Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Visual Concepts
N Amer - 06/15/2007
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer Review
To be honest I was less than impressed with the latest Fantastic 4 movie that just hit theaters. After viewing many high-quality superhero movies within the past few years I was wanting/expecting more from the movie. Not from the visuals standpoint but it has more to do with the plot of the movie. After putting in hours playing the game based off the movie I am saddened to saw that this game is also lacking in many areas that really make this game less the stellar and only half of what it could have been. Read on to find out why.
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer takes a lot from games such as the X-Men Legend and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series. By just pressing the D-pad you have access to Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, and Invisible Woman. Each character has two bars that players will need to familiarize themselves with: the health and Cosmic energy bar. Each of the characters has special abilities that they can perform, and they can only perform these special moves (throw fireballs, turn invisible, stretch, and pound the ground with fury, and etc.) if they have enough energy in their cosmic energy bar.
The main problem with this game is that the Fantastic 4 work as a team unit, that is what makes them so powerful, alone they can be beaten (as shown in the comic books and the movie), but together fighting as a unit they are really powerful. The game tries to mimic this by giving players the Fusion mode, which allows you to merge the characters power with another team member’s power. While this seems really cool in theory, the actually process of doing this is cumbersome, time, and energy consuming. The first few times you see them you will be impressed but pretty soon you realize that you can dispatch the enemies fast with normal attacks rather than these special team attacks.
Strike a Pose!
Another issue with this game is the fact that the powers are so unbalanced. For instance, it takes precious energy to allow Jonny Storm to fly and it drains the power bar fast. The same thing can be said of Sue Storm, she can only remain invisible for a few seconds before her energy is gone. While I do realize that the developers had to come up with some constraints so players don’t abuse the heroes’ powers, but these are the basic powers of the Fantastic Four and you can barely use them. The whole game goes like this, punch and kick things till your power bar is full, unleash fury with your power bar, then await for it to fill up again. The Fantastic 4 don’t use their powers some of the times, they are constantly using their powers to overcome various obstacles in a team fashion.
Then to put the icing on this cake, the game’s environments are extremely barren. Once you reach a new game environment that is all you will see for the next few check points. The places are littered with boxes and barrels that contain points to upgrade your heroes with, but other than that you will have a very “been there seen that” look on your face for the majority of this game. The only character that looks really nice is the Human Torch when he is on fire, the effects look nice, but everyone else got the shaft, especially when it comes to animation.
The sound and music for this game is barely palatable. First off the developers didn’t get the actors in the movies to reprise their roles in the game. The actors they did get do a good job of sounds similar to their onscreen counterparts, but it just is not the same. This would be so bad if the dialog wasn't so stagnate, cheesy, and almost completely void of any real emotion. The sound effects are as generic as they come and really don’t add anything spice when you are playing the game. The same can be said of the bland music that is playing while you are in this game. To put it bluntly you will be turning the sound effects and music down on the game and loading your own custom music to jam to, if you can stand the game for that amount of time.
That's gotta be hot!
The Ai for the computer-controlled characters are not very intelligent. Half of the time they will be walking around the level while you are getting pummeled by a boss character. If they are next to an enemy they will use their most powerful attacks so when you do need to switch to them they will be low on health and on energy, so they will be pretty much worthless for a few seconds.
One of the better things about this game is that it allows people to jump in (or out) of a game instantaneously. When I first got the game, my wife was really interested and wanting to play it with me. So we went through several levels, then after a while she was getting bored with the extreme repetition, she was able to jump out of the game and the computer AI picked up where she left off. One thing that is missing from this game is the lack of online multiplayer, so if you can’t find a friend to play various levels with you will have to be content playing with the game’s less then intelligent AI.
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer is rated teen and contains fantasy violence.
Review Scoring Details for Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
This game should have been a lot better than it actually is, especially since the developers modeled the game play after a very popular game model. Instead all we are left with is a game that would have impressed some people of the last gaming generation.
The one thing that the developers got right is the look of the Human Torch, other than that all of the other members of the team look (and feel) very rigid while playing with them.
Not having the original voice actors really hurts this game, especially since it is released so close to the movie. The actors do a decent job of mimicking their on-screen counterparts, but what really affects it is the cheesy dialog that they were given to work with. Also the soundtrack to this game is pretty bad; you will be putting on your own custom music to avoid listening to the extremely repetitious music found here.
This game is extremely easy to get into and even beat if you have ever played any dungeon crawlers before you will know exactly what needs to be done.
In comparison to Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and the X-Men Legends game, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer takes a huge step backwards in this genre.
The only thing that I really enjoyed about the multiplayer is that players have the ability to hop in or out of the game at any point they wish. Other than that, lack of online mode really hurts this game.
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer could have been way more than it was. Only get this game if you are a true die-hard fan of the Fantastic 4, otherwise go find a used copy of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance to get your superhero fix on.
Not as fantastic as it could be
Reviewer: Michael Knutson
Review Date: 06/28/2007