Review: Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (PS3)

Review: Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (PS3)

This time, we have the game tie-in to the Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds. But can I believe it? It’s fun?!

Yes, it is fun. It’s not the iconic game that Hal Jordan deserves, but it is a great start for the character’s solo game debut (all other games involving a Green Lantern being games starring more DC characters as well).

Set after the events of the feature film, we find Hal Jordan attending a funeral for his predecessor Abin Sur along with fellow Lanterns Kilowog and Sinestro. After meeting Abin’s son Amon, the planet Oa is attacked by the Manhunters, a race of robots that were created by the Guardians before the Green Lantern Corps. As the battle for Oa rages, Hal finds himself in the middle of his first true mission for the Corps: find out what the Manhunters are up to, and stop it. It will be tough, since there’s apparently an informant helping the Manhunters.

Most often, when making a game based on a superhero like Green Lantern, the question is what kind of game should it be? Surprisingly, Hal’s adventure seems to really work well as a God of War style action adventure. Fast attacks are done with massive energy swords, heavy attacks are fists that eventually upgrade to hammers, energy rope-and-claw for grabbing, a giant drill for dash attacks and even a buzzsaw for prolonged moves. And those are just the normal moves set!

In your HUD, you have blue energy (called Hope energy) for life, and green for using your ring to do cool tricks. There’s always a reserve charge that the meter will refill to, but you have to collect green energy to bring it back to it’s highest level. What will you be using this green energy for? The answer of course is “Constructs”.  And when I say constructs, I mean anything from simple tricks like blasting things with your ring, to making massive ball-and-chain weapons and huge hammers, along with just-plain-ridiculous attacks like a giant mech suit and tossing a fighter jet(!) at your foes. The Constructs are among the most fun things in this game, and you can set any of them to the face buttons, activated when you hit the shoulder triggers to bring them up. And you can customize two load-outs for each shoulder trigger, giving you up to eight constructs to use at any time. And when you build up enough energy in your surge meter you can activate Ring Surge, turning you for a short time into an unstoppable engine of green destruction (punctuated with a cry of “GREEN LANTERN’S MIGHT!”). And in between these areas of hack-and-slash, there are places where you get to fly as a Green Lantern and blast the hell out of enemies in flight, even temporarily turning into a fighter jet. These are alright, but not as fun as being on the ground killing things.

This game is just plain enjoyable to pick up and play. I mean, if you have experience with action games, you will be able to jump right into this one. And speaking of jumping into this game, it has one of the best set-ups for drop-in multiplayer. A second player can just grab the controller and drop into the game as Sinestro. Sadly, this more like a Sinestro skin pasted over Hal’s animations (the legendary left-handed Lantern now using his right all the time?), but one of the cool things is that you’ll have access to all the unlocked upgrades and moves that Hal has, meaning no need to grind in order to catch up.

The graphics in this game are bright and wonderful. Oa has the same sort of sleek alien look from the film, and there’s still two other worlds to visit. Zamoran is a visual treat, its crystals and rocky environment feeling like something out of Star Wars, while the Manhunter homeworld of Biot has just the right feeling of techno-evil.

The sound is not as up to snuff as the looks. The music’s alright, but this game should have a more epic sound to it. Ryan Reynolds actually reigns in his usual sense of humor, which makes him sound kind of strange. And if you liked any of the voices from the movie, forget about it. Reynolds is the only actor from the film to reprise his role.

You’re sitting there right now wondering “So, what’s the bad news?” Well, there’s a lack of epic feeling in this game. After watching the film, and playing this game and having all of these awesome constructs, I was hoping for some truly over-the-top moments to use them. Outside of a few large boss battles, all of the fighting feels like more of the same. And I swear, I will go berserk if I hear another Manhunter robot repeat the same thing as the last one. Another complaint I have is having so few characters. I get this is Hal’s story, but just having Sinestro as a back-up is not enough. I’d have loved to play as Kilowog, seen how different he feels, as well as other Lanterns like Tomar-Re (who is absent in this game).

Still, this is a step in the right direction, and I hope that if they continue making games of Green Lantern that they keep all the elements that made me enjoy playing this one.

Review

ProsCons
Good action, great graphics, and Constructs are a blast to use.Not as epic as it could have been, and more playable characters from the series' rich mythology would have been awesome.
Rating
81 out of 100

Ahmed is not just a fanboy, but also a martial artist and an indie author who has published such fantasy adventure books as “Lunen: Triblood”.

Lost Password

Sign Up