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Let me first qualify this review by saying that I am a sucker for anything superhero related; I buy comics, films, t-shirts, posters, blu-rays etc. I buy a lot of good stuff, and some not so good stuff....that Directors Cut of Supergirl sitting on my shelf is testament to that. I have a soft spot for comic related stuff, and I tolerate a lot more averageness and rubbish than I would from other genres....
...which brings us to this game.
Thor, God of Thunder came out for the PS3 in 2011, to tie-in with the movie 'Thor' ; the words 'game' and 'movie tie-in' in the same sentence normally sets the old spider-sense tingling. Made by Sega, who announced they had signed Chris Hemsworth (the movie Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (the movie Loki) to recreate their roles in character voice-overs. Looking pretty good so far, you'd think, and with a game price of $60 (£40) you'd expect decent quality.
Lets start with the story. So, we have a movie tie-in, yet it ties in with nothing to do with the film it seems. The Thor character is certainly the 'movie' Thor in appearance, yet the scenarios and characters seem to have been drawn more from the comic books. Is this supposedly a prequel? who knows!
In essence, you play (in the third person) as Thor who, to save Asgard from invasion, must battle his way through several Norse realms; the realms look quite nice, but don't get excited as you won't be going far. The story unfolds in such a tight, linear way Thor may as well be trundling along on a track bashing to the left and right. Familiar faces from the comics show up, such as Ymir, Surtur, and Ulik and various other monsters, all of whom will be firing their agents I would imagine. With Norse mythology being so rich, it is amazing that the story is so awful. So the plot is Save Asgard- set piece/ boss, set piece/ boss, set piece boss....you get the picture. Makes the word formulaic seem dirty.
It gets worse.
The graphics are absolutely appalling for a Playstation 3 game; I would have been disappointed on a PS2. In parts it was barely better than PS1 level...imagine playing a PS1 game on a HD tv. The characters actually have jagged edges, the backgrounds have awful texturing, and the animation of anything that moves is just...so..bad. It is embarrassingly bad to look at. Throw in some nice image stuttering, getting stuck in invisible objects, and assorted visual and audio bugs, (is the game is so embarrassed with itself it likes to stop you playing), and you have quite the game.
Surely the gameplay can save it, right? you get to throw around Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, for petes sake! Actually here there is a slight crumb of comfort, as for 5 minutes you do actually enjoy throwing around Thor's hammer. The gameplay is completely conventional, as you'd expect. You begin with very limited abilities and moves, and earn 'valour' points by defeating enemies and destroying things, which you then use to upgrade your abilities, powers and weapons; you do control the elemental powers of lightning, thunder, and wind after all. You quickly discover that earning these upgrades is not worth the time and effort, or sore thumbs from button bashing, as bashing the same two buttons over and over will pretty much see you through the game. The boss battles are all pretty much the same thing, just with different looking bosses, and the levels getting to the bosses are average at best. There is no replay value in this game at all.
I can honestly say I do not recall ever playing a worse game than this. It is all the more puzzling as it was written by Matt Fraction, who has written Thor's monthly comic book. I expect these games to be average, but with a bit of fun to them. The Green Lantern game was average, but fun; the Captain America game was actually pretty good, even the Iron Man games had some fun. This game is just too awful to comprehend in comparison. It is the only superhero game I have EVER got rid of. It is that bad.
Do not touch.....