The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
In this sequel story to Warner Brothers’ recent motion picture, Green
Lantern Hal Jordan (played by a refreshingly joke-free Ryan Reynolds)
is called upon by the Guardians of the Universe to stop the robotic
manhunter race from stealing a prized artifact from a vault hidden on
the Lantern homeworld of Oa. The manhunters’ heist strategy isn’t
clearly illustrated, but I’m fairly certain it has something to do with
boring the Lanterns to death.
Rise of the Manhunters' chief gaffe is enemy repetition. Roughly
three quarters of the way through the first level, I found myself saying
“these robots again?” and “how many of them could there possibly be?”
This is the first of ten levels, most consisting of the same enemy types
or subtle variations thereof. Hardly any of the manhunters bring
excitement to the battlefield. The larger manhunter enemy types pose a
decent challenge, and the worm manhunters (don’t ask) add a layer of
strategy to the later stages of the game, but most of the foes are on
the battlefield for the sole sake of being turned into scrap.
That’s where the fun lies. Hal Jordan is an exceptionally gifted
combatant, capable of chaining together lengthy 99-hit combos in seconds
flat. All of his attacks are constructs created by his power ring. He
can summon a hammer or sword to beat foes down, or tap into his Air
Force knowledge to manifest a fighter jet or a guided missile attack.
These manifestations are integrated into a fluid hack ‘n slash combat
system loaded with strategic depth. Up to eight different ring
constructs can be assigned to the controls at any time, and many bring
different range-based opportunities to the fray.
Most foes are easy to defeat with any attack, but I did everything I
could to keep the combos alive as experience point percentage bumps are
rewarded for higher combo strings. Players can use experience points to
purchase new attacks and ring enhancements. If every item is purchased
in a category, an achievement or trophy is rewarded. Yes, this is an
easy game for bumping gamerscores and ranks.
It’s too bad that the combat scenarios don’t offer more variety.
Levels stretch on and on, and the puzzles and path clearing actions that
are thrown in to breathe variety into the experience are rarely clever
and usually just slow the game down. Although co-op normally makes games
better, Rise of the Manhunters’ local co-op just makes the game easier.
Since your friend is making short work of enemies, it reduces the odds
of chaining together gigantic combo strings. The co-op player plays as
Sinestro, who is just a purple version of Hal, complete with the same
ring constructs based on Earthen items.
A handful of Star Fox-like flying sequences are thrown into the mix,
but the shoddy targeting system and ridiculously overpowered lock-on
missile attacks removes most of the excitement. At most, these sequences
are a nice break from the lengthy hack n’ slash levels.
Rise of the Manhunters makes good use of the Green Lantern license,
yet struggles to deliver an intense combat experience. It ends up
feeling like an excruciatingly long game, despite it offering only six
to seven hours of gameplay.
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