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Lets face it, the big budget Green Lantern movie was a bit of a turkey, and I say that with a heavy heart, being a Green Lantern fan of some 30 years standing. Throw in the fact that, more often than not, games that spin-off from movies are usually pretty poor, and you have the potential here for a disaster zone. Yes, I bought the film blu-ray and the game, despite all this; as a comic collector (and probably because I'm male) rational thought goes out the window with these things.
So what did we get?
The story within the game runs alongside the events in the film, which basically means there isn't really any movie-game interaction. The plot is pretty wafer-thin; before the Green Lantern Corps were formed, the Guardians of the Universe had created the Manhunters, a police force of robots, but they hadn't worked out very well and were retired in favour of the Corps. Well, they've come back to take on the Corps and their creators. As rookie Hal Jordan, you are thrown into the thick of things and must fight alongside the Corps to defeat the Manhunters. A three word plot summary? Fight.Big.Robots.
The gameplay and visuals are, to be fair, not bad. The gameplay is pretty basic, and the flow of the game is completely standard, linear level after linear level, playing in third person. Obviously the main content of the game is the combat, and I must confess to having great fun with that. As you wield a power ring that is powered by your thoughts, you can create constructs with which to fight; want to create an oversized hammer to bash them down? go for it. How about a huge gun for enemies at a distance? no problem. Want to go old school? swords, shields and maces are for you. Want to be a little more technological? how about a jet plane!
It's great fun. Another skill you'll be using a lot is creating hard light grapples, hooks with which you can reel in your enemies.
Being the rookie, you start with basic skill sets and basic combat moves, which you can improve upon as you progress through the levels; each level (there are ten of them) have light orbs lying around which you collect, and use to 'purchase' new abilities. The levels are mostly fighting based, although a couple aren't, to provide a little variety I guess. The graphics are decent enough, not as good as many games, but better than I was expecting, and Ryan Reynolds provides his voice (badly!) and character likeness in the game. You won't gasp in awe though, which is a shame as the space setting could have been visually stunning.
I would probably give the game a modest thumbs up. It is a very standard, linear, button bashing game, but it does have some fun within, and it beats the heck out of some movie-tie ins like the horrendous Thor and Iron Man games (yes, I own them, don't judge!). The combat, which is the main focus, is done well. I guess my biggest complaint, which is always the biggest complaint of most gamers is that there is simply not enough gameplay here. Several hours will see you comfortably complete everything, leaving very little replay value. Although I enjoyed the combat, by the later levels, you are getting a little jaded with that oversized baseball bat...There is a multiplayer co-op mode, where the second player can play as Sinestro, but I didn't play that myself.
For PS3 people, trophies are relatively easy to pick up, which is always nice, and I would recommend a quick visit to the PSN store where you can download the 'proper' comic book version of Hal's costume. That made this old nerd very happy.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is inspired by the feature film, which brings the enduringly popular DC Comics Super Hero to the big screen for the first time.