We've often wondered what would happen if filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer, of such action classics as Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, and Armageddon, incorporated guinea pigs into his oeuvre. Disney's upcoming G-Force answers that question and goes one better by also answering the question of what kind of a video game would be the result. We just had the chance to try out two levels on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the upcoming game and check out its 3D mode.
If you haven't been keeping up with your Jerry Bruckheimer-produced guinea-pig action flicks, then here's a quick primer on G-Force. The movie and game revolve around the G-Force, a crack team of government-trained guinea pigs who are trying to save the world from evil billionaire Leonard Saber. The game casts you in the role of Darwin, leader of G-Force, and follows you on your mission to thwart Saber's mad plot to take over the world.
The demo on display at Disney's press event let us check out two areas, an office setting and what was essentially a racing level that put us in control of Darwin's "Rapid Deployment Vehicle," which looked suspiciously like a fully armed, rocket-propelled hamster ball. The office level let us get a handle on Darwin's moves and arsenal of weapons as he solved puzzles and faced off against a few waves of enemies. Tapping the right trigger will unleash Darwin's electro whip, whereas the right bumper engages your rocket-powered sprint. The left trigger will let you aim your equipped weapon or gadget, and the left button helps strafe. The top three buttons on each controller can be customized to equip any weapon or gadget. The A and X buttons will make Darwin jump or use his jetpack to hover. Although this is a respectable array of moves and abilities for an action rodent, you'll be able to find vending machines through which you can purchase new weapons and upgrades. We purchased an upgrade to his electro whip that let him charge it up and unleash a powered lashing.
We made our way through a vent system and wound up having to solve some puzzles that required the use of gadgets, our brain, and, most importantly, Mooch, the housefly who serves as Darwin's remote-controlled buddy. You'll be able to take control of the unassuming fly by pressing up on the D pad. Much like his guinea-pig partner, Mooch is decked out with technology and has access to special lasers and the ability to slow down time. The only limitation that he possesses is the need to be in a certain range of Darwin, which isn't too bad for a fly. The puzzles in the level showed off Darwin's need to take advantage of both the environment and his special scanner gadget, which transforms certain objects when he uses it on them. In the case of the office level, scanning a ceiling-mounted fire alarm enabled a vacuum that let him ride the wind current up to a higher level using his jetpack.
The second level saw Darwin blazing through a maintenance tunnel in his rocket-powered action ball. The trip required some skill because he needed to take out obstacles, enemies, and lasers that impeded his progress. Besides driving around and blasting foes, it was possible, and often necessary, to jump to alternate routes when certain unavoidable obstacles appeared.
The visuals on each platform were comparable. Darwin looked sharp, and the environments sported a clean look with a modest amount of detail that was in tune with the movie's art style. There were a good amount of special effects being thrown around during the action, and the game ran at a good clip. The 3D effect--which requires traditional red-and-blue glasses--was shown off for the first time and is a cool extra that varies from a subtle depth of field to more traditional in-your-face moments. It's a neat hat trick, unique to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game, and it gives the game a little extra flash.
Based on what we played, G-Force is looking better than expected for a movie tie-in game. The goofy premise and solid gameplay aren't a bad combination. If the action can be polished up some, G-Force looks like it could be solid addition to your movie tie-in game collection. G-Force is slated to ship this July on the DS, PC, PlayStation 2, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, and Wii.