Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters PS3 Review

A good comic gets turned into a movie and much rejoicing is heard then usually followed by a great big sigh from gamers. A game based on a movie based on a comic; most people would be flinching at the mere concept and I’m right there with them. Usually these types of games are quick cash ins and are put straight in to the bargain bins of a local Wal-Mart and for good reason; they suck. However, there are exceptions. An abnormality, a quirk in statistics. Some games actually prove that a game based on a movie doesn’t need to suck.

What do you get if you put God of War in space? Well it might look like Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, a surprisingly fun game. Loosely based on the upcoming movie and by that I mean it has Ryan Reynolds’ voice and he actually did a good job at it.

The story deals with Ryan Reynolds… I mean Hal Jordan who just joined the ranks of the Green Lanterns only to be put through his paces with a war with Manhunters. Manhunters, for people who don’t know, are androids created by the Guardians of the Universe before the formation of the Green Lantern Corps and went crazy. In the comics these robots keep getting their shiny metal asses served on a silver platter by the Green Lanterns. Hal Jordan in a classic video game cliché is the only one capable of stopping it, given if you played one of the other characters who were not able to save the day it would make a pretty boring game.

The gameplay is basically God of War with co-op, that’s really the only way I can describe it and to my surprise it’s actually pretty damn decent. They don’t add frilly stuff that gets in the way of the action, you get fast attacks, strong attacks, grabs and what boils down to this game’s version of magic. The biggest difference is how they use magic; instead of just equipping one magic skill you are able to assign eight to the two shoulder buttons which works, hammering down on the ground to disperse a few robots with, then use a mace to finish them off feels satisfying. The co-op in the game works as well. It’s a drop in and play affair the second player just picks up a controller and joins in playing as Sinestro with the exact same move sets as Hal, almost like playing Double Dragon all over again.

The only big thing that annoyed me was the slowing of the world right after you beat down the last enemy, you are ready to finish the objective than the world slows down kind of kills the pacing. Another component to the game is the flying sections, where you take to the air and shoot your way passed enemies all the while dodging debris and mines placed in your way. The actual gameplay reminds me of a 3d version Raiden, a classic game where you take control of a fighter jet shooting your way passed enemies dodging bullets. Great fun actually. If you get enough energy you do change into a fighter plane so it is a 3d version of Raiden.

The graphics for the game are a bit underwhelming for the most part. There are games that look better but the characters at least look how you expect them to unlike other games in this vein (I’m looking at you Iron Man 2). Some effort does show in the art direction of the game, especially the backgrounds, at the very start of the game you see the war playing out as your background with fires coming out of buildings and green energy shooting into the sky quite nice. The game looks decent enough but not anything to remember.

Games based on movies generally tend to suck and are nothing but an excuse to promote an upcoming movie. They tend to be unfinished because of time restraints and it shows both in gameplay and graphics, but some games beat the odds. Wolverine Origins and the original Godfather game springs to mind and now Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters as well. This game is actually pretty fun, the battle is fast paced enough and fluid to be entertaining and Ryan Reynolds actually make a decent Hal Jordan, though I still think he should have played Kyle Raynor, but that’s another subject. Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a fun game, though not the greatest it at least shows games based on movies don’t have to be bad.

GGC Score: 7 out of 10

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