Pixar's latest smash hit feature film The Incredibles is a beautifully crafted slice of superhero adventure with a dark sense of humour and, well, incredible CG animation. Heavy ron's inevitable movie-to-game conversion is a decent stab at capturing the spirit of the movie, but is strictly by-the-numbers gaming fare with little to engage PC owners who don't rely on pocket money or mum winning at bingo to fund purchases.
The Incredibles is a third-person action game set in new locations not featured in the film, across 18 colourful levels ranging from cityscapes to tropical islands. Each member of the Incredible family has the basic range of punches, jumps and dashes, but also unique special moves, such as Mr Incredible's gravity-defying Incredi-Jump and the young Violet Parr's invisibility. The moves are simple to pick up and within minutes you'll be throwing enemies around by their heels, pulling off impressive punch/kick combos and smashing up the mostly destructible environment.
However, gameplay is soon stretched as thin as Mrs Incredible's arms after you've tired of the new character moves and primary school-level puzzles, that include untaxing challenges such as overcoming laser traps by destroying conveniently placed power supplies. The Incredibles is a polished movie tie-in certainly, with quality cut-scenes, snazzy 1960s spy music and voice acting from the likes of Samuel L Jackson (without his trademark motherf*ing language), however this is strictly for the kids. If you want your heroes super, we recommend more mature gamers should plump for the excellent MMORPG City of Heroes instead.
Download The Incredibles
On the Silver Screen:
Pixar's Finding Nemo follow-up busts out in a much darker direction, focusing on a family of superheroes who must balance their will to do good against a desire to remain anonymous while fitting into normal society. Expect the usual spark of Pixar humor, but also some killer fights--enough to warrant a shocking PG rating. Gasp!
On Your TV:
The game expands upon the events of the film, serving up a cavalcade of platforming levels heavy on the variety. You'll take control of the entire family: Mr. Incredible, a somewhat out-of-shape Superman wannabe; Elastigirl, his superstretchy wife; ultraspeedy son Buddy; and daughter Violet, a moody teen who creates impenetrable force fields.
While The Incredibles is making a huge impact at the box office, its now time for the video game equivalent to follow suit and why not? Other recent video games made from movies such as Spiderman-2 have broken the stereotype and delivered high quality games, becoming quite popular. Unfortunately, The Incredibles does follow the stereotype and really relies on success of the movie as its strongest feature. Although there are numerous movie to video game attempts that have turned out much worse, The Incredibles really misses the mark specifically dealing with the gameplay but holds it own otherwise.
The Incredibles plot closely follows the movie and successfully captures the essence of it. The cutscenes bring out a strong humor element for instance while the audio and video offer a close resemblance to the actual movie. Even the super powers of all the family members are utilized well with each member being controlled on different levels.
Where the problems begin is in the gameplay. My biggest issue here is the controls, as they generally feel clumsy or awkward. It's most noticeable when fighting groups of enemies as often you find that after a punch is thrown or whatever you're out of position for the next attack. Also the gameplay is extremely safe and follows the platform genre basics without deviating enough. In other words the same few gameplay elements are repeated throughout the game and by the end, its difficult to get through.
It would have been nice to have stronger gameplay elements but the graphics and audio help to save The Incredibles from an unpleasant experience. If you can't get enough of the movie, this would be a good way to continue the experience, but otherwise a rental will probably suffice.
The Incredibles, like most movie knock-offs, is an easily forgettable cut-and-past action game that does little to change the genre or entice you to play it.
The game loosely follows the plot of the Pixar movie, starting with you as Mr. Incredible, pre-family and pre-lawsuit. The game progresses through the plot throwing bad guy after bad guy at you and systematically switching who you are controlling. But for the most part there's nothing really interesting here.
You have super strength as Mr. Incredible, you have ice as Frozone and so on and so forth. The game's milling bad guys only have a chance of beating you with sheer numbers, because rocket scientists they ain't. I found the most annoying elements of the game were the bad guys you couldn't just run up to and blast away at until they dropped. Instead of making these trickier bad guys smarter they just made them tougher. So, for instance, to beat the buzzsaw robots, you have to patiently wait until they stop sawing and then run up to them and pop them a few times. This requires neither skill nor timing. In fact the only thing it does require is patience, something I don't have a lot of for games that waste my time with blast characters, generic bad guys and gameplay that is humdrum at best. To top it off, this collection of the mundane actually requires you to memorize codes instead of bothering to do built in saves. How obnoxious is that?
In a holiday season chock-full of top of the line winners, this game should have been embarrassed to even rear its ugly head. Give it a pass and tell at least two friends to do the same, if you don't want them hating you come December.
Snapshots and Media
- Ariel - The Little Mermaid
- Chester Cheetah
- Crystal's Pony Tale
- Jungle Book
- Lego Worlds
- The Lion King
- Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends
- Toon Car: The Great Race
- Twisted Metal: Small Brawl
- Finding Nemo
- Over the Hedge
- Shrek 2
- Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown
- Shrek Super Party
- Animaniacs Ten Pin Alley
- Clockwork Knight
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Ice Age
- Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
- Madagascar: Operation Penguin
- Pen Pen TriIcelon
- Surf's Up
- Taz Wanted
- Under the Skin