Clash of the Titans

Namco’s Newest Clash Is A Wet And Sloppy Collision
by Ben Reeves on Aug 01, 2010 at 11:34 AM
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Namco Bandai
Release: Summer 2010
Rating: Teen
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PlayStation 3

It’s no secret that games based on licensed products are generally bad, but when a game gets delayed long past its corresponding movie release it gives you hope. After all, the publisher must think the game is good enough to stand on its own if it is willing to forgo piggybacking the movie’s hype, right? GoldenEye 007 did this, and it is regarded as one of the most important console shooters of all time. If Namco Bandai was hoping for similar results with Clash of the Titans, it’s in for a titanic disappointment.

Players take control of the demigod Perseus, who must fight against the will of the gods and save the world. You finish off foes using quick-time button presses, level up your weapons with souls extracted during combat, and face endless waves of enemies torn from a mythical Grecian bestiary. It’s reminiscent of one of Sony’s premiere franchises, but Clash of the Titans doesn’t have the chops to stand alongside Kratos.

The game’s non-player characters provide you with over a 100 kill-or-be-killed missions through very linear levels filled with underwhelming environments. Picking up missions is the only way the game breaks up its monotonous combat, but these are empty moments because you don’t actually converse with these characters.

Perseus isn’t fighting through legions of centaurs and harpies alone, but the game’s lazy companion AI is one of the worst I’ve ever fought beside. Though I wasn’t technically alone on the battlefield, it felt like it because my wallflower allies always shied away from the action. You’re better off having a live companion watch your back (after you’ve unlocked co-op by playing through several single-player missions first), but good luck finding human recruits willing to put up with the game’s stop-motion pace. Clash of the Titans’ action has more hiccups than a maenad at a Dionysian party thanks to its jittery and repetitive animations. The combo system is virtually non-existent. Bosses are just bigger hit boxes with more health, and journeys in and out of the game’s labyrinthine menu system feel like one of Homer’s lost epics.

The game’s coolest features fail due to poor design. By the end you amass an arsenal of over 80 weapons. However, many of these tools can’t be leveled up until you’ve collected soul power from specific enemies, so sharpening your swords becomes an arduous process that ensures you’ll stick to two or three of the first weapons you find.

The recent Clash of the Titans film was a mildly entertaining display of special effects. The game contains all of the film’s camp but lacks the spectacle of million-dollar CG krakens to help save it. This titan of derivative gameplay doesn’t deserve our reverence; it hardly deserves our attention at all.

Clash of the Titans

Namco Bandai had high hopes for Clash of the Titans,
it’s in for a titanic disappointment.

Game Informer's Review System
Concept Make a God of War clone to coincide with the movie, miss the movie’s marketing campaign by months, and weep for the lost opportunity to cash in
Graphics The game’s textures are so messy it looks like some terrible Grecian sacrifice was performed in every level. The character models have the expressiveness of dead fish
Sound The dialogue is delivered with the tempered enthusiasm of a Paxil user, and the characters sound so similar that I suspect the same voice actor was used for everyone
Playability If Clash of the Titans could talk, it would have a stutter. The game’s slow combos and choppy animations result in a frustrating action game with little depth
Entertainment Everything here has been done better in a dozen other games
Replay low