IGN Review of Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters
I've led you astray, IGN reader. Back in April, I played Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters from developer Griptonite Games and told you it was cool. Now, after playing the final version, I'm telling you it isn't. That's the difference between a preview and a review, I guess. At a glance, the simplistic nature of Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is charming, but in practice, it's extremely repetitive and boring.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a cartoon version of the movie universe, but it's not telling the movie's tale. Here, I played as Hal Jordan, the newest member of the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. The Guardians (little blue dudes) run the organization, and more than 3,000 Green Lanterns serve and protect. Rather than guns, Green Lanterns use power rings that create whatever the wearer imagines out of green light. However, before the Lanterns were out there, the Guardians used robots known as Manhunters. Then, the machines went nuts and got shelved. Now, they're back and looking to destroy the universe; Hal has to stop them.
The story plays out in still cartoon screens. No voices, just text. That's disappointing, but the gameplay is where I was really let down with Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. Like most Griptonite games, I took my hero from one side of the screen to the next and wailed on everything that got in my way, but in Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, there just isn't enough variety to keep the combat fresh.
I moved through levels, found robots, and shot them with the ring's power blast. I did that non-stop. Green Lantern can make anything he can imagine out of green light, but in this game, he has to unlock these abilities via a slow process. You have to scan items (missiles and such) in order to create them. Even though I was scanning objects early on, I still had to wait in order to use them until I unlocked the power they were used with. That's a bit silly.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is broken into different planets, on each of which you'll learn a new power. That's why I was unlocking objects I couldn't use yet. It's a Metroid-like carrot on a stick that encourages you to play again and again, but I was so bored I really didn't want to come back to old levels and try again.
I was earning experience points for each kill, but I found myself just dumping them into the ring blast as it was my most used attack. As the ring blast got more powerful and the enemies (who are the same red robots over and over again) kept falling faster and faster, I saw little need to branch out and try something different. The combat is unbalanced in a way that makes the green objects you create worthless.
When I told you I led you astray at the start of this review, I linked you to a Nintendo 3DS preview. It appears that the Wii version of the game is indeed a port of the 3DS one -- or vice versa. It's a bit weird as there are rocks in the foreground and some of the onscreen motions are clearly there to make use of the 3D. The graphics are a bit more muddled because of the transfer to a big screen. Still, the game doesn't look bad, although it is the same blocky but colorful look over and over again.