The Expendables 2 preview - Hands-on with the most obligatory movie tie-in ever

It was sort of shocking that there wasn't some sort of game attached to the machismo-leaking Expendables. This mistake isn't being repeated, as Ubisoft has announced a downloadable game to tie into the film's sequel. At San Diego Comic Con, the publisher had the game on display, and we took time to check out a small taste of the testosterone-packed title.

Four characters were available, allowing us to jump into the shoes Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, and Terry Cruise (or whatever their names are in the movie), each of which had his own weapons and abilities in the two-stick shooter. Dolf, for instance, started with a sniper rifle that made him better for players looking to pluck off foes from afar, whereas Jet Li's knife made him a melee mastermind.

Each character also had a unique melee takedown, which was activated after enough enemies had been killed, and access to grenades. Other instances called on different team members to preform specific tasks, creating some variety in the gameplay as we'd be asked to complete tasks beyond blowing up baddies. Sadly, while it was definitely action-packed, the level we played wasn't very exciting. We thought that a game that had us blowing up hundreds of enemies with rockets would be more interesting, but we were surprised just how uninteresting it was. The waves of identical enemies weren't visually interesting, and the lack of variety grew tiresome by the end of the level.

The voice acting was bothersome, too. Ubisoft opted to use sound-alikes instead of getting the actual actors for the movie, and while it's not a deal-breaker, it's a shame that the franchise, which is focused so completely on its stars, couldn't even get the actors to mutter some dialog for the game. If we're playing as Sly Stallone, we want to hear his slurring, signature voice! It's why we're here in the first place. 

There's still time before launch, and there are plenty of things that could save the Expendables 2 game before it comes out. There's a chance that the level in question was an early one, which would explain the basic enemies and lackluster set pieces, and being able to play as the rest of the cast would make our action movie dreams come true, but we're skeptical that this movie tie-in will rise above being... well, a movie tie-in, we guess.


Expendables 2


  • The_Ouroboros - July 16, 2012 3:02 p.m.

    I understand that you're phoning this one in, Cooper, but it's Terry 'Crews' and Dolph, not Dolf. However, on paper this could be one hell of a game, if even a modicum of effort is tied in to making each character as diverse as the actor who plays them. Actually, being able to flesh out the backstories of these characters would give them some much needed depth, as opposed to, "I recognize him, and him too!"
  • zombi3grim - July 15, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    I loved the first movie. I want to see the second movie. But I am REALLY apprehensive about this game. The Expendables equate to a great fun movie for only a few reasons. Mainly, the actors being all famous action stars. And crazy ass explosions and huge gunfights. Thats about it. Forget story. Forget intricate puzzles or cool item managment. Forget any towns or any sort of NPC interaction. Now, this being a downloadable title makes me feel a bit better. XBLA and PSN games are great for short bursts of explody fun. I just hope they embrace that and not try to turn it into some triple AAA blockbuster.
  • Mattdawarrior - July 15, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    Terry "Crews," sir.
  • metalgatesolid - July 14, 2012 4:39 a.m.

    No one was expecting a Batman or Toy Story style movie tie in. Surely the game is dumb fun or a film that will be dumber fun.
  • P0ck3tC1am - July 14, 2012 12:27 a.m.

    ...this looks just as ridiculous as the movie and I want it.
  • Redeater - July 13, 2012 6:36 p.m.

    AAAAH Jesus my fucking ears! Either this trailer is 50x louder than normal or the episode of Futurama I have on my other screen is really quiet.
  • Viron - July 16, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    probably both

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