The Incredibles

The Incredibles - Review PS2

Pixar Studios have produced many critically acclaimed films over the past few years, most notably the Toy Story Series and Finding Nemo. Each time a game based on one of Pixar's films has been released, they haven't really set the gaming world on fire. This time the Incredibles game is released simultaneously with its movie counterpart. The film has received great reviews from the critics, but I'm afraid the game won't, as the experience is very mediocre and only manages to take the player through the motions of the story while frustrating and boring them along the way.

The story of The Incredibles is based on a family of retired superheros. They are retired because some people they saved in the past decided to sue the superhero family, so due to the unpopularity after the law suits the Incredibles have settled down to a normal family life until a new bad guy comes on the scene which forces the superhero family to come out of retirement. So Mr Incredible and Mrs incredible, along with their two kids, Violet and Dash, squeeze into their suits once more.

I think the game follows the film fairly strictly and many scenes have been ripped out of the film and put straight into the game, but I can't really comment on this as I haven't actually seen the film. What I can say is that the games version of the story doesn't flow smoothly and it can jump around a little more than you would like. I'm sure it would benefit players of the game (and me) to see the film first before playing to get the full interpretation of the game and its story.

  The Incredibles - Review PS2
The Incredibles - Review PS2

The gameplay revolves around playing each of the four family members. Mr Incredible has huge strength so his levels feature lots of beat ‘em-up action. The only problem here is that the enemy AI is very poor, so the developers have decided to go for quantity rather than quality. You will be fighting against waves of bad guys and the end result is pretty repetitive and boring. Mrs Incredible has the ability to stretch her body, so her levels are generally puzzle based, the puzzles revolve around her ability to stretch and reach long distances. Unfortunately these levels are somewhat frustrating as the puzzles are not particularly well balanced or well designed. So you will find some of the puzzles difficult because of the poor design, rather than actually being challenging. This makes for frustrating game-play and you will very rarely succeed on your first attempt. Unfortunately, Violets missions are even worse than Mr and Mrs Incredible's levels. Violet has the ability to become invisible for a short amount of time. So the name of the game is to sneak up to a guard when invisible.

Unfortunately this doesn't work in practice; you will never know when the guard is going to notice you or not notice you. As Violet can only stay invisible for a very short amount of time it can be very difficult to suss out when a guard will or will not notice your approach. Dash probably has the best levels in the game. His special power enables him to move very quickly. So his levels will see you racing from point to point while dodging oncoming objects and some rail shooting missions will add some variety to the game-play. On a whole the game-play just isn't up to scratch, especially when you think that the developers had great characters and a story to start with, the only thing they had to do was build in some decent game-play that kept the player interested.

Fortunately the Incredibles has two redeeming features, the characters and the music. The characters look just like those in the movie and the animation is also very good. The environments are not bad either as they echo the cartoon visuals from the film. It is the graphics that will attract most people to this game as they really capture the visual style of the film and make the game look very authentic. The game doesn't perform that well technically as you will see some slow down when there is action on the screen. The camera is also not the best I have seen, you will find it will get stuck on the scenery and it can be slow moving at times, which can be a hindrance but nothing more.

The voice acting is pretty good, but the real actors don't lend their voices to the game, apart from the cut scenes which have been taken straight from the film. The replacement voice actors do a pretty good job albeit a limited one as there is very little conversation or voice work and when you do here the characters mutter something the same lines are used far too often. The sound track sounds like it has been lifted straight out of film and as a result it is very good. But I couldn't confirm this as I haven't seen the film yet. If the music hasn't come from the film they have certainly done made a great job with it.

The Incredibles features great characters, a really good musical score and the graphics are pretty good too, but apart from that the game really doesn't cut the mustard. The game-play is at best OK, but for the most part it is boring and frustrating. Kids who have seen the film will undoubtedly want to play the game, so you should consider buying a copy for the kids; otherwise you should just stick to the rental for a couple of days.

For the kids:

6.5 out of 10

For everyone else:

5.0 out of 10


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