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Review

Review: Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

In brightest day, in blackest night.

It goes without saying that with the blockbuster film season usually comes a shower of under-developed and, in some cases, unplayable video games. For every successful transition from silver screen to gamepad, such as LEGO Pirates or even Spiderman 2 (you know, the sandbox one?), there is a cluster of agony; Thor: God of Thunder and Battle L.A being this year’s main culprits. Throwing a quick glance at Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, it’s easy to bear prejudice, but does the emerald knight pull any surprises?

Info:
  • Supports Trioviz 3D output for regular HD television sets
  • 3DS, Wii, and DS version are developed by Griptonite Games
  • Available at retail for budget price
Developed by Double Helix Games (Silent Hill: Homecoming, Front Mission Evolved) Rise of the Manhunters isn’t a direct tie-in with the upcoming motion picture. You assume the role of Hal Jordan, the first human Green Lantern and a US test pilot who is given a mighty power ring by its previous owner, the alien Abin Sur. Presumably set some time after the film, you are summoned to the Guardian planet of Oa to repel a Manhunter invasion. Once the police force of the galaxy, the robotic Manhunters were replaced when the Green Lantern Corps came to power. After a brief skirmish, the Corps soon realise the onslaught was a diversion; a small band of Manhunter had managed to uncover the Guardians’ coveted vault containing yellow fear energy. With the corrupting substance now in the hands of the Manhunters, Jordan and his fellow Lanterns are tasked with stopping the spread of its influence, whilst also trying to uncover who informed them of the vault.

Green Lantern is roughly three to five hours long, even on its hardest difficulty, which doesn’t really allow any sort of intriguing plot anchors to develop. The game is quick to set the scene though, and builds a relationship between the three lead characters Jordan, Sinestro, and Kilowog, although it never really picks up until the final mission. Aside from collectibles and character upgrades there is very little incentive to play Green Lantern twice, but give it an extra hour or so and you can bag yourself a shameful platinum trophy/1000G for your collection.


The "Baseball Bat" Construct can be used to deflect projectiles. Swing batter, batter!
Rise of the Manhunters follows a strict linear design, its gameplay heavily borrowing from titles such as God of War, though there are enough new mechanics and tweaks to keep it interesting. Players will have a number of standard actions available to them; basic/heavy attacks, jump, block, and dodge being the bread and butter of any combat-heavy adventure game. However, what sets Green Lantern apart is its use of “constructs”. Bearing a ring of power allows Jordan to summon any object he desires simply by focusing his will, an ability which doesn’t just have cosmetic applications. Players can assign eight of ten unlockable constructs to the face buttons, each set of four activated by holding either the left or right triggers. To begin with, you will have access to constructs such as the simplistic ring shot, though they soon become more creative and powerful. They all have their uses, and it’s likely you will have a favourite. However, using any construct will drain from your willpower and once the meter empties, you will have lost your most potent weapon.

Levels are usually split into dozens of mini skirmishes, each connected by one-way jump pads, creating possibly one of the most linear game structures you are likely to come across. At times it may feel as if you are constantly engaged in combat, though there are some efforts to break the monotony, including the occasional puzzle and even flight stages; both of which are succinct but can soon lose their fun factor. If you can get behind the combat mechanics, chances are you will enjoy Rise of the Manhunters but, if not, this game could easily be your worst nightmare.

With no CGI cutscenes or even clips from the movie, players are forced to sit through somewhat sub-par visuals throughout. There may be some well-designed characters and environments, but they soon become repetitive and hard to digest, especially upon realising how condensed each level is. Invisible walls are in abundance, and there is also a noticeable lack of reflective or lighting effects. However, given the high tempo of the gameplay and long shot third person perspective, the mediocre visuals can be overlooked to a certain extent.

On the other hand audio is actually well-done throughout Rise of the Manhunters, in both voice acting and soundtrack. Ryan Reynolds dons the mask of Hal Jordon, his committed yet cool-headed character seeping through the dialogue, though at times it can be held back by the occasional cringe-inducing one liners.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t directly mimic the plot of the motion picture.
  • Combat is simplistic, enhanced by the playful use of Constructs.
  • Voice acting and sound effects are mostly of top quality.
  • Co-op play is effortlessly integrated.

