Xbox 360 Review of G-Force by Disney
It is a rare thing these days for a popular kid's movie to be released without an accompanying video game appearing simultaneously, and unfortunately it is an even rarer thing for these games to stray above average in quality, despite their domination of sales figures. Thankfully in this case, Disney Interactive have bucked the this trend and produced a fast paced and exciting 3D platform game which will keep young fans of the film delighted, and appeal to older gamers with its intuitive controls and satisfying gameplay.
In G-Force you play as Darwin, leader of a crack team of guinea pigs assembled by the U.S. Government. When an evil billionaire (superbly voice acted by Bill Nighy) attempts to take over the world by turning household appliances into diabolical killing machines, its left to you and your trusty sidekick bluebottle 'mooch' to put an end to the madness and save mankind. Battling your way through underground facilities you'll come face to face with twisted toasters, cruel computers and sadistic sandwich makers all of who must be overcome by utilising a variety of weapons and gadgets.
Apart from the opening level, gameplay takes place almost entirely within the aforementioned underground facilities, offices and research laboratories. There is the occasional jaunt in a hi-tech hamster ball, but this does little to break up the general monotony of tiled floors and locked doors that you'll be scurrying over and through as you play the game. Players who take time to explore this environment are rewarded with gold and silver data disks, which can be used at vending machines to purchase new weapons and upgrade existing ones. Without this mechanic I doubt there would be much desire for exploration.
Combat on the other hand is far from dull. Darwin comes packing some serious heat and all the weapons, from plasma guns to homing missiles, are easy and fun to use. This, coupled with the imaginatively designed enemies, many of whom can only be defeated in specific ways, gives a fun and frenetic feel to combat. I mean who wouldn't want to incinerate a load of toasters with a flamethrower if given the chance?
In the games quieter moments you'll have to overcome a variety of environmental puzzles. These range from simple 'get the key to open the door' tasks right up to extended sections which see you controlling your flying pal mooch in order to zip through vents, avoid spinning fan blades and shut down security cameras. The puzzles involving flying are by far the most enjoyable and luckily you'll be using mooch a lot to reach areas and hit switches that Darwin can't. On the whole the puzzles are a pleasant variety to combat and although they shouldn't prove too challenging they are still a satisfying part of the game.
Visually G-Force is nothing special. Box rooms with grey and beige walls don't exactly push the Xbox 360 to its graphical limits and the menu screens and interfaces are more functional than fantastic. Having said that, the development team has taken extra care to ensure that Darwin himself looks good and he is particularly well animated. Nice graphical touches, such as the lens flare that appears when he uses his jetpack, add a nicety which is sadly missing from most of the game. The same can be said for the sound effects and music. The music trundles along exactly as to be expected and weapons make all the right noises but are devoid of any real sparkle. Where the sound really shines is in the quality if the voice acting. Darwin is in constant communication with the rest of his team and each character is superbly voiced. It's just a shame about the cheesy dialogue which is full of bad puns and unlikely to appeal to anyone over the age of 12.
Luckily this is precisely the audience that the game will receive. The vast quantity of people buying this game will be young fans of the film and for them G-Force will provide an exciting and often challenging experience in its 7-8 hours. Older gamers I imagine will get their kicks elsewhere, which is a shame as they would be missing out on G-Force's fluid control system and simple but fun combat. Not an essential purchase by any means but good evidence that movie tie-ins needn't be mundane affairs.
6.5 out of 10
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