Last year’s Green Lantern movie was a bit of a confusing mess, trying to mash the highlights of a character with 50 years of backstory into 2 hours and failing miserably in the process.
Granted, Green Lantern is one of those characters that’s a bit tricky to deal with and one where comic writers have had to balance the “superhero who fights supervillans on earth and is a member of the Justice League” aspect of the character against the “space cop who’s responsible for handling emergencies on thousands of planets” side of things.
The movie tried to do both and didn’t do well with it.
Rise of The Manhunters, on the other hand, focuses entirely on the space cop aspect and is better for it. It’s a 3D brawler type of affair with occasional Space-Harrier-style flying levels and just enough plot glue holding them together that it kind of makes sense. Said plot will take you to four different planets, and I was actually pretty impressed with the effort put into giving each world a unique environmental look. Granted, this may have been helped by the natural low expectations that come when playing any movie tie-in game. The assorted ring constructs you create are nicely flashy and have a high cool factor to them, though some of them really didn’t seem appropriate for the character.
Anyway, you spend 10 levels beating up robots and aliens, you earn experience points so you can unlock new abilities and upgrade your skills, you have to hunt down things hidden randomly in the environment to boost your innate abilities, occasionally you must solve simple puzzles of the “rotate these rings until they form a shape to unlock the door” variety… It’s pretty generic on that front, but you do eventually get proficient enough with your various abilities that you start chaining them together to in viscerally satisfactory ways as you beat your way through a bunch of robot mooks. Really, that’s the best reason to play one of these games.
It did lose some serious points with me the first time I fought a slightly-larger enemy and had to go through a quicktime event to finish it off. I’ve had more than enough of that, thank you, and there is little more annoying than enemies with QTE armor.
Fortunately, the game does allow you to – if you can’t be arsed to deal with QTEs – simply hit whatever you’re fighting more times to kill it. For that alone, it deserves some credit.
Oh, except for the final boss. I actually had to take a second go at him because I failed the “Press circle to not die” moment, which was tooth-grindingly vexing.
Overall, it’s a good way to wash the lingering disappointment of the movie out of your brain.
There’s a Wii version as well as the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, and I’m given to understand that it’s a bit of a different game so I may check that out one of these days. I’ve been given to understand, however, that I should go into that with even lower expectations, so “One of these days” will probably be “when I see it for five bucks or less”