The order in which superhero games have been released on the current crop of consoles reads like the hierarchy of whoâ€™s who in the world of mutants and super-humans. Games based on Superman, Spider-man, Batman, Iron Man, Hulk and the X-Men have already been ousted and weâ€™re now onto the B-listers it would seem with Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America games upon us. Wannabe caped crusaders shouldnâ€™t worry – there are plenty of B-list superheroes to get through until we get to the dregs like Aquaman, Captain Britain, Popeye and Johnny Fartpants.
The Green Lantern must be a comic book writerâ€™s dream character to write for – anything Hal Jordan can think of he can manifest from a magic ring. As you fight your way through legions of robotic rivals the Green Lantern lets loose a barrage of swords, giant fists, maces, hammers and buzz saws in a seamless fashion. Eight different constructs (read: weapons) can also be unlocked as you level up, each serving a slightly different purpose. The baseball bat can send projectiles back to whereon they came while mines can be dropped and also thrown to destroy walls and such. This goes a long way to stopping the game being a simple button basher – during most battles you need to change weapons two or three times according to what enemies youâ€™re facing.
This ties in with the fact that the Green Lanternâ€™s greatest achievement is that it doesnâ€™t treat the player like an idiot. The puzzles are a lot more sophisticated than the usual block-pushing variety that tends to appear in movie licenses and the bosses are tough to beat but never unfairly so.
Although the storyline is far from complex itâ€™s nicely paced and voice acting impresses. Unlike most movie tie-ins thereâ€™s no sign that the game has been rushed out either – it feels polished and is surprisingly accomplished, especially during the rather epic God of War-style boss battles and QTE events.
Flight sections – which make up three of the ten levels on offer – take inspiration from Panzer Dragoon with the ability to lock onto foes and release a bombardment of missiles. These levels are short but entertaining and are easily a graphical highlight with detailed scenery whizzing past at a frantic rate. The rest of the game looks good too, although because the camera is pulled back quite far Hal does look a bit on the diminutive side. I suppose though this does fit in with the fact that heâ€™s just a regular human in a fancy green suit.
Developers Double Helix clearly have a lot of love for the source material – theyâ€™ve produced a product thatâ€™s consistently good, occasionally even great, and is a clear cut above most movie tie-ins. How good? Good enough to make us think that the Green Lantern is a pretty decent superhero after all. And thatâ€™s with taking in consideration that his enemies are known as the manhunters.
I apologize ahead of time because you make it remarkably apparent that you’ve not read any Green Lantern story arcs. Where as I like review for what it is (that being a game review) you talk of Green Lantern as if he’s a sideline superhero. Which if you been aware of the last 50 years of comic book history you’d know different. Especially in the last few years Green Lantern has had the biggest story arc in comic book history. There’s a lot you don’t know and I’d appreciate if your going to review something to do some basic research.
I have to agree with Ricky. In the beginning of the article you called Thor, Captain America, and the Green Lantern “B-List superheroes. That is far from accurate. I believe you should at least pick up a comic or two before you go writing an article about a game based on comic books. Research is one of the cornerstones of quality writing, and it appears that you have not done any.
Green Lantern and co. are DC’s top selling books. He’s no b-lister.
I agree with the other comments and quite frankly, I’m embarrassed for you. You not only failed to research your comic books, you failed with your video game and movie history too, missing the fact that Popeye has already been done as both a movie and a video game.
Wow. Green Lantern, Captain America and Thor…. You realize Green Lantern is DC’s top selling comic, right? Captain America is the top selling comic for Marvel as well; and Thor just started a new comic that went into a second printing because it sold out… Great review though!
I can’t even comment on the amount of rage this article could and would have produced if I wasn’t to hung over to worry about it.
Glad you enjoyed the review. The “Aquaman, Popeye and Johnny Fartpants” sentence was intended to be a joke, by the way.
I am a gamer, not a comic book reader. This is why the review reads like it does.
Also, you guys have to take into account that we’re a UK-based site. The comic book market is still in it’s infancy over here; most towns don’t even have a single comic book store. It’s not as if we’re able to pop down down to the newsagents and pick up a copy of The Sun and a new Spider-man comic book.
