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The Warriors

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The Warriors is a beat 'em up video game published by Rockstar Games. It was released on October 17, 2005 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and February 12, 2007 for PlayStation Portable. The game is based on the 1979 film, The Warriors. The console versions of game were developed at Rockstar Toronto, while the PSP port was developed by Rockstar Leeds.


The story of the movie The Warriors is a loose re-imagining of Anabasis by the Greek author Xenophon. In addition to covering events depicted in the movie, the video game also acts as a precursor, establishing the Warriors' reputation all throughout New York City.

Levels 1 through 13 take place before the movie begins. After Level 13, the player is shown a CG cutscene duplicating, to an extent, the beginning of the movie, with Cyrus's meeting. Levels 14 through 18 cover events in the movie itself. However, not everything from the chapters that covers the movie itself shows events happening the same way as the movie does. There are also levels A through E which cover how each of the nine main characters formed and joined The Warriors. Also, at the end credits, you can play as Masai and fight the rogues.


The Warriors is an action-adventure game which focuses heavily on brawling. Like most games from Rockstar Games, several minor gameplay elements are mixed into the experience, such as the ability to use spray paint to mark turf or to insult other gangs.

The Warriors focuses largely on gang rumble style action, with the player being assisted by other Warriors at once (minimum of 1, maximum of 8). The player plays as all nine of the main Warriors at different points throughout the game, but largely using Swan, Cleon and Rembrandt.

The Warriors

  • Cleon: The Warlord. Cleon used to be a Destroyer with his former best-friend and leader Virgil. After Cleon questioned a series of bad judgments, Virgil assumed that Cleon was plotting against him. So Virgil sent Cleon and fellow member Vermin on a phoney drug deal, expecting both to be killed. The duo survived, and Cleon vowed revenge against Virgil. Cleon and Vermin would found the Warriors, being the first two inaugural members. Like in the film, Cleon is accused of killing Cyrus, and is promptly beaten and captured by the Riffs. He is the character that players use most in the main game until this point, when he becomes inactive. Dorsey Wright reprises his role by providing the voice for Cleon.
  • Swan: The Warchief, second in command of The Warriors. Quiet and cool-headed, but possesses strong fighting and leadership skills. He had a past friendship with Cleon from before Cleon joining the Destroyers. It is hinted that Swan also left another gang to form his own, but the offer to join Cleon in the Warriors came up. After Cleon's capture, he becomes the main character used by the player. His main role is to ensure the survival of the Warriors, especially after Cleon is captured. Michael Beck reprises his role by providing the voice for Swan.
  • Ajax: The Muscle. A fearless and cocky womanizer, who is always up for a fight. He prefers to solve his problems through brawling, and his attitude tends to cause trouble for himself and the others in the gang. After the loss of Cleon at the conclave, he engages in a short confrontation with Swan over who should assume command. He is the most aggressive, toughest, roughest, and possibly the strongest Warrior. He wears fingerless leather gloves and a black tank-top under his Warriors vest. While escaping from all the gangs that thought he shot Cyrus, he tries to have sex with an undercover cop, who arrests him, separating him from the gang. From this point, he too becomes unavailable as a playable character. James Remar reprises his role as Ajax.
  • Vermin: Like Cleon, he is a former Destroyer. A very pessimistic Warrior yet very loyal and can take care of himself in a fight. He wears no shirt under his Warriors vest. Started the gang with Cleon. Voiced by Joe Lo Truglio.
  • Rembrandt: The Writer. The gang's talented graffiti artist, he wears the standard Warrior's vest and an afro. The game starts with the player using Rembrandt, who is trying to get initiated into the Warriors. In multiple levels, he takes the lead with a smaller group in spite of his inexperience. The youngest member, Rembrandt is far less battle-hardened and is looked after by the other members of the gang. His job is to paint large W's (representing The Warriors) with a spray can containing red paint throughout the city. He also paints much more elaborate tags, so that the whole city will know The Warriors name. Voiced by Andy Senor.
  • Fox: The Scout, Fox is very familiar with other gangs and their rackets, territory, and numbers. Fox assists on most missions. What he lacks in fighting skill, he makes up for in other skills (like aiding fallen friends). After the meeting, he gets into a grappling situation with a police officer while trying to protect Mercy. The Police Officer accidentally throws him off the side of the train subway platform in front of an oncoming train. While it is implied that he has died, a later scene in the game a mysterious man informs the Riffs of The Warrior's innocence who is believed by some to be an injured and disguised Fox. Thomas G. Waites reprises his role as Fox.
  • Snow: A stoic African-American Warrior with an afro parted down the middle. A bit more reserved, he is nevertheless a very talented fighter. Voiced by Sekou Campbell.[1]
  • Cowboy: A Warrior who wears a Stetson cowboy hat. He is implied to have been a former member of The Destroyer's (or other gang) who left when Swan did. He is an optimistic, happy-go-lucky Warrior. He wears a hat that can be knocked off his head when he is hit hard. Like all characters, he can pick up discarded hats, but he complains if the hat is not his own. Voiced by Kurt Bauccio. He is the character that players get to use the least in the game.
  • Cochise: A heavy brawler, who's always looking for a good time. He wears Native American-style jewellery, leather pants and boots. He has an afro with a red bandanna tied around it. He was originally from Harlem but moved to Coney Island. His initial intent to join the Warriors is mocked at first, but he proves himself by stealing the hat of the Bopper's leader. A hat which he does not wear at any other time. David Harris reprises his role as Cochise.