Cons:

  • If you dislike the God of War-inspired combat, there’s little here to enjoy.
  • Visual presentation is lacking, there’s also very little diversity among enemies.
  • The game’s ultra-linear design leaves little room to explore.
  • Campaign will only last a maximum of five hours with little replay value.

Fairly short and half-baked when it comes to overall presentation, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters may be a hard-sell to anyone without confidence in movie tie-ins. However, for those who take the risk, there is a satisfying game to be enjoyed, mainly thanks to the simplistic yet diverse combat mechanics as well as drop in co-operative play. It’s an ideal purchase for younger gamers anticipating the release of the film, but for anyone else, caution is advised.

Score: 6/10

18 Comments
  1. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Looks camper than a row of pink tents.

    Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 17:12.
  2. Roynaldo
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    The length of the game aside it sounds quite good to me. Loved Wolverine very much and can see me getting this in a month or so when the price drops.

    Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 17:40.
  3. DrNate86
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    But it’s better than Duke Nukem!

    Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 17:48.
  4. Sad Panda
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    5 hour campaign with no replayability yet scores higher than DNF…

    *shakes head and walks away a confused and sad panda

    Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 18:34.
    • teflon
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      Different reviewers, different genres, different expectations, different issues with the game.

      Dan didn’t have much fun with Duke, encountering a lot of problems, bugs, a lack of good humour, and generally unsatisfying gameplay. (In his opinion)

      Jim seems to have had a decent time with Green Lantern, though.

      Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 18:54.
      • Jim H [Teabags]
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Bang on. If a game is utter shite, I would prefer it be shorter instead of having it drag me for hours on end.

        Also this is a budget title. You can pick it up in most places for £25 (probably £20 soon.) Nukem was around £40. These factors have to be considered when reviewing games too. If we treated retail and download games on the same level, scores would be very uneven.

        Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 20:07.
  5. Mick939
    Member
    Since: Forever

    On friday i got Green Lantern, Infamous And Duke Nukem….
    ‘The Duke’ was EASILY the worst, both in gameplay, fun and graphics. When a movie title comes out with much much better graphics than what was supposed to be a big game your onto a stinker. I loved Duke, how far has he fallen.

    But anyway perfect review for Green Lantern, its a really good game, SURPRISINGLY, add 1 or 2 points if your a gl fan ;-) Which to be fair is true of any game/ franchise.

    Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 19:09.
    • Mick939
      Member
      Since: Forever

      ….OoH WAIT FORGOT, No CGI? Theres a cgi scene at the begining and end of every level pretty much. And i was really impressed by the graphics, but i am playing this against Duke.

      Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 19:12.
      • Jim H [Teabags]
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Cutscenes are done using the game engine, or so I thought. If it is CGI then, ouch. I know there is a CGI trailer/opening, which was actually pretty smart.

        Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 20:10.
      • Mick939
        Member
        Since: Forever

        Yeah, your probably right saying that, if you change costume it changes it in the video, i don’t really follow your problems with the graphics i think there pretty spot on especially for a movie title.

        Comment posted on 24/06/2011 at 10:59.
  6. kivi95
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    Pretty god for a movie based game.

    Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 19:16.
  7. Smallville2106
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    I will be picking this up. I wanted to see the film first. So as soon as the price drops a little I’ll be buying it.

    Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 19:29.
  8. beeje13
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    5 Hours of OK? Easy Platinum? Low price? check. not bad at all really, the film trailer didn’t wow me but at least i can get most of my money back with the game if its really poor, which it doesn’t look like it is!

    Comment posted on 16/06/2011 at 20:58.
  9. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    For a movie tie in game,that is a decent score. I wonder if the company behind this will throw a hissy fit about the scores it is getting?;) At least it hasn’t been in development for 12 years. I will stop teasing that game. Excellent review Jim.

    Comment posted on 17/06/2011 at 08:12.
  10. gaffers101
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    Got this on my Lovefrilm list. Got to be worth renting for a few nights.
    Thanks for the review.

    Comment posted on 17/06/2011 at 08:38.

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