I was about 14 when I first saw The Warriors, a 70s cult flick about warring gangs, so it is rather odd to be sitting here in mid 2005 talking about it in the context of an upcoming game tie-in.
Originally released in 1979, the movie was already 11 years old when I watched it (maths question children, how old am I?) and so consequently my Guns n Roses addled brain was sceptical. Yet, with every passing minute the film won me over and I still have strong memories of it to this day (I guess that’s why it is called cult?).
Based on Sol Yurick’s novel (always a good sign), it tells the story of The Warriors, one of New York gangs attending a mass gang rally where aspiring leader and pseudo profit “Cyrus” is trying to negotiate a city-wide truce. In the middle of his, frankly quite inspiring, speech (which features the famous chant “Can You Dig It?”) he is senselessly gunned down by a member of The Rogues.
The blame is wrongly laid at the feet of The Warriors, who are forced to run for their lives. Cue an enthralling, surreal, drug influenced tale of their fight to get back to the safety of “their own turf”.
All of which makes this the perfect title for controversial GTA: San Andreas “Hot Coffee Edition” (!) publisher Rockstar Games to get its teeth into. As you would expect, the action takes the form of a scrolling beat-em up against a brutal backdrop where you loot shops and mug passers’ by to replenish health.
At different stages you will control every member of The Warriors’ gang and will have the ability to issue group orders such as watch your back, spray tags, smash up police cars and so on.
Intriguingly, offshoot developer Rockstar Toronto says the film’s opening will actually occur half way through the game, which leaves things open to expand the world of the movie considerably and tap further into the wider complexities of the original novel.
Undeniably GTA influenced in its visual style, The Warriors will debut on PS2 and Xbox this October. One question though: How can it possibly be worth the wait?!