Johnny Blaze – heâ€™s a bit angst ridden and has a flaming skull for a head. Not your average superhero, thatâ€™s for sure, but heâ€™s not the lamest. That award goes to Batman, who has absolutely no super powers at all – his camp yellow utility belt and ability to look rather dashing in lycra donâ€™t count. Letâ€™s not even get started on Robin.
If youâ€™ve played God of War then youâ€™ve pretty much played this game already. Blazeâ€™s special move list is near identical to that of Kratos, right down to the grizzly death moves on stunned opponents. Heâ€™s also a dab hand at spinning his flaming chain around like some Catherine Wheel of Doom. New moves can be purchased on the fly with souls gathered, which helps keep things fresh, as does the way each stage completed is ranked depending on how aggressively you fight. Tip: use the shotgun a lot.
The motorbike sections break up the hacking and slashing well, although they are fairly easy – which is mostly down to the huge neon signs that indicate when to jump over gaps or slide under obstacles. Like Road Rash, Blaze can chain rival riders and also fire off projectiles. The handling is pretty solid – which is expected given that developers Climax are best known for their racing games – and itâ€™s topped off with some amusing rag-doll physics when Blaze takes a turn for the worst.
The first few opening levels are set in Hell, but even once you get back on the surface levels are generally rather dull in colour. We werenâ€™t expecting gaudy hues, but a bit of variety wouldnâ€™t have gone amiss. The lack of diversity extends to the enemy roster – in the first hour of play you only encounter four enemy types, and one of those is a boss who quickly re-appears as a standard foe.
As movie tie-ins go though this is a cut above most, and with making of documentaries and unlockable comic books, fans of the oft-forgotten Marvel menace are well looked after too.