Game Review: Rise of the Guardians
WELL here we go again with the whole movie-game conversion ahead of movies actual release to try and make as much money as possible cycle returns with Torus Games and D3 Publishers adaptation of the movie Rise of the Guardians for our home consoles.
The game takes on an overhead isometric viewpoint as players control one of the characters from the movie as the others follow where you can change character as and when. I couldn’t help but feel that this game is a rip off of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, only difference is, that game was good. We have seen it time and time again and very rarely are these games any good, but is this game one of the rarities? Or is it just another movie game?
Iconic childhood characters from our very own childhood imaginations North (better known as Santa Claus), Tooth the tooth fairy, Bunnymund the Easter bunny, the Sandman and Jack Frost are forced to join forces as Pitch or the Bogeyman threatens to engulf the world in darkness with his nightmares however with the power of the beliefs of the worldwide child population, our heroes hope to stop Pitch in his tracks. The story is the very same one from the movie however in the game, the story is told via poorly animated and drawn pictures along with a narrative voice to help you along with understanding them. I was sorely disappointed as no movie footage was used throughout which is exactly what you would expect from a game purely based on a movie, if the story was an original one then it would have been acceptable for this type of poor presentation.
Rise of the Guardians as mentioned before plays identical to Marvel Ultimate Alliance where players select one of the movies group of heroes as they plod around generic looking levels which apparently are from the film such as North’s workshop and Tooth’s Palace which look fantastic on the film however in this game….not so good and are also drawn out into tedious levels that are simply too boring to keep hold of the controller. The similarities of Marvel Ultimate Alliance continue though as players can use XP to upgrade and learn new special moves and powers and also fighting foes builds up a meter that when full, they can perform a team work attack which is basically a yellow ball of energy that damages enemies when they are hit with it. Each character has a melee attack and holding the L1 button whilst pressing any of the four face buttons performs any of the characters special moves if they are unlocked. The controls are simple and the combat is soul destroying to say the least and button mashing is the only way to go to really make an impact. Each area of the game has certain objectives that must be achieved before players can proceed to the next one such as rescue friends from cages, collect key items, defeat specific monsters and each can be completed however the player chooses, sounds good…but it’s not. In fact the only appealing thing about the gameplay is the inclusion of up to four players can drop in or out of play to fight co-operatively.
The game looks awful and it doesn’t zoom in to appreciate any sort of detail the characters might have, the voices are present from the film which gives the game more authenticity but does nothing to raise the overall experience. Each of the heroes realms are fully rendered however look dreadful and each feels generic and rushed. There are hardly any puzzles to solve so you will just find yourself roaming around and hoping to come across something important other than more spurts of brain dead inducing combat.
If you haven’t seen the film, or even if you have, steer clear of this atrocity of a game. The difficulty spikes due to the terrible combat and levels are just too unexciting to play the game from start to finish. The characters differ only in abilities and playing each one does nothing to up the games playability and accessibility. Rise of the Guardians is just another movie game to try and suck more money from fans and nonfans alike in a feeble attempt of recreating the movies look and feel whilst using the template of Marvel Ultimate Alliance. If you want a decent game for your child this Christmas, look elsewhere.
Rise of the Guardians
Developer: Torus Games
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Release Date: 23rd November 2012
Story – 3/5
Gameplay – 1/5
Graphics – 1/5
Overall – 2/5