Clash of the Titans (the movie) hit theaters last Friday, immediately raked in tens of millions of dollars and claimed the No. 1 box-office spot for the weekend. In a rare twist, however, the movie tie-in game is nowhere to be seen. In fact, the only new evidence of its existence in the wake of the movie’s release is a slightly underwhelming trailer, which quietly dropped today.
Some might incorrectly see this as a sign that the game is in trouble, or that it’s a lame afterthought meant to rekindle interest in the movie before it hits DVD. We, however, see it as one of several signs that the game might actually be worth paying attention to. Shrug it off all you like, but the Clash of the Titans game has the potential to be something really interesting, and here’s why:
1. It won’t coincide with the movie’s release
If Clash has anything going in its favor, it’s this. One of most frequently cited reasons for movie tie-ins being shit is that they’re rushed out the door to coincide with the release of their films. However, while the movie’s in theaters now (and aggressively sucking, if Metacritic is any indication) the Clash game won’t see the light until its European release in late May – and even after that, it won’t make it to the US until July.
Obviously, showing up late to the party doesn’t automatically mean quality – just look at Superman Returns, which stank up consoles five months after its film counterpart had hit theaters. But we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the game’s late arrival (which is sure to hurt its sales) is a sign the developers are being given plenty of time to hammer out any potential awfulness.
2. It’s being developed by Game Republic
All too frequently, when a publisher wants someone else to create a movie-licensed game for them, they turn to some sketchy, unproven operation, or to a workhorse developer like Traveller’s Tales. What they don’t do is go to a studio like Game Republic, known mainly for producing colorful, quirky games like Folklore, the Genji series and the upcoming Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom.
Game Republic has been responsible for at least one major hack-and-slash disaster – Genji: Days of the Blade was a rushed, boring disappointment – but the rest of its output has at least been consistently interesting, if not always stellar. If nothing else, Game Republic’s involvement seems like a guarantee that Clash of the Titans won’t be just another paint-by-numbers movie tie-in.
3. All it really needs to do is rip off God of War
Nobody’s ever tried to hide that God of War borrows heavily from Clash of the Titans. Hell, it even had the 1981 movie’s star, Harry Hamlin, reprise his role as Perseus in God of War II. So if anything, a Clash of the Titans game that apes God of War’s fluid slash ‘em-up gameplay formula wouldn’t just be fair – it’d be goddamned poetic justice. In fact, if it doesn’t, we’ll be very surprised. Maybe even a little disappointed.
Above: At least some of the sense of scale seems to be there.
As of this writing, we haven’t actually seen enough of the game to know whether Clash’s gameplay will be at all similar to GoW’s brutal monster-stomping. But the trailer features a few elements that should be familiar to God of War fans, like slithering, snake-bodied Gorgons and other big, stupid-looking monsters. So that seems promising, even if it pretty clearly lacks anything approaching God of War III’s visual flair.
Above: Example – if this were a God of War screen, that thing's arterial spray and severed limbs would be absolutely everywhere
Of course, like everything else on this list, just lifting God of War’s formula doesn’t automatically make a game awesome – Dante’s Inferno proved as much. But if you combine that with Game Republic’s proven hack-and-slash record (the first Genji was actually pretty fun) and the amount of time Clash is being given to percolate, it has a pretty even chance of being more than a half-baked cash-in. Maybe even being, you know, good. We’ll know for sure when our UK counterparts get their hands on it next month.
Apr 6, 2010