Arslan: The Warriors of Legend

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
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Violent hack-and-slash adventure is fun yet repetitive.

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The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Exacting revenge on enemy that has imprisoned your father, banished you from your own land, people; heavy reliance on combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play multiple heroes, heroines, each with unique abilities; you're positioned as "good guys" who want to defeat evil invaders. Still, relies on combat as only solution to reach goals.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn, but no English dialogue (captioned English).


While not too bloody, combat is the point of the game. You'll use swords, maces, arrows (and, at times, odd weapons, such as musical instruments) to defeat rival troops by hundreds, thousands. Battles are fast, frenetic. Some non-interactive cut scenes are violent, too, such as a prisoner executed, soldiers set on fire, some with blood on faces, clothes.


One playable female character, Farangis, isn't covered up particularly well, shows large amounts of cleavage, bare stomach. Camera angles get up close, too. 


Frequent use of "bastard," "damn," "hell."


Based on popular Japanese anime, manga series, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, originally released in the '80s.



Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is an action game that has players going up against hoards of enemy soldiers on battlefields. Using classic melee and range weapons, such as swords and arrows (respectively), players fight to the finish against hundreds and even thousands of rival troops. Enemies can cry out in pain before falling (and then disappearing), but no blood is shown, except in cut scenes. Some non-playable cut scenes depict violence, too. One of the main characters in the game has a revealing outfit that shows cleavage and her stomach. There's also some light profanity, such as "bastard," "damn," and "hell" uttered frequently. Though the game is easy to pick up and play, the lack of English dialogue in favor of English subtitles could frustrate some players.

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What's it about?

ARSLAN: THE WARRIORS OF LEGEND is based on a popular anime and manga series. It tells the story of a young prince named Arslan, who is forced out of his kingdom of Pars after his father is betrayed, defeated, and exiled. Arslan and a few of his fellow fighters vow to fight back to regain his throne and liberate his kingdom. Created in "cel-shaded" graphics, which makes it look like an anime series, this multi-platform tactical action game takes place on large battlefields, and players use multiple characters, weapons, and strategies to defeat the blocks of enemies.

Is it any good?

This action-strategy game will likely be a treat for fans of the anime/manga series -- the story, locations, and characters will be familiar (and playable!) -- but a few key flaws prevent this game from being a "must-play" adventure. While the action is fast, frenetic, and gratifying -- especially when you string together an insane chain of combos attacks -- the game grows repetitive in a relatively short amount of time. Yes, you do get to play as different characters, such as Arslan (the Prince), Daryun (cavalry commander), Narsus (strategist), and a few others, but there isn't a lot of variety overall. Aside from the story-based campaign, there's a Free Mode, but it's still much of the same (at least upgrades and ability boosts earned from completing story-based missions are retained here).

Second, the game is in Japanese but with English subtitles. As such, it's not as easy to get into the story and dialogue. Too bad Koei Tecmo America didn't invest the resources for voice-over talent. Overall, the game will appeal to a certain segment of the population that enjoys anime/magna culture and fans of similar (but superior) games such as Dynasty Warriors, but overall it's tough to justify the $60 price tag.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Though this game is clearly fantasy-based and has a historical look and feel (ancient Japan), are you OK with this kind of virtual violence? Is it OK because it's clearly a war fought on battlefields, or does context not matter?

  • Talk about conflict resolution. Should this game have offered a non-violent solution to combat? Why do you think revenge is the only solution to the main character's problems?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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