So here we are…another big budget movie, another videogame tie-in. Is The Rise of Cobra the real American Hero? Let’s find out…
G.I. Joe is what I would call a classic children’s television property. I put it up there with Gundam, Power Rangers, and Transformers (which has seen a resurgence thanks to the new movies). I have fond memories of playing with these toys with my brother, and I was looking forward to seeing what this game was going to be like.
The game has lots of throwbacks to the classic, including a spill about how “knowing is half the battle” before game loads. And I must say that my excitement increased as gameplay inched closer and closer.
You will see many elements from other games. I happily admit that I was getting a strong metal gear vibe from this game as the intro cutscenes rolled. The voice acting, sound effects, and to some extent the cinematography all oozed metal gear. My excitement started to waver, however, as the real-time cut scenes started dropping frames.
So…I pick my squad and load up a mission. As it starts I’m greeted to a cutscene with two characters (Duke and Scarlett) chatting with their commander. Finally I am given control of the characters and I start to move toward the action…And the camera stays put.
The camera actually doesn’t start moving until I am about an inch high, which totally throws me off. All of the screen-shots on the games box zoomed in and are totally unrepresentative of the actual game-play. As let down as I was in that regard, I was even more disappointed that this game is a shooter, and there isn’t a cross-hair.
You move and point your gun with the same left control stick and you use the right control stick to switch targets once you are locked on. This wouldn’t be as bad if you didn’t lock on to inanimate power-ups as well as enemies. I died numerous times because I was shooting a power-up instead of cobra henchman.
You also get a little Gears of War cover action with the addition of what we like to refer to as chest-high walls. Destructible chest-high walls at that! Too bad they don’t really offer any protection.
The coolest aspect of this game by far is of course the accelerator suit. I had the most fun just zooming around and bashing the ever living crap out of the enemies and structures. It also makes the game way too easy. I used the accelerator suit through most of the boss battles with no trouble.
My biggest delimma with this game is wondering who it is supposed to cater to. Hard core G.I. Joe fans? Sure, but while there are some endearing elements, the simplistic gameplay falls short of most recent action/shooter releases. Kids? This would be the obvious choice, but the (light) profanity would prevent me from buying this for a child.
Maybe this game would have been better suited as a downloadable title. The actual gameplay screams Xbox Live Arcade. For around 800 or 1200 MS points (and the addition of a crosshair/aiming system) this would be an easy recommend. The competitive nature of the co-op mode almost ensures replayability. There is definitely fun to be had here, but the asking price is a huge barrier.
G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra gets a 2 out of 5.