The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian
As someone that appreciates the kind of cooking that The Rock brings to the table, I was hopeful that the new game from Universal Interactive, starring The Rock, would let me deal out a little whoopass. The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian presents itself as an original story inspired by the blockbuster film, the Scorpion King, but I was hard pressed to find anything about this game that was original or inspiring and believe me, I looked.
I invested four days of my life playing this game and while there were infrequent moments where I actually felt like I had accomplished something, the majority of the time I found myself repeating, over and over again, the same scene. Enter a room, enemies march at you and you just hack until they stop. It was like one of those unending feverish dreams that you have when you're sick. Each new level brought wave after wave of the same enemies, except for the occasional extra tall guard or extremely fat guy. Sure, eventually you work your way up to snakes or skeletons, but there is really not much variation. The only real challenge was trying to determine the trick for beating the boss creatures. There were times I so much did not want to ever have to play a certain level again that I would actually backtrack 3 or 4 levels just to get back to a save point. Suffice it to say, that there is little replay value for all but the most masochistic amongst us.
The graphics were okay, but really lacked the detail that we have come to expect from the PS2. The character models were uninspired but acceptable, but what was really unpalatable was the camera positioning. Often if I ran out of a room and turned sharply, the camera would get stuck in the room. I could hear Rock taking a beating outside but I was left staring at a wall.
The bottom line is that this is just another attempt to milk a couple of extra bucks out an established license based on a movie. My advice to action fans is to save your money.
Download The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian
It can scarcely be said that Universal Interactive has not produce many fine titles, fit for the most discerning gamer. However, before my sarcasm gets the better of me, I should elaborate on the few merits and many, many flaws of their new title, The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian.
I will begin with its merits. There aren't any. Well' unless you're a connoisseur of informative manual design, but I suspect that the booklet was good only by virtue of the lack of complexity in the game itself. Some of the level designs are attractive, but are defeated by a poor camera system.
The Scorpion King is possessed of many flaws, not the least of which is it's content, which seeks to expand on the title character's history. Starting his training as an Akkadian assassin, the Rock (Oops! I meant the Scorpion King) embarks on the adventure that will one day lead to a feature film. Using a combat system which relies on a normal attack, heavy attack, and special attack, the game promises wicked powerful combos, and a great variety of fighting weapons, but each of the battles ultimately comes down to hammering on an attack button until the enemy drops, and then disappears, finally defeated. So senseless is the design of the gameplay that in order to advance, you must simply defeat every opponent in your current 'section' of the game, thus unlocking the door to the next area. No further thought needed.
In closing, I can say that this title is actually two games in one. First, I'm amazed that they could take a franchise like The