I am sure we are all familiar with movie tie-in games - how quickly they’re made, not enough time to spend on details or even polish, flooded with glitches, and unappealing textures - so why do they keep making them? On top of that, they usually ask full price for the game which usually ends up in the bargain bins in a few months, tsk tsk. However, you may be a bit surprised by Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters.
Having just been recruited into the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan finds himself on the Planet of Oa paying tribute to his rings last owner when suddenly the whole planet is under attack by the Manhunters, the Guardian’s first protectors before the Green Lanterns. The responsibly, naturally, is up to Hal and his fellow Lanterns to find out what exactly the Manhunters agenda is before they grow in power and wipe out the Green Lanterns Corps altogether.
Green Lantern: RotM is not a standard direct tie-in game from the movie. It is a whole separate story on its own, with characters from the film. That being said, it is a short game comprised of ten full missions and even some exploration is involved if you want to collect some meteorites to boost your health and ring surge meters. When I first started playing, I went straight for the hardest difficulty thinking it would be a breeze - this quickly changed my outlook as later on in levels I was humbled by the challenges given to me. So difficulty is something not to just shrug off here, it is rewarding.
Straight up, Green Lantern is a beat'em up game fully loaded with ring powers called constructs and upgrades to just about everything. You will gain experience to your willpower in which you can use to purchase those upgrades and even a level up system with each new level unlocking something new to have at your disposal. From a gigantic hammer to, my favorites, your very own personal gatling gun and a fighter jet. You do have limits into which you can perform these abilities as it will drain from your ring after use, but will always have an opportunity to replenish it back making each encounter an entertaining one.
There is some puzzle solving in this game, they work to help keep the momentum steady and fresh as the whole - enemies show up, you beat them up routine can be a bit repetitive at times. The game comes with a couple of missions where you are forced into a rail shooter scenario which is the bulk of Green Lantern’s flight time. If you are not a fan of rail shooters, don’t fret, these sections are short and are not to difficult. But with that said, they are short yet constitute as a full mission. This baffled me a bit wondering why they weren't included into the next or even previous mission as one.
The control scheme works great, you have your standard quick and heavy attacks. Blocking which in encases Hal in a sphere absorbing some damage. The right analog stick serves as a evade option, while RB serves as a dash attack to help chain combos from one enemy to another. A great feature is the ability to button map your abilities/constructs (even on the fly by pressing the Back button) by holding down either LT or RT and pressing X, Y, A, B buttons respectively for any abilities you’d like to use, with a total of eight abilities within both triggers. Some constructs you will be using more than others as they help with level progression or defeating certain enemies.
The game also features a drop in co-op with Sinestro as a playable character, however co-op is for local play only - not online. It is almost arcade like in this aspect because throughout my single player play through you have this constant blinking of words on your upper right of the screen that tell you to press start on the second controller. I felt they could have left that aesthetic out for immersions sake. While playing co-op both characters seemed confined within a certain radius of one another, which can be annoying at times. Luckily, boss battles for the most part have small arenas. Then again, areas with a lot going on in it may be hard to counter adjust to them and your partner. The game does warn you about the second player not being able to obtain achievements if a second account is playing. Love or hate it, there is a co-op option if that's what you’re into.
The voice acting amongst the populace of the game is great for the most part. Ryan Reynolds reprises his role as Hal Jordan, even though it is voice acting, his parts come off a bit dry at times (sorry Ryan, love your movies though!). The music is up there with what you can expect from this game, it serves the mood and tone quite well.
I honestly was not expecting much from this game but rented it to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised and as a result, enjoyed it and had fun. It is a short game and when you finish it there just is not much replay-ability unless you are going to unlock all achievements, which are decently easy enough with some work to obtain. The co-op was a nice feature, but again it is local only and you have to be within range of each other in order to cooperate.
Once again, Green Lantern is a good game to rent or even pick up in the bargain bin. Recommend it to those who are into DC comics, comics in general, and love beat'em up type games.
3.75 out of 5
+ About time Green Lantern had a video game
+ Great game to rent
+ Beat'em up genre lovers will have a ball
+ For a movie tie-in video game, it really isn’t awful
+ Emerald Knight difficulty certainly proves a challenge
+ Fun and easy achievement list
- Co-op option seems arcadey and confined with two players
- Local co-op only, second player won’t get achievements
- Rail shooting levels are the only time you can really fly
- Short game, but what can you expect from a movie tie-in game
- Fixed camera angle, while it works well in the game players might not like this function