Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

1 rating: -2.0
Action video game by 2K Games for the Xbox 360

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer features Marvel Entertainment''s legendary super-powered foursome in its second big adventure. In the game and the film, Marvel’s first family of Super Heroes faces its greatest challenge yet as the enigmatic, … see full wiki

Release Date: June, 2007
1 review about Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Wake me when it's over

  • Aug 9, 2007
Rating:
-2
Pros: Bashing is kind of fun

Cons: Bad level design, no need to use special powers, boring art

The Bottom Line: Look up "Mediocre video game based on a tired franchise" in the dictionary and you'll get this.

I feel kind of bad for developers tasked with making games based on mediocre movies. They aren’t paid top dollar and there’s probably not much hope for royalties. A few games rise above the mediocrity such as Chronicles of Riddick, but most often, they succumb to suckiness. Does the new Fantastic Four game Rise of the Silver Surfer fall into the same category of crud?

Read on, dear reader....

•• Story ••
The story follows the same storyline as the movie. This is not necessarily a good thing. While I never saw the movie, if the story in the game is anything like the movie, then I’m glad I saved my $10. The Fantastic Four is a goody-goody team of superheroes who happen upon a silver man on a silver surfboard. Most of the game is spent trying to figure out who he is and what he wants. Dr. Doom makes a surprise appearance as do some of the other Marvel villains. What follows is a generic comic book storyline.

•• Gameplay ••
FF:RotSS is a bash’em up. What this means is that it’s a 3rd person game that allows the player to mash buttons while the character on screen is smashing and bashing bad guys. This is the essential combat element of the game and it is deeply flawed. More on that later.

Each of the characters has a weak attack and a strong attack. I found myself using the strong attack exclusively. Why would anyone use a weak attack when they can do more damage with no cost? As well, you can also access special powers specific to the character you’re controlling. Thing has a super-smash attack called Shockwave, Invisible Girl has Invisibility, Human Torch can throw fireballs and Mr. Fantastic has a stretch punch. Each character has about 8 special moves including some defensive ones. To top it off, you can combine characters for super-duper attacks that deal a ton of damage.

This all well and good and sounds great on paper. But unfortunately, the execution of the game is such that you never need to use more than one of special powers, and never any of the super-duper powers. This is a shame as I was able to play through about 90% of the game as Thing, simply Shockwave-ing everything in sight.

The game does force you to use the other characters for a mission or two, but you’ll be pretty safe picking a character and sticking with it. The only time you’ll need to switch is if your character gets knocked out. If that happens, simply switch to another one with the d-pad and wait for your favorite character to revive. It’s quite possible to get through the game without ever having to restart from a checkpoint by simply switching from character to character as each one revives from the previous round of pummeling.

The level design of this game is a throwback to about 1999 and that’s not a good thing. The puzzles are stupidly easy and most of them consist of unlocking doors in specific order and finding switches to turn off laser barriers. This is done over and over again with very little regard to the player’s boredom with the same repetitive task.

The AI is incredibly predictable. At one point, you fight a couple of boss gorillas and the last one to beat had such a predictable pattern that I could have done it with my eyes closed. As long as I did the same thing, there was no variation in the way the gorilla moved or how it attacked.

So the level design is bad, the gameplay mechanics are bad, and the super powers are unused. But when it comes down to it, smashing things has a modicum of fun to it. Not enough to recommend it, but enough that it provides a few hours of mindless bashing.

•• Graphics ••
If you like a certain texture on a wall in this game, you’re in luck! You’ll be seeing that same texture over and over again. To go along with the repetitive gameplay, the graphics are horribly repetitive. There are maybe 2 dozen objects on each level which gives the levels a very static, boring feel. In addition, since there’s no variety, I found myself getting lost since I had no reference points for where I had been previously. Making the player get lost is not compelling gameplay. The same is true of the characters. You fight only a handful of them and very little time was spent giving them variety in visual appearance.

The cutscenes in the game are not horrible, but they aren’t good either. Lots of polygons clip into each other, the hair doesn’t look real and the lip sync is very stiff. Like the rest of the game, the cutscenes are mediocre.

•• Sound ••
The only good thing about the sound is the score, which was taken from the movie. But even that has very little variety as the music is not dynamic and doesn’t change whether you’re in battle or just walking around

The sure sign that this is a low-budget game is that none of the actors from the film are in the game. Obviously, they couldn’t afford Jessica Alba so they got some no-name actors who do a fair job of trying to sound like the actors. They do the job, but are completely forgettable.

•• Multiplayer ••
FF:RotSS feature 4 play co-op, but only on the same box. If I invited my friends over to play this game, I would soon be out of friends. There’s no Xbox Live play. Meh.

•• Achievements ••
Beat the game and upgrade your characters to the max is the extent of the achievements. Nothing terrible, but nothing exciting either.

•• Parents Should Know ••
This game is rated T for Teen and has some violence, but no blood. If you let them see the movie, they should be fine with the game.

•• Conclusion ••
Look up “Mediocre video game based on a tired franchise” in the dictionary and you’ll get this.


Recommended:
No

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