If I watched movies set in middle-eastern theaters of war I would tongue in cheekily refer to Foreign Legion Multi Massacre as something like Lego: Blackhawk Down. Unfortunately for the snappiness of the jokes in this review’s opening paragraph I’m not sure how accurate that call would be as I’ve never watched Blackhawk Down. I can confidently say that the legionaries and rebels in Foreign Legion Multi Massacre (FLMM) do look a lot like Lego men though. Lego men filled with litres and litres of blood that will spew forth from their little bodies with the slightest provocation. FLMM is much like the idea of a bleeding Lego man staring in modern-day war film; silly, fun and slightly retarded.
I never played the original Foreign Legion: Buckets of Blood, released in 2009, but FLMM is apparently an incredibly similar game just with the inclusion of multiplayer. One of the maps from the original is even re-used in this new multiplayer game. This isn’t much of an issue for me as it’s all new and fresh but for those that enjoyed Buckets of Blood and are after a new take on the Foreign Legion “experience” Multi Massacre does little other than to put in multiplayer. The multiplayer takes the form of cooperatively defending a point from hordes of beret wearing rebels or going up against other legionnaires in a conquest-capture-the-way-points type game.
The defending against hordes of rebel is probably the strongest offering of the game as the conquest mode feels too empty with the four player cap. Waves of rebels will come from the desert and attempt to destroy either you and your store of lives or a civilian filled town hall. Multi Massacre does attempt to live up to its name as blood, heads and limbs fly from the cute insurgents as you mow through them. The action here is of course in no way realistic as your legionnaire is able to handle hundreds of bullets before toppling to the ground. In general the combat is fun but could do with a little tightening up. The hit boxes sometimes feel a little vague and the enemies will often take cover behind walls that are invisibly higher than they should be.
FLMM is rather content light. There are only two real maps out of the box at release; a middle eastern village and destroyed city. The third called “Carrier” sees you sitting in a small patch of water shooting waves of dynamite strapped dolphins before they suicide bomb an aircraft carrier. While this may sound hilarious to some, I was pretty bummed that such a meager scenario was the basis for the third and final map. That said FLMM does have a novel approach to releasing new maps and content. It’s called the global kill counter which tracks the amount of hapless rebels that the community of gamers has killed and at certain milestones new content will be put out by the game’s creators. No concrete markers are shown at present but a new map has already come out for the game so hopefully new stuff will stream in as the massacres continue.
Unlocks are a major part of the game and the main motivation to continue playing. Each little rebel slaughtered gives you blood money which is delightfully represented in-game as a bubbling tin of blood. This money is used to buy new weapons and ammunition for them which unlocks as you gain levels. In the co-op scenarios the Legionnaire scoring the highest amount of blood money will get a pretty impressive bonus giving co-op a good amount of competitiveness. There’s also the obligatory armor visual upgrades, which I’ll admit to being more excited about than a sensible adult should be. The problem prevalent in the upgrades is again the sparseness of content. There are only 11 guns and after about level 20 there isn’t much more spend your blood money on. Hopefully the ever ticking global kill counter will see this beefed up.
I acknowledged the fact that the legionnaires and rebels look like Lego men in my introduction. While this may seem like I’m having a dig I actually really like FLMM’s clean and crisp art style. It’s basic but everything is done in the same tight style and it really suits the over the top game play, it would be a bit hard to stomach the same game presented in a ultra-realistic style unless you were… *insert inappropriate reference to school shootings here* . At the risk of sounding insane looking at the screen shots I have taken actually makes me think the game is in fact pretty in a Lego man being decapitated in a desert kind of way. One area that does need improvement though is the character animation. All the models stiffly shuffle across the battlefield and stand there stunned while you shoot them; if the enemies in the game responded more naturally to your bullets the game would have popped with so much more flair making the combat all the more fun.
I like Foreign Legion Multi Massacre; it’s a kind of funny, good-looking multiplayer diversion. With a little more content and tighter, more visceral combat I would have loved it. It’s a good little waste of time. If you’re bored and in the mood for something mindless and haven’t played the original Foreign Legion or alternatively wouldn’t feel ripped off re-buying a multiplayer version of the same game give it a whirl, it deserves 3/5 stars.