Ben 10: Alien Force
|a game by||1st Playable Productions|
|Editor Rating:||4/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.6/10 - 7 votes|
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|See also:||Movie-based Games, Alien Games, Action Adventure Games, Ben 10 Series|
If you look at all the Cartoon Network properties of the late noughties’ era, Ben 10 is by far the most transferable to a video game format. Thanks to the characters ability to shapeshift into monsters and approach combat in various ways, it allows for so much scope for cartoon brawling bliss. So, it was hardly a surprise that a developer finally decided to cash in on this opportunity and provide a game that aimed to capture the attention of Ben 10 fans around the globe. This game would go by the same name as the animated series, Ben 10: Alien Force.
This game plays rather like other licenced cartoon beat-em-up meets platformers like SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom or Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time. The game promises a new story in the Ben 10 universe, tantalising combat, fun platforming and all-out action. However, does it deliver the goods? We find out in our review of Ben 10: Alien Force.
Shameless Cash Grab
With games like this, it can take a while before you can establish if the developers actually cared about the game they were making. However, with this game, you can right from the offset that this game was lazily thrown together. The narrative that ties the game events together is bland and uneventful, the pre-rendered cut scenes are embarrassing even for the era in which this game was produced and the gameplay does nothing to help carry the player through proceedings.
While this game had all the potential to provide varied combat mechanics based on Ben’s various monster forms, it offers a very bare-bones set of tools for the job. You’ll have access to five forms in total, each with their own special moves. However, for a game that relies so heavily on this gimmick, it doesn’t handle it all too well. The fighting is repetitive and almost broken at times. Hit detection is seemingly random after a while, you begin to get frustrated with combat altogether. Good thing the game offers you lots of it with very little else.
Linear and Lifeless
The level design is perhaps the worst aspect of this title besides the mediocre visuals. The levels consist of flatlands where you will fight hordes of enemies, then do some stilted platforming, then rinse and repeat before eventually getting to the end of the stage. Then what makes this even worse is the use of invisible walls to lock you in place Streets of Rage style. You have to slog through every battle in order until the bitter end just to move forward and eventually, you start resenting the developers for blocking your path to the finish and the sweet relief that would bring. The assets used for each level do nothing to make this feel like a Ben 10 game in the slightest. The backdrops are generic, the textures of the models and scenery are laughable and then when you combine that with the piss poor sound quality and royalty-free background music and what you’re left with is a final product that reeks of neglect, lethargy and a lack of passion for the job at hand.
Other notable issues include that the co-op option uses the same character model, meaning you and your buddy will easily lose track of who you are controlling. Plus, the limited number of puzzles included in the game are so poorly implemented and simple that one has to question why they even added in the first place.
Overall, Ben 10: Alien Force does a stellar job of tarnishing the name of a well-respected cartoon series. The gameplay is dull, frustrating and repetitive, the visuals and sound are primitive, even for the year of release. The story, while technically new and fresh, doesn’t benefit from this approach and as a whole. This is just a regrettable game that could have been so much better in the hands of a developer who cared. It’s disappointing but then, most licensed games are.
- The five monster forms add some nuance to the combat initially
- Platforming is decent at times
- Bland, linear and lifeless levels
- Combat is repetitive and mandatory to progress
- The narrative offers nothing to fans of the series
Download Ben 10: Alien Force
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP