Fantastic four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Published by Take 2 Interactive on 15 June 2007
Developed by Visual Concepts
Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Right, so for my very first review on this site I shall begin with my least favourite type of game…
…Movie tie-ins.
I’ve played quite a few movie titles before, (Enter the Matrix, Blade etc). Some of them were amazing, but most were horrible disappointments, so I understandably went into this game with very low expectations.
I would love to tell you all that I was surprised and Fantastic four turned out to be the best thing I’d ever played (I really like Marvel.) However, unfortunately I would be lying, for this game was painfully average.
First up a very quick summary of the story-line for those of us who haven’t seen the film. The silver surfer has come to earth as a herald for our planets destruction, he is soaking the world in cosmic energy to allow Galactus (the devourer of worlds) to come forth and much up our planet.
It’s now up to you and the rest of the fantastic four to stop him and save the day…
Throughout most of the campaign you will play as one of the members of the Fantastic Four. You can choose between The Thing, The Human Torch, Invisible Woman or Mr fantastic. If you wanted to you could also bring in up to three buddies to play with you as the game is co-op, the co-op all works on the same screen so like all same-screen co-ops it’s a confusing mess. It isn’t something I’d subject my friends to, but then I like my friends.
The actual levels where you are part of the team are really, really poorly designed and very linear even though you do require to use all characters at least once in the game, throughout you’ll regularly get a feeling of deja’vu. It has a very simple pattern, the more you play the more you’ll begin to notice it. Cutscene, go through a door, fight hordes of exactly the same looking bad guys, activate a button(s), activate an elevator(s), move on, more cutscenes, rinse and repeat until you get to a sub-boss or mini-game, kill him or fumble through and return to the previous formula.
There are also a few flying mini-game sections which I would assume were put in to break up the monotony of the elevator formula. but these are somehow far, far more tedious than even that. You play as Johnny and spend up to ten minutes flying through exactly the same two sections of tunnel over and over again until you have finally caught up with whatever you’re chasing.
The final type of section happens once for each character (with the exception of johnny, who has the mini-games.) You have to solo for a few minutes. The characters end up being pitched against enemies that they are entirely ineffective against and will knock you flat and stamp on you, pretty much taking all of your life away.
The game play is really underwhelming, it’s almost impossible to die even on fantastic difficulty as your characters will revive themselves within a few seconds, rendering the difficulties useless (unless in solo section). Although If you do die as your main, just move to a different one and go hide until he’s back.
Everyone except Ben is under-powered with pretty much useless powers, the ones that are useful are almost impossible to aim so they never hit their target anyway. playing with Ben however well make you almost invincible as almost nothing except the bosses can actually hope to down him. the higher up his levels go the less skill required to play since why us skill when button bashing works so much better?
The boss fights themselves are pointless, they feel more like puzzles than actual battles. you go in expecting a epic battle versus a supervillian and end up having to arrange lasers. Not quite what I had in mind when I picked up an action game.
The graphics aren’t spectacular although they aren’t awful. they are pretty much average. Though as the cut-scenes load up you’ll quite often see the details slowly appear on the character.
The game actually has collectibles and extras which are made nigh on impossible to locate because of the repeating backgrounds, they also feel as though they were added as an afterthought since most are directly in the open.
The extra’s add some cool concept art and the ability to watch the cutscenes again but nothing too special.
The achievements for this game are pretty easy to obtain and most will unlock within the first playthrough, though you will have to go twice if you want to get 1000G. And once you’ve done them it really doesn’t feel as if you’ve achieved anything.
However on the plus side, lest this become just one long compliant. the controls are relatively simple to work with and master. The powers are varied albeit they’re a bit lacklustre. The cutscenes are quite well animated and contain a lot of the same humour as the films, though that’s probably because they are ripped straight from the films. they game loads quite quickly so you’ll have no issue getting into the ‘action’, and experience was plentiful so my characters could rise in level pretty quickly.
To summarize   This game plays rather poor movie tie-in which plays much like Marvel alliance except with a lot less variety and fun. it does require a previous knowledge of the fantastic four as it will often give you a name but never tell you which character to select. There are much better comic book games out there (the Punisher for PS2 springs to mind). Depending on what you’re playing it for depends on if it’s worth it. If you’re looking for quick easy gamerscore then go of it. if you’re looking for a fun co-op to waste an afternoon with your mates, don’t bother. Even though it’s only a fiver it’s not worth it, it really does belong where I found it: the bargain bin or for that matter any bin.
If you want me to review anything in particular just message me on the forums, (Tcio123) or through Xbox live (Nomstuff) If I have it then I will review it, if not then I’m afraid I can’t help you.
©2013, Nomstuff, Nomsheep, Tcio123, All content is my own.