Supporting characters

  • Virgil: Leader of The Destroyers. Cleon and Vermin's former boss, he became increasingly paranoid and tried to set them up to be killed in a botched drug deal, causing Cleon to retaliate and found The Warriors, who became The Destroyer's main rivals. After killing Ash, a young member of the Warriors, and attempting to burn Cleon and Swan to death, all through his Destroyers, Cleon decides this time he has gone too far. Virgil engages in a fight with Cleon and Vermin where thereafter he is burned to death in a building fire. Following his death, it's presumed the surviving Destroyers disband as they are not present at the Cyrus meeting. Voiced by Curtis Cook.
  • Ash: A young member of the Warriors. He takes part in two of the missions in the story. He is beaten to death by The Destroyers, and his vest removed. His body is then used as bait to also kill Cleon and Swan, which they fail to do. That same night, The Warriors invade the Destroyers turf to wipe them out for good, thus avenging Ash. Voiced by Ephraim Benton.
  • Mercy: Mercy was originally the girlfriend of the Orphan's warlord (in the film, she is prostitute, but this is not implied in the game). At first, she follows the Warriors, and then they accept her presence on their journey home. She and Swan fall in love, and she is seen in The Warrior's hangout after the main story is concluded. She cannot be used in the main levels and it is implied that she becomes the only female Warrior. Deborah Van Valkenburgh reprises her role of Mercy.
  • L.C.: A junkie and a top member of the Destroyers. He helped Virgil set Cleon and Vermin up by providing them with fake drugs. He is later kicked out of the flophouse that would become the Warrior's hangout and is beaten up by Ajax for stealing his vest. He tries to avoid the final confrontation between the Warriors and the Destroyer's, but is knocked out by Cleon. It is unknown if he lives or dies. Voiced by Leif Riddell.
  • Scopes: A graffiti artist and a good friend of Rembrandt, a Warriors member. He is African American and wears a stylish blue tracksuit top, sunglasses and a hat. He was almost killed by The Hi-Hats when they threw him off of a scaffold at a set-up graffiti art competition. Voiced by Darryl McDaniels.
  • Masai: A high-ranking member of the Riffs, and a second-in-command to Cyrus. He is skeptical of Cyrus' plan of a city-wide truce, and warns him of the risk, which Cyrus ignores. The truce meeting starts out successful until Luther, a member of the Rogues, shoots Cyrus through the chest, killing him. Luther then frames the Warriors for the murder. Masai, now the Riffs' Warlord, puts a price on the Warriors' heads, causing every gang in the city to go after them. A few hours later, however, a gang member of the rogues that was harassed who witnessed Luther shoot Cyrus, tells Masai and the Riffs the truth behind Cyrus' murder, clearing the Warriors' name. Masai then leads a large number of Riffs down to Coney Island, where they find the Warriors about to go head-to-head with the Rogues. They compliment the Warriors on their skills while and as the Warriors leave, proceed to swarm the Rogues on the beach.


Review scores
Publication Score B+[2]
Game Informer 8.25/10[3]
GameSpot 8.6/10[4]
IGN 8.7/10[5]
X-Play 4/5[6]

The Warriors received positive reviews. Many praised the game for its deep combat and control, stating that the game helped breathe life into the brawler genre. The game was also praised for its unique style, along with its story and music.

Complaints were mostly directed towards the multiplayer. Critics complained about how the game's screen splits horizontally for two players, creating a narrow field of vision—when compared to the "normal" view—and often cluttered screens. However, in the PlayStation Portable version, this problem is rectified by virtue of the fact that the game is already being played on two separate screens.


Roger Hill, who also played Cyrus in the movie, filed a lawsuit of $250,000 against Take-Two for using his voice and depiction in the video game. He claimed that it would not have been difficult for Take-Two to pay, since the game made $37 million.[7]


  2. Pfister, Andrew (2005-10-18). The Warriors PS2 Review. Retrieved on 2008-08-05.
  3. Helgeson, Matt. PS2 - The Warriors: review. Game Informer. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007 Retrieved on 2007-08-28.
  4. Navarro, Alex (2005-10-20). The Warriors for PlayStation 2 Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-08-28.
  5. Dunham, Jeremy (2005-10-17). The Warriors (PS2) review. Retrieved on 2007-08-28.
  6. G4 - Reviews - The Warriors. X-Play. Retrieved on 2007-08-28.
  7. Jenkins, David (2006-06-27). Gamasutra - Take-Two Sued By The Warriors Actor = Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2008-04-20.

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