The game team-up that we have not been waiting for...
Written by Super User
Published Monday, 17 September 2012 20:00
It’s not every day you come across a game like The Expendables 2: Videogame. At a glance, one can infer the game is obviously not trying to break any new ground or be particularly masterful, but still be a quick burst of fun to play by yourself or with a few buddies. There’s nothing wrong with this type of effort. Nobody should be ashamed of wanting to turn their brain off, blow some stuff up, and have a (possibly) forgettable, but delightful, experience. The Expendables 2: Videogame is something you won’t come across often, because even with this easy-going effort in mind, developer Zootfly still manages to give us one of the most ridiculously flawed video games I’ve seen this console generation.
Movie tie-ins have grown to be a joke among the gaming community. However, not all film based games have been doomed to their role as a mediocre cash-in. Spider-Man 2, Kung Fu Panda, and The Chronicles of Riddick immediately come to mind when thinking of these few outcasts. The Expendables 2 is a special case, being only available via digital download. In fact, some gamers would even argue that’s one thing this game got right, being a smaller digital movie tie-in rather than a full priced retail release. While being a movie tie-in, the game actually takes place a little before the events of the film. This is a smart move, considering how silly and difficult it is to work hours of gameplay into the narrative of a cohesive story written for screen. The Amazing Spider-Man video game did something similar, having the game take place after the events of the film. Unfortunately, this is by no means a saving grace for The Expendables 2, especially when the story is so paper thin and non-existent. you won’t even be paying attention to it anyway.
"Considering the obvious lack of effort that went into The Expendables 2: Videogame, it seems nothing could have saved this one."
The Expendables 2: Videogame plays and looks like a classic arcade style top-down shoot em’ up, so much so it wouldn’t be too surprising if a few retro gamers actually somewhat enjoyed their experience with it. Up to four players can walk in the shoes of Barney Ross, Gunner Jensen, Yin Yang, and Hale Caeser from the film. You earn experience points and are able to buy and upgrade weapons. The rules of the game are simple: shoot or blow up everything that moves. In fact, 99.9% of the time, it doesn’t matter what weapon you use. Just kill everything that moves while advancing from point A to point B. That, as well as some on rail shooting sequences make up the entirety of The Expendables 2: Videogame. If you’ve played the first few stages of the game, then you have honestly played the whole game. With that being said, this is actually not what makes The Expendables 2 a bad shooter. The game breaking flaws are a different story.
You are able to play with three buddies via drop-in/drop-out co-op, otherwise you are stuck with the AI teammates of the game. Let’s just say you better be sure you have three buddies to play with. I truly don’t remember the last time my teammate’s AI was so broken in a video game. Even after installing the mandatory update, the first thing you will see your computer-controlled teammates doing on the first stage is jumping non-stop. Even when there isn’t an obstacle in their way, your teammates will almost never stop jumping, and it is like that the entire game. The game’s other flaws only get worse from that point onward. You wouldn’t think a game like this would have a cover system, but it does, and yes, it is as non-functional and unnecessary as you probably think it is (unless you are playing on the harder difficulties of course).
Unfortunately the flaws in gameplay don’t stop there. Rarely in the game will you even know which character you’re playing as or what weapon you are holding because they all look the same. Eventually your brain will revert to a "pick up anything and use it" mindset. Add the fact that this game always has so many explosions occurring to impress even the two films it’s based on, plus the camera being a little too far away from the action for comfort, and you have one extremely confusing and convoluted experience. Additionally, the on-rails shooting sequences would be a nice change of pace if they worked right. It was slightly enjoyable at first...until I stopped shooting. Then I realized that rarely will you even have to kill your enemies as for some reason your health becomes very durable during these sequences.
The voice acting still manages to be mediocre even with Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews reprising their roles from the film. Environments are bland, uninteresting, and the sub-par graphics and textures don’t help either. The Expendables 2: Videogame isn’t all bad though. If there’s one thing games like Gears of War and God of War has taught us, it’s that epic kills make everything awesome, and this game has that. Every so often you will fill up a meter allowing you to perform various "signature moves" in which the camera zooms in on your character and delivers quite an epic blow to your enemy. If the whole game was as cool as these moments, this would have been one solid shooter.
Considering the obvious lack of effort that went into The Expendables 2: Videogame, it seems nothing could have saved this one. With broken gameplay and AI, and a bland presentation, there is virtually nothing here that is worthy of your time or money. At the least, it would be fun to watch AI characters continuously jumping without reason throughout your missions, and even that wouldn’t be entertaining after about ten minutes. Such broken gameplay ruins any arcade-like shooter charm, and signature kills are few and far between. Have fun with Chuck Norris in the new flick, but don’t even think about purchasing The Expendables 2 Videogame.
Release date : 2012-08-17
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft
Gameplay : Action
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