroes, depending on who you pick (Warrior, Wizard, or a Rogue-type). It's a ... dark fantasy tale about a king gone mad, who gains power from human suffering. Nothing new there.
You take the role of one of these heroes and embark on a linear adventure where you smash things using either magic, blunt instruments, or blades and substances that aren't too healthy for your enemies to have in their blood stream.
It's a mindless, entertaining game, and it holds up well for a game of its age for the first few hours, but that's about the time it starts to fall apart.
It uses lots of tricks to pad out the gameplay, from platforming puzzles that drop you in mud that makes you move slower if you fail to stick a perfect landing with a dodgy analogue controller, to giving you vague objectives that bear no resemblances to the story that is unfolding around you.
This game is a third person action RPG, without the RPG, and without a lot of the action - action usually needs to have some sort of consequence or necessity for existence, in order to make it feel urgent, compelling, and justified.
Here, there's no justification other than the loose undertones of the king who plans to enslave everyone into a state of suffering so he can kick back on his throne and get down with the darkness.
As a result, it is an unpolished game, and something that is a curiosity - it sells because its a launch title, and moves people into the "next-gen", but it ages like the rear wheels on a muscle car, quickly transitioning to a bald, boring mess without any traction.
I don't know why you would consider playing Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom in 2020 - but if you're like me, who saw their PS3 taking up space in their media cabinet and decided to try and get through a decade old backlog, well, maybe give this one a skip, yeah?