It was my understanding that the Green Lantern movie is intended for people such as myself who are merely “casual superhero fans” – i.e. to introduce a new audience to the character. This is why this review was written from a newcomer’s perspective. The only knowledge of the character I’ve had is from the cut-scenes in Mortal Kombat vs DC. Hope you’ll appriciate my honesty there.
I would be interested in hearing what you would be consider to be B-list for future reference.
Interesting comments. The difference of opinion, I think, comes down to whether you consider Green Lantern as a comic book, or as a comic book character in the wider entertainment landscape.
Matt, in his review, refers to “B-list superheroes” – not B-list comic books. In that sense, I don’t think you can argue that, to the general public, Green Lantern is in the same league as, say, Batman or Spider-Man.
From what the comic fans have said, clearly as a comic book Green Lantern is very much A-list.
So everyone’s right!
My issue with your review is not the manner in which you addressed Green Lantern the comic character (although I agree with the others, I understand a person specializing in video games need not be an expert in comic books to review the game). My issue is with the game itself.
This game took me about 12 hours to beat, and about 5 of that was spent trying to beat the ridiculously difficult final boss. You say the variety of constructs keeps this from being a button masher, which is only true as a technicality; the fact that you occasionally need to create a mine or bat only means this game is a buttonS masher (plural). The flying levels are laughable, I beat one of them by continuously rolling to one side, back to the other, and only occasionally firing any projectiles.
The enemies rarely pose any serious threat, and it is only when you get to the boss battles that there is any kind of danger of failure. The bosses themselves were only slightly more difficult, until you get to the Zamaron Queen. THAT battle took me about 40 attempts, many of which were spent getting my health bar arbitrarily cut in half by an unblockable attack. The final boss, even on medium difficulty, is nearly impossible to beat without ultimate precision. I spent one attempt being bounced from spectral hand to spectral hand without control, or hope of breaking the sequence of events. Blocking, jumping, attacking, dodging, nothing worked. Just wham, wham, wham, dead.
The only thing this game has going for it is that it doesn’t make you work too hard to unlock the additional constructs (which should be easy, as the ring is supposed to be limited only by the user’s imagination). It is fun for a few minutes after you realize you can slash through an entire group of enemies with a whirling mace, but when you’re pretty much able to bull your way through a 15 enemy battle with one repeated attack, it loses it’s shine pretty quickly.
I was desperate to find anything good in this game, as I am a life-long fan of Green Lantern. This game left me sorely disappointed.
Well, I started the game off on the hardest difficulty and gave up about half way (the large stone Zamaron statue) and had to drop it down to medium. After that I didn’t really struggle; the last boss took me four or five goes. The one before probably the same amount.
You can’t always spam attacks like you said. The mines blow up if they get near you, some enemies can corrupt your ring, other enemies fly on hover boards and a few can’t be grabbed. The syphoners will suck your power away too. And on hard mode the enemies do pose a threat – if you don’t evade some of their attacks you can loose quater of a health bar.
Like I said in the review, it’s a good game. Not brilliant, or perfect, but good.
While I agree that Cap and Thor are A-list, Green Lantern isn’t really there yet. Sure, his book sells well and he’s probably the most prominent superhero in DC comics right now, but ask your average joe about Superman and you’ll get a complete origin. Ask them about Green Lantern and they MAY know about the ring.
When the Thor film was released last month a few of my friends didn’t know who Thor was.
Living in the UK and all, I doubt they know who Captain Crunch is either.
Green Lantern seems pretty C-list to me… Outside of the USA I doubt anyone really knows much about him or knows much about DC comics at all, aside from Bat Boy and Super Dude.
Wow. Since when are Cap, Thor, and Green Lantern B-listers? You might consider my favorite comic book hero of all time (Allen Scott – THE ORIGINAL GREEN LANTERN) a B-lister. But Hal Jordan a B-lister? Uh, hello. Blackest Night? Brightest Day? The Sinestro Corp War? And the Corp’s rings work on a technological premise, not magic. Only Alan Scott’s ring works by magic. And he’s only a Green Lantern by name. Perhaps a little more research next time you you are speaking of a comic book character? (Especially one so beloved.)Although I do apperciate your review. Safe to say I will be going out and buying this game ASAP.
