The order in which superhero games have been released on the current crop of consoles reads like the hierarchy of who’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 we’re now onto the B-listers it would seem with Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America games upon us. Wannabe caped crusaders shouldn’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 writer’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 you’re facing.
This ties in with the fact that the Green Lantern’s greatest achievement is that it doesn’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 it’s nicely paced and voice acting impresses. Unlike most movie tie-ins there’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 he’s just a regular human in a fancy green suit.
Developers Double Helix clearly have a lot of love for the source material – they’ve produced a product that’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 that’s with taking in consideration that his enemies are known as the manhunters.