When it comes to film adaptations, gamers aren’t used to seeing anything particularly special. Due to time constraints, the games usually end up feeling quite rushed and therefore lack any real quality. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the game version of Rise of the Guardians.
In Rise of the Guardians you can control one of the five mystical characters from the film, you can also add three buddies should you want to tackle some 4-player co-op action. The five characters are, North (Santa), The Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost, The Sandman and Bunnymund (Easter Bunny.) They’ve all been given a visual overhaul with attitude ramped up to max.
The only time you’ll see the characters properly is in the cutscenes, however, these cutscenes are very basic versions of the character and look a worlds apart from the in-game characters/film characters. The animation in the cutscenes is just as basic with static images slowly sliding around a pane, it doesn’t do much to pull you into the stale storyline, which is basically the good guys trying to stop the bad guys.
On the gameplay side, you’ll be travelling from land to land – each one based on one of the Guardians – completing objectives and killing enemies. You can travel to any of the lands at any time but you need to get to a transporter before you’ll be able to move to a different area. Once you’ve beaten a certain amount of the game you’ll be able to take on the final boss.
The objectives are fairly straight forward and usually revolve around freeing some friends, defending someone and finding collectibles. This does mean it gets repetitive very quickly, while the change of scenery in each area is nice, the gameplay is exactly the same and you can beat pretty much the whole game by hammering one button.
You can swap and choose between the characters with the D-pad and each one has their own attacks and special moves, for example, the Tooth Fairy has long range attacks while North likes to get up close and personal. To try and increase replayability there’s some levelling up to do as well as the ability to upgrade some stats but it does little to entice the gamer to spend a large amount of time with the game.
As this is a game targeted at the younger generation, although it has a 12 rating, it’s not going to be the most challenging of games. You have three different attacks but you only really need one of them, there’s a block button but you’re unlikely to use it very often and you can revive fallen compadres but again you may only use that once or twice throughout the whole game.
If you are a fan of achievements/trophies then you may want to give this a go, the game throws them at you like there’s no tomorrow. The game itself will only take you a few hours to complete and you’re likely to get all of the achievements/trophies in that time.
Co-op doesn’t really add much, it just makes the game even easier. All you’ll be doing is wearing out one button on all of your controllers. It’s nice and easy to join though, just plug in a controller and hit start, even when the game is in progress.
Rise of the Guardians is another lacklustre film adaptation, the gameplay itself is decent and it controls well but you’re unlikely to play for any more than a hour or two before getting a bit tired of the rinse and repeat levels and button mashing. It’ll keep the kids entertained for a little while, it’s up to you to decide if that’s worth the price or not.
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