Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters Review

Current Gamerscore from game: 695 out of 1000.

Given that not a single major outlet has reviewed this game yet, it gave me pause as to whether or not I should play it. It's a movie tie in game (bad) it was seemingly rushed out (bad) but has real Hollywood power behind it in Ryan Reynolds (good) and from preview shots of the game, it looked like it was put together a little better than most movie tie ins. (good)

From Wikipedia:

The Manhunters are an android race, originally created by the Guardians of the Universe to serve as the first interstellar police force. The Manhunters became more obsessed with administering punishment than serving justice, forcing the Guardians to dissolve their ranks. The few Manhunters that survived fled into exile and the Guardians founded a new elite police force called the Green Lantern Corps and armed its members with specially crafted power rings. Now the Manhunters are back and out for revenge, readying their forces for a war against the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps. Faced with destruction, the Corps is looking to gifted but cocky test pilot Hal Jordan as the newest recruit, to protect peace and preserve justice.


The game plays out like many movie/book/comic book tie ins that you've tried before. If you like Spider-man: Maximum Carnage, you will like GL. If you liked Batman Begins, you will like this game. If you liked Thor: God of Thunder, chanced are you will like anything, hence you will like this game. As Green Lantern, you run around, beating up the original galazy policemen gone bad, the Manhunters. (Truly original name, hey). You are a rookie in the Green Lantern Corps, so your skill with the ring will be less that impressive. As you progress with beating badguys up, you will gain experience, thus gaining in capabilities with the ring. Your "contructs", as they are called, are your interesting ways of beating down baddies. You get a giant mallot (which is comical), you get a Giant Mech Warrior, a  rope with  a blade wheel, a missle launcher, etc.

The story itself in the game is something to behold: it's good. This is a very uncommon thing when it comes to tie-in games. Yes, you have your generic beatdown villains, the manhunters, in their various forms. But there is an overlying story to the whole premise that works well from beginning to end. Not only does it work, but it can neatly seat itself within the canon of DC comics as well. Sadly, DC is rebooting it's universe this fall, so it won't fit after that, but who's counting. You start out as rookie Hal Jordan on the GL Corps home world of Oa, and you are suddenly attacked by the manhunters. Typically in a game such as this, it's just the "we're going to get you" storyline, then "insert movie hero and villain here". Right from the get-go, you start to wonder "why is this happening", and the story leads you to continue that train of thought throughout, to a satisfying , conclusion.

Visually, the game carries itself well. The red and blue 3D glasses option just doesn't work properly, which is sad. The game also offers 3DTV support, butvery few have shelled out for a soon to be dated technology in 3DTV, so we have to stick with HD graphics instead. In their basic form, the graphics are passable. The manhunters themselves are very well designed, but there are only 3 or 4 of them total, so we see the same badguys over and over again. One level has you take on purple amazon women, which is a pleasant distraction, but later on in the same level, we see our familiar manhunter badguys trying to run us through again. The boss fights are servicable and will challenge someone who hasn't playing through the game previously. The contstructs for Green Lantern are where this game shines, with that comical hammer and the blasting, and the fighter jet. 12 in all, giving fun and creative ways to smash familiar robots to bits.

Ryan Reynolds shares his voice talent and likeness to the game as well, which truthfully is one of the biggest selling points of the game. In  a sense, it will validate the title enough for a sale or two. He does a servicable job, but for a good story, the scripting dialogue is somewhat lackluster. You get the "noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" cry from Hal Jordan, you get the usual "I won't let that happen/ you'll never get away with this" lines... all things that do, in the long run, degrade the experience for the player.

In the end, I believe that this game is for kids more than their parents. It's a basic beat em up that works on the levels that will keep a child entertained and wanting to see the movie that one more time, as well as to build the interest base in what is, in truth, a secondary character in the DC Comics universe. The parents and older players such as myself, have played this exact same game dozens of times before, dating back to Double Dragon, Battletoads, any number of Spider-man games (most notably Spiderman Friend or Foe, as this game feels templated from that one), and so on and so on. Decent visuals and a decent story will keep all players involved, but only for about 6 or 7 hours, as the game will have run it's course by that time. It's a great rainy day weekend renter, or a quick pick and flip title for achievement hunters.

I'm going to change my rating scale. Usually, I equate the game toa price I'm willing to spend. I'm going to go with the standard "out of 10"scale from now on.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters for Xbox 360:

6 out of 10.

Wait for it to drop in price, mom and dad. Your kids will love it, you can even play too, in only for the nostalgia "beat em up" memories.

Note: As of this writing, no major review outlet has reviewed this game.
Note 2: This  review also now appears on metacritic.com, where I will now contribute regularly. Check it out: http://www.metacritic.com/user/CDGaming


  1. Good review, Chris. Actually, IGN put up their review late yesterday and your review is pretty much on par with what Greg Miller said. IGN also gave it a 6/10

    As for why no major outlet has review it...E3 was last week so reviews got put on the backburner. Infamous 2 was released to news sites early because of it and because it's a really good game.

  2. This definitely wasn't worth the rush to review. I'm sure we'll see more reviews of it with similar scores in the coming weeks.