Just because you have a lot of love for the Green Lantern and have been reading Green Lantern comic books for years doesn’t make him an A-list.
Outside the world of comic book fans, he is still largely unknown. The film, ergo the game, has been released in order to make him appeal to a larger audience and gain a bigger fanbase. I think you’re unable to see this because you’re already a fan.
Maybe by the end of the summer if the movie proves popular then he will be better known and possibly be classed as A-list. Until then, he is far from being a “household” name like Superman or Batman. The same applies for Thor.
It seems to me that Marvel and DC reintroduce a superhero via a movie and new cartoon series, milk them for a few years, and then move onto the next one once their popularity wanes. They’ve done the mainstream characters, now they’re moving onto the more obscure ones.
I’m a bit of a comics geek, and I’d definitely say GL is a B Lister. Maybe the comic gets great sales, but he’s nowhere near the public consciousness. Also: he’s shit.
In fact, in a moment of realisation I’ve just realised that 99% of comics are shit. Apart from Gotham Central.
Actually GL got a movie because his popularity is skyrocketing and he’s starting to move up there to be as recognizable as spidey or batman. And you said living in the UK it’s not like you can just pop down to the newsagents and pick up a new comic, thats exactly what I can do and I live in Ireland, so surely it’d be the same there. Nice review of the game though.
Bolphunga the Unrelenting is bad like this review, you know less than Green Lanterns. Goto Mogo!
John – they really don’t sell Green Lantern comics (or many comics at all) in any UK newsagents as far as I’m aware. (I’m from Ireland originally, and you do get more US imports and such over there.)
Oh, in Hong Kong Green Lantern is called Green Light Guy. I don’t think anyone knows who he is there.
The local Tesco has both Transformers and Spiderman comics. One has a free frisbee with it, the other a plastic gun with some targets to shoot.
Matt – what you said about the free frisbee has really struck a chord with me. What is the relationshop between said comic characters and throwing a small circular piece of plastic? I’m probably so irate because I’ve never really been able to throw a frisbee properly. I’d always look on in envy in the park as the other kids happily and accurately tossed one around to each other, knowing that if I were to step up and have a go I’d almost certainly decapitate a nearby toddler.
Things didn’t improve for me in secondary school. People were always sure to keep a good distance behind me during discus, not knowing which direction that lethal disc may fly out of my hand.
The point of my rant is that I have absolutely no idea who this Green Lantern character is and I blame it entirely on these sort of ill thought out gifts that adorn the covers of such comics in the UK. To that end, I have absolutely no idea why I’m posting on this particular article and would like to assure everybody that from this point onward I consider the whole matter closed.
Main problem is that everyone is happy to start classifying characters according to a grading system without addressing what that actually means and without explaining the process of distinguishing them among grades.
The difference between the comics you’ll find in UK supermarkets and the ones the majority of people are referencing here is that in the UK you have to hunt down a proper comic book shop because supermarkets and most newsagents will only typically sell the young reader lines – alongside a free luminous frisbee or whatever.
Also, Alan Moore wrote some of the best Captain Britain stories. You know why Alan more is, right? He’s part of that virtually non-existent British comic book industry, you see, the one with comic book shops, fans, writers, artists et cetera.
Research. It’ll keep the internets at bay.
All this talk of research is amusing. So playing dozens of third person hack and slashers over the years doesn’t account for anything when reviewing a third person hack and slasher? Who cares who stars in it – it’s a videogame and we’re a game site.
Also, Matt, it’s a game based on a film – which in turn is based on a comic book. And you made no comment on comic books, yet still you are pulled up on it. Curious place, the internet.
Dave – yours is my favourite comment so far. Four completely unrelated paragraphs. I’m genuinely not sure what point you were trying to make. Loving your work.
As an aside, Matt, I think it’s a disgrace that you didn’t shoehorn in a mention of ‘Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place’, which as far as I’m concerned remains Ryan Reynolds’ finest work. Honestly, do some fucking research man.
I’m more disgraced, Jake, that you haven’t stood up for Aquaman. I thought you loved that guy?
I’m disappointed at the lack of Van Wilder references.
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