Traditionally, videogames inspired by movies always seem rushed in order to capitalize on the “hype” that goes along with the movie. Game designers think that they can throw the gamer into the movie world without the necessary tools needed to enjoy completing the game. Sadly this is far from true. Games are more than just story, cinematic scenes and cool characters. The enjoyment factor for many games often comes down to something as simple as control. The THQ game “The Incredibles” illustrates this point.

“The Incredibles” game mimics the movie world exactly. It tells the story through the various levels and several animated cut scenes. These scenes, though at times a little dark and grainy, are on par with the film itself. The graphics of each level actually look, and more importantly, feel like the player is participating in the movie. Furthermore, there are many extras, such as character artwork, that can be unlocked by finding them in each level. This provides a little more incentive to explore the linear, yet large, levels.

But the real appeal to this game is the chance to play as the “Supers” themselves. Playing as Mr. Incredible and family provides an endearing experience that any fan of the movie will love. Sadly Frozone is a nonplayable character.

The characters retain their screen personality through the use of their various superpowers and witty one-liners. However, this enjoyment becomes short lived when the superpowers and quips become overly repetitive. Similarly, the “hack and slash” gameplay grows redundant and overly simplistic. Although they hamper the overall experience, these are small problems that can be played through.

While there is nothing particularly difficult to understand about the control scheme, the camera and targeting system are lackluster. The game targets enemies automatically and only those enemies that are on screen. While this may not seem like a problem, it becomes irritating when the game is target-locked on an enemy across the room rather then the one actually punching Mr. Incredible. The camera follows the game character even at the expense of losing an enemy off-screen. It’s especially frustrating during boss fights, making them too hard to beat for average 9-year-old, or in this case, 22-year-old, is capable of. Also, simple puzzles like swinging and jumping to platforms becomes frustrating due to the horrible camera. This problem really makes for an unentertaining and downright frustrating time spent with the game.

Yet another movie game with potential falls short, not because of lack of movie content, but rather because the foundation the game engine is built on is flawed and unrefined. Even for the fans of “The Incredibles” who can tolerate horribly repetitive, limited and frustrating gameplay, this game is still only a rental.

 

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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