Fantastic 4 review

If the game of the film of the comic book is anything to go by, the Fantastic 4 really aren't that fantastic. They're just OK.

Reed Richards (or 'stretchy man') is good at punching, Ben Grimm (or 'the big one with dried-on cornflakes for skin') is even better at punching and can also pick up large objects.

Susan Storm (or 'the sexy one who can go invisible') can use telekinesis to throw people about and, naturally, is quite decent at punching. Then there's Johnny Storm (or 'fire man'). He can chuck fireballs and fly about a bit. Oh, and he's a bit ace at punching. All four do a lot of punching.

Fighting makes up a large percentage of the game, which is understandable, because there's a lot of evil that needs thumping.

The combat system (if you can call it a 'system') is rudimentary at best, offering two main attacks, some basic combos and a slew of impressive-looking special moves. At least it works, unlike the abysmal Batman Begins.

The special moves are fun to watch and include stretchy man's spinning fists and Johnny Storm's flame dash. They're a bit simple though.

The fighting gets much more interesting when you're in control of The Thing, and if you've seen the film, you'll have seen him tossing cars about.

Well, brilliantly, you can do this in the game, too. You can also lift motorbikes, parking meters and pretty much whatever else you can get your hands on.

It's a shame most of the levels are so tiresome and ill-thought out, though. The first level, for example (before the guys get their powers) is utterly awful. You're floating around a crumbling space station pushing buttons and avoiding comets.

A game should grab you by the balls from the offset and hurl you headfirst into the action. But no. You're forced to perform meandering busywork.

And it looks like arse, too. The characters are juddering, slot-mouthed trolls, the environments are smeared with low-res, pixellated textures and cars look like something a stupid child would make with cardboard.

In its favour, the game makers have included a level-up system that lets you upgrade each of the four characters' special moves and unlock new ones. This gives proceedings at least a little depth, but it's no Final Fantasy.

Crashing around with a fully-levelled-up Thing is quite entertaining, and you do get the impression of being a non-stop mayhem machine. Which is nice.

But as a whole, Fantastic 4 is a disappointment. It feels rushed, broken and not worth the asking price. If you've seen the film and you fancy taking the 4 for a whirl, rent it or borrow it. Fans, well, you might consider buying it, but only at a stretch.

More Info

Jul 15 2005 - Xbox, GameCube, PS2, PC (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox, GameCube, PS1, GBA, PS2, PC
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Seven Studios, Beenox


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