[Guest review by Darryn Bonthuys]
Another year of blockbuster films means another year of tie-in games. But can Thor break the curse of recent Marvel Comic video game adaptations and give gamers something worthy for once? Hit the jump and find out!
After beating back an invasion into Asgard by the Ice Giants, Thor sets off to seek revenge for a fallen comrade, egged on by his scheming brother Loki who has his own agenda in play. It’s not the most complex story ever committed to a game, but the tale does serve to at least provide a good enough reason to travel to strange lands and hit people on the head with a hammer.
Playing primarily as a 3rd person action adventure with some platforming thrown into the mix, Thor is without a doubt a God of War clone. The waves of enemies that assault players are generally just hordes of generic creatures that pave the way for several boss fights later in the levels.
While borrowing generously from God of War isn’t normally a bad idea, Thor instead manages to run this idea into the ground with its absolutely shoddy gameplay and buggy graphics. The way the game freezes and jerks in between transitioning levels makes one think that an aroused gorilla was responsible for pressing the discs during manufacture, while the gameplay itself is something that Jigsaw would have come up with as an alternative torture device.
While the levels themselves are nicely varied, the detail missing on stages and enemies is shocking, resulting in bland textures and poorly animated action sequences, making the unreal engine render something ugly for once. As with any game based on a comic book there are numerous collectibles scattered throughout the nine worlds, and the game attempts to lure players back with an upgrade system for their attacks, but just playing and completing this game once is enough of an epic task.
Hit detection is a mixed bag of hardly there and sometimes working, making Thor’s repertoire of moves even more useless and stale, while the sound effects for these actions are as misplaced as a B-grade kung fu film. Featuring a few voices from the film, what could have been a decent attempt to tie into the film instead comes off as bland and tired, as if the actors were reading their lines while sitting on a toilet.
As an action game, Thor is just a wasted opportunity, squandering one or two good ideas for terrible game design and lacklustre gameplay, making players feel less like a Thunder God and more like yet another Kratos wannabe.
As much fun as actually hitting yourself in the face with a hammer. Repeatedly. Average controls and gameplay forged in the ninth circle of hell do little to elevate this game.
Design and Presentation: 4.5/10
It’s hard to imagine how any game using the Unreal engine and featuring a muscled protagonist could look so much like a polished turd.
We’re certain your parents meant well when they bought this for you, but most game shops have a “shoot on sight” policy when they spot customers trying to trade this game in.
A below average brawler that tries to make a quick buck off the success of its big screen Nordic counterpart, avoid at all costs, you’ll thank us later.