In today's profit-minded society, you cannot have a summer blockbuster movie without having a game that ties into the experience. Video games based on movies have not always had a positive track record, but there are a few exceptions. The latest movie tie-in tries to be get on that short list. Pacific Rim: The Video Game, based on the action movie released last month, allows players to control the monsters and robots seen in the movie.
The game loosely follows the story of the film. The alien monsters called kaiju have arisen from beneath the earth, and humans have created robots called jaegers to combat them and save the planet. After a brief introduction of the story told through cut scenes, the game begins.
The presentation of Pacific Rim: The Video Game is good. The jaegers and kaiju are surprisingly detailed and look almost identical to their movie counterparts. But the surrounding environments are grainy and aren't unique.
The environments provide destructible areas that can be used to your advantage during battle. But they do not seem to match the grand scale of the conflict. You sometimes feel restricted in battle. It would have been great to have a larger area to explore and destroy during combat.
The gameplay of Pacific Rim: The Video Game is what drags this game down to the bottom of the earth. You may choose between controlling one the jaegers or kaiju. When the game begins, you are able to control only three jaegers and two kaiju. When controlling them, the game provides some fun moments, but the combat is off balance. The jaegers seem to be faster and more powerful than the kaiju, which compels you to pick the jaegers every time in battle.
The controls also are stiff and present a delay between the controller and what is happening onscreen. There is also a power gauge that attempts to introduce strategy into combat. All it does is create frustration when you are only a few hits away from winning, but you have to wait to repower, leaving you open to attack. There is also a bare-bones create mode in which you may use the current designs to edit your own kaiju and jaegers. This is an interesting idea, but I would have preferred to be able create my own robot or monster.
Unfortunately, Pacific Rim: The Video Game is another cheap movie cash-in without a lot of thought behind it. The film screams for a proper video game adaptation, but the developers force fans and gamers to settle on the mediocre. The combat controls are stiff and at times unresponsive, which makes the game frustrating rather than entertaining. It is a simple button masher that asks you to attack and block. The graphics are good and there are some good combat animations, but the game feels more like an unfinished demo than a game that is ready for release.
VIDEO GAME REVIEW
'Pacific Rim: The Video Game'
Platforms: Download on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Windows
Rating: E 10+