Review: “Green Lantern” Rises To Mediocre Expectations

Green Lantern: Rise of the ManhuntersGreen Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

Developer Double Helix Games

Publisher Warner Bros. interactive Entertainment

Story Marv Wolfman

Voices Ryan Reynolds, Marton Csokas, Kevin Michael Richardson, Michael Jackson, Steve Blum, Fred Tatasciore

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Full Disclosure

This article is based on a review copy we received, and is for the Xbox 360 version of the game. Thanks to everyone involved for making this available to us!

Also, we got these nifty 3D glasses, which are included in every package. See?

Awesome Lantern!
Awesome Lantern 3D Specs!

The provided glasses work with any hi-def TV set, according to the in-game instructions, and only take a minute or two for the colors to adjust.

Synopsis

Shortly after the conclusion of the film’s events, Hal Jordan is on Oa when the Manhunters arrive. Tipped off by an unknown traitor about a hidden power deep within Oa’s secret vault, the Manhunters aspire to destroy the Green Lantern Corps and take over Oa for their own means. As Lanterns fall, it’s up to rookie Hal Jordan to save the Corps and the Universe from a mechanical nightmare.

Review

So we pop on our 3D specs and start up the game, and are treated to a very nice cinematic of Hal on–

ARGH
OH SWEET JESUS MY EYES MY EYES I’M DYING

Okay, bad humor and worse Photoshops aside, holy crap, the 3D on this nearly killed me. I made it five minutes into the opening cinematic before I had to fling the glasses across the room before it absorbed my soul and digitized it to it’s overlords. I have never had a problem with motion sickness, or had any problems watching videos before, but wearing the 3D glasses (which are the old schol blue and red glasses) left me with a skull splitting headache and killer nausea. I cannot recommend this enough, do not play this game in 3D.

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Quickly recovering, the game throws you into the action after a brief opening cinematic establishing the important characters in the game. The game handles a lot like God of War at first, but as you progress you gain more constructs such as a blaster shot, whip blade, and missile cannons, and your move set quickly becomes varied. There’s a lot more upgrades than you’d expect in the game, with 12 constructs in all, and three global power upgrades for your constructs. You’re able to access 8 of them at any time; holding either trigger and pressing a corresponding face button utilizes it. The controls are fluid and responsive, and I never found myself having problems performing any of the moves in-game; plus, there’s something really fun about using a giant bat construct to demolish a group of robots.  Hal can’t really fly, as the game is fairly linear, but an air dash does make the skill somewhat accountable. Larger enemies have optional Quick Time Events, and bosses are few and far between. Shaking things up, there are three in-game flight sequences, one on each of the planets you visit, in which you control Hal akin to a flight simulator. The controls here are also responsive, and the levels never seem overly frustrating or impassable. However, most of the levels are straight forward, Point A to Point B affairs, combating enemies and solving puzzles with little to no deviation.  There’s also the final fight, which I won’t spoil for you, but needless to say took me out of the game entirely, and is a major “What the–?” moment for the game.

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The player controls Hal, with a second player optionally being able to jump in or out as they wish and control Sinestro (still a Green Lantern in the game’s time frame). Both characters level up at the same rate, but Player 2 won’t earn Achievements. The game also only supports local multiplayer; the game currently offers no Xbox Live support, though the back of the box does mention game-content downloads.

The story is surprisingly rich, and does what the movie failed to do on many levels. Hal here is now a confident, trained Lantern. The game starts off with action right off the bat, and continues to escalate as it goes on. The story itself moves through the planets of Oa, Tamaran and Biot, and draws heavily from the mythos of the comics, even going so far as to establish the purple light of Love.  The story, coupled with the simple and varied controls, help the capture the essence of the character and really make one feel like a Green Lantern.  Unfortunately, the story ends almost as quickly as it began; the game only runs 5 hours long. There is a New Game+ option if you select Continue after you’ve finished the game, but all you’ll really have left to do is purchase the last 3 or 4 upgrades you might have missed on your first play-through; I even managed to max out Hal at Level 10 before I reached the final battle.

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While Rise of the Manhunters is a solid game with responsive controls, a strong story and a definite fun factor, the skull crushing 3D, short play time and limited number of upgrades really hurt the game.  This is an ideal game for a weekend rental or a trip to the Redbox, but only the hardcore GL fans will want to consider buying this one, and even then you’ll want to try before you buy. The game currently retails for $49.99, and is in stores now.

About Christopher Baggett

Christopher Baggett has owned and operated The HomeWorld independently since 2009 after spinning it off from his previous concept, 'The Anime Homeworld'. In addition to journalistic endeavors, he is an aspiring novelist. Arizona born military brat Christopher currently resides in the Georgia area.

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2 comments

  1. Those are awesome glasses! I still want to pick this up once it hits that magical $19.99 price point.

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