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Thor: God of Thunder
Tested and reviewed based on the Xbox 360 version.
Review by Ben Nacca
(Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BenNacca )
XBL GT: Darkeyes2k7 PSN ID: Darkeyes2k11
When you are aware that a developer has gone from making Desperate Housewives: The Game to Thor: God of Thunder, there is some sudden anxiety felt as you load up the "movie-2-game" in your console. Liquid Entertainment have been backed by Sega with the development of Thor in recreating the movie experience and adding more action and excitement to the game. They even signed actors Chris Hemsworth (who?) and Tom Hiddleston (...?) who portray Thor and Loki respectively in the film to convert their characters into the game. They lend their voices and their likeness and frankly, I wish they didn't.
As you can probably tell by the opening, Thor: God of Thunder is yet another movie tie-in to gain a little bit extra revenue from a recent film release. There are exceptional circumstances where these have been good in my opinion like The Godfather and Batman: Arkham Asylum (game of TV series so it counts) for example but like anything, it is just that. An opinion. There are some who are going to love the Harry Potter/(Insert Marvel game here) games or just cannot wait for another 007 game and equally as many people praying for a game to be made of Twilight. I think anyone who did would be committing commercial suicide however so probably why it wasn't made. That aside, they do have a bad history when these mediums of entertainment collide.
Plenty of games have inspired films, such as Resident Evil and Prince of Persia with Gears of War and Halo (still...supposedly) rumoured to be in the development/planning stage. Only a matter of time before Activision surely allow for Call of Duty: The Movie to be made and then everyone can sit and enjoy CoD with a controller in hand for nostalgia and popcorn next to you too.
Straight away from the opening, you can just sense the only thunder Thor is capable of is out of the rear, as the combat is dire, repetitive and fully of button mashing combo's against enemies that are quite frankly dull. Now maybe this is the film? I must admit I have not seen the film yet so I do not know how "true" to the film this game is but I hope it has better action and visuals/setting than this recreation. Everything tries to be jaw-dropping and granted, some games just can't cut it with budgets or development issues...but I seriously wondered at times if I had been given an original Xbox copy because it just doesn't look worthy of a HD console whatsoever.
Vocals, well like I mentioned earlier, kudos to Sega for signing the actors in the film so at least there is that link plus vocal talent that makes this game connected to the film in some way. That said, I hope their vocals were better in the film because generally audio is pretty dire. I didn't expect miracles nor did I dream it would be fantastic but some lip syncing and decent sound effects would have been nice. Musically it will probably share the same theme as the film as they tend to do and that was ok, nothing fantastic but I don't think this is meant to be a blockbuster AAA film. Well...at least I hope not.
Gameplay features the campaign...and that is it. There is difficulties to test your godly abilities over and over if you want to train your mental stability and overcome annoying repetitive gameplay. Otherwise I think once will do it. The different combos and attacks, mixing the lighting/thunder powers together with the hammer works to some extent to make the combat look interesting but it handles like one of those shopping trollies you get at a supermarket with the dodgy wheel...a real pain sometimes. However, I digress. Over all I would not say this game has much replay value for all but the Thor fans and if you're holding a replica hammer and wearing a helmet that is similar in preparation for this game...then I guess you will love it.
As mentioned before, there are difficulties. With difficulties come achievements and to earn the one that demands you to finish the game on the hardest difficulty, you have to finish it on normal first. Thus requiring two playthroughs at least not to mention any of the other achievements that occur in the levels. Mostly a straightforward list though that will not take too long to complete and gain your full 1000G/Platinum Trophy.
How this passed quality assurance I am not sure. It looks like it belongs in an Xbox or a PS2. I suppose I shouldn't expect it to be a Crysis 2 look-a-like but something that belongs in HD would be nice.
They hired the actors and I think they helped this score to be reduced somewhat to be honest. It is not done well and generally feels very fragmented and flawed. I assume the film is not the same and it is just the development process of the game but with music and sound effects at a repetitive bore, the voice acting did little to raise the bar.
Button masher with lighting and thunder involved. Oooooer. Unfortunately it was not that impressive as the entire process of playing the game is a lacklustre affair.
Average length campaign with difficulties so there is the replay value to some extent but with the lack of multiplayer, extra features, game modes...Thor: God of Thunder is thankfully brief and nothing but a memory.
I think this is the worst review I have given a game in my, albeit short, writing career as a games journalist at the moment. I haven't had the pleasure of writing about some of the more dreadful games and trust me; there are worse games than Thor: God of Thunder. Although a promising edition into the movies to games genre, the gameplay fails to live up to be anything in the form of entertainment and becomes old very quickly. Unless you're after the achievements/trophies or you are an avid Thor fan, I would move along and save your money.
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