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Green Lantern Rise of the Manhunters XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 6.9
Graphics 7.0
Sound 7.0
Value 6.0
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Review Date:
July 2011
James Wright


Green Lantern Rise of the Manhunters

In the world where gamers and reviewers play movie based games, there is a very specific formula going around that goes something like this, (Blockbuster Movie + Video Game - Time = Crap). Unfortunately this is generally the case with most movie based games and even though Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is not really based on the movie, it still contains the likeness of Ryan Reynolds, including his voice. But the question here is whether Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a good game or a bad game and being a DC Comics fanatic, I was actually quite lenient in reviewing this game because superheroes don't get cooler than Green Lantern. As a comic geek, my score for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters would be 7.5/10, however for mainstream gamers who do not appreciate the subtle influences from the comic world (now movie), it would have to be a 6.8/10. But let's get to the green meat of the review!

In terms of gameplay, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a third person action game that contains strands of God of War meets DC Comics online. As a Green Lantern, you can hold one of the universes most powerful weapons, a Green Lantern ring that allows you to make hard light constructs of anything that you imagine which may include a baseball bat or a machine gun. And yes, if this was real, you could probably even make green coloured supermodels.

The ring is only limited to your imagination and your will power but in order to make this a user friendly game, you can only create a handful of constructs early on in the game but as you progress, you will be given more constructs that you can assign to your controller. Initially, it's quite limited to what you can create but as you progress, especially near the end of the game, it's like the Green Lantern floodgates have opened that adds an element of cool and more specifically Green Lantern lore to the title.

Story wise, you play Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a Green Lantern of Sector 2814  who was given the Green Lantern ring by a dying alien named Abin Sur. Once given the ring, Hal soon discovered that he is part of the Green Lantern corps, an intergalactic alien police force with each Green Lantern, "guarding" one sector of the universe and his sector contains planet Earth where most of the new movie was based in. As opposed to the nefarious entity Parallax from the film, this game revolves around the Manhunters which were android type creatures that the Guardians of the Universe, the bosses of the Green Lanterns created to protect the sectors. In hindsight, they were the precursors to the Green Lantern Corps. Unfortunately for the Guardians, the Manhunters were flawed and were removed from duty but thousands of years later, they are back and once again it is up to the Green Lanterns to put an end to them.

With a clichéd story that would not look out of place in a comicbook, the player must then engage in 10 rather short levels as they attempt to end this menace which threatens the Green Lantern corps. My biggest problem with the game is the lack of flying in the title as most levels require you to beat the absolute daylights out of your enemies with your constructs or to use hard light constructs to create vehicles like mechs or machine guns. It is quite cool and every now and then there is a flying level thrown in to give the player a break from its God of War inspired gameplay. The gameplay is also a little repetitive as there are certain tasks that must be completed by Hal Jordan like destroying towers and I truly lost count of how many of these towers I had to destroy. Even Hal Jordan made a comment about the towers which did make me laugh that even the game was acknowledging this.

The battles in Green Lantern were quite fun, especially later on in the game when you mapped out all your constructs to various facets of your 360 controller. When it comes to melee attacks, there are a variety of attacks that you can engage in, including grabs and special manoeuvres. The limitation is that your ring only has a set amount of energy as opposed to a 24-hour charge that is in the comicbooks. This was obviously needed to prevent any dues ex Machina scenarios and to keep things challenging for the player in order to implement a gaming strategy.

However, if the game had more variety in terms of battles, puzzles and a sense of achievement, this game would have been far better and it does seem rushed because every level seems more of the same. It's basically a beat em up game and considering what a Green Lantern can do, the game is far too linear and constructive. There is however a co-op mode included in Green Lantern and thankfully players can drop in and out which is how multiplayer should be designed. If you do play with someone else, you'll easily be able to knock this title over in just one or two gaming sessions.

Graphically, Green Lantern does pay homage to the movie and the main character does look like Ryan Reynolds, especially when cinemas are used. The developers did create an impressive universe graphically but it's unfortunately it's a one trick pony. The special effects of the hard light constructs do look cool however. Voice acting ranges from mediocre to good but every now and then, you just have to cringe at Reynolds because of his corny or sometimes repetitive one-liners. Unfortunately the movie won't be released in Australia till August (I'm scared) but the music seems to have been taken from the film itself with its majestic soundtrack that helps cement this as otherworldly superhero game.

The verdict?

In conclusion, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a game that works but doesn't try to better itself. The gaming mechanics are all there, especially with the creation and mapping of hard light constructs but the missions are lacklustre and the enemies a little too repetitive. As a comic geek, it does feel like a Green Lantern game but as a fan, you also know that there is so much more to Green Lantern than just hard light constructs and beating up Manhunters. It also uses a standard linear type gaming model, so once you have played the game, there's little incentive to playing it again, especially how short the game is


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