Review: Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles
Posted 23 Nov 2004 at 02:32 by Bas Oosterveld
Knowing this is another movie affiliated game, one would expect a mediocre predictable game with a lot of thrills but no depth whatsoever. And so far most of those games have done nothing to take away this prejudgement reputation. Now, it's not always easy to turn a movie into a convincible videogame that sticks to the plot of the flick, but it's not impossible either, especially when the movie is an animated one with over the top characters that have super powers and can do just about anything.
Meet The Family:
Mr. Incredible is a superhero, or should I say, was a superhero. A surge of lawsuits against superheroes submitted by the people they've saved, forced the government to hide them in witness protection programs so they could lead anonymous lives. Now known exclusively by his secret identity, Bob Parr lives with his wife Helen, formerly Elastigirl, and their three children, Dash, Violet and Jack Jack. He works as an insurance claims specialist, and he's fed up with his pushy boss and his immoral profession. So when Mr. Incredible's offered the chance to play the role of hero again by a mysterious informant, he jumps at the opportunity. But as it turns out, it was a trap set by an old nemesis.
The arsenal of moves the heroes possess limited and pretty standard. There is a mash button, an 'Incredible' action button, you can jump and there is a general action button. The 'incredi-moves' are unique of each character and will influence the gameplay and play style of the level. Violet, for instance, uses invisibility so she can move around enemy territory without getting noticed. Dash uses his supersonic speed to 'dash' his way around the area. Elastigirl has a very flexible body with elastic limbs that comes in handy because she can hit enemies from a distance.
Stick To The Plot:
So the versatile family creates a lot of possibilities in gameplay. And the level designs in the beginning of the game are very promising because of the different abilities of the heroes. Yet halfway through the game boredom sets in cause you'll be playing the same type of repetitive levels with Mr. Incredible for a long time. This may be done because they want to stay true to the movie storyline, but Mr. Incredible is the least spectacular character to play with. Certain aspects are fun when he is on the line, there is sufficient interaction with the surroundings, he can use objects to throw at his foes, bend a pole or tree to get himself airborne or slide down cables to get to remote parts of certain areas. But in general, it's more of the same.
The levels are basically a combination of hack 'n slash, solving puzzles and jumping from plateau to plateau. And there is a lot of trial and error gameplay reserved for especially Violet and Dash meaning you have to finish a substantial part of a level without dying or its back to square one. This increases the difficulty to levels not appropriate for the average gamer, nor is it suitable for the younger audience, who no doubt will love the movie.
In general the AI of the common enemies is a joke, and you should have no trouble of whipping a dozen of foes with a couple of strikes. The bosses are a different story; they are challenging to say the least mainly because it takes a while to defeat them. Spending at least 10 minutes in defeating an enemy boss is common in this game. For compensation, there are only a few boss fights in the entire game.
What could create some real awkward moments are the clunky controls, it may seem that you move around with enough agility, but the reaction time is pretty concerning. And then there is the auto aim which should make things a bit easier for you, but a lot of time it is failing, not targeting on the object you want. When you want to throw some object on an auto-aimed target, the object suddenly decides to hit something else. This is more rule than exception.
The Incredibles seems to be going a little old school with this trial and error concept. For some that may be a challenge but for others it's just pure annoyance. I guess it's a little of both because some aspects of the game are sloppy executed. Playing with such diverse characters and having different play styles should easily put this game out of mediocrity, but the developers hardly get the job done.
N-Europe Final Verdict
Far from incredible but entertaining at times.