Review – Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters
Roaming beat ’em up
First, Captain America and now Green Lantern? Dull superhero season is upon us.
The problem with being an achievements whore is that you’ll play almost anything. This is compounded when you write reviews for the bummingest gaming site on the internet. Sometimes you just have to sup up your gaming blaverageness even when you really don’t want to. A little while back I reviewed Captain America, the game of the film of the least interesting Marvel Comics character. Well, not to be outdone, DC Comics’ mediocre Green Lantern is also getting the comic to film to game treatment as well.
As with Captain America, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters completely skips all the origins stuff and goes straight into the fight and, as before, this is something of an irritation when you know next to nothing about the character. So, with little or no investment in the character, seeing the Lantern battling the forces of the Manhunters, a bunch of pissed-off robot types, is about as interesting as Piers Morgan’s opinions on anything. That is to say, the story can basically fuck off. A lot.
So, with that out of the way, how does it play? You already know how it plays. It plays like EVERY OTHER GAME OF THIS TYPE. X is your light attack, Y is your heavy attack. Mix them up for rubbish combos. Where Captain America had his shield, Green Lantern has a ring which can pull in enemies or form heavy objects to use as weapons. However, there’s very little in the way of puzzle elements, so the ring is really only there for additional damage.
However, where Captain America felt solid, if a little clunky, the action in Green Lantern feels insipid and bit floaty. There’s no real feeling of impact which makes the combat very unsatisfying and, tediously, bigger enemies need to be finished off with a fucking QTE. Yep, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER FUCKING GAME LIKE THIS.
To break up the action, three of the game’s ten chapters, are flying sections which play like an absolutely appalling version of Rez. Good luck trying to make sense of that bullshit but thankfully these sections are short and pretty easy so they won’t get in your way for too long.
Graphically the game is pretty poor, although the fantasy art backdrops are initially quite nice, with me not even realising until researching this review that the main character was meant to be the likeness of Ryan Reynolds (who also provides voice acting for the game). The cut and paste nature of the enemies and levels make an average looking game even less interesting and by the time you finish the game (possible in 6-8 hours) you’ll struggle to recall any set-pieces of note.
With a short campaign, and local-only co-op, Green Lantern is a very shortlived game, although if you want the full 1000 gamerscore you’ll need to grind a few levels to buy the last of the upgrades (my new top pet hate about games, achievements that you require that you buy everything but that can’t be completed in one playthrough). If you can find a victim, the game is slightly better in co-op but is still an incredibly tedious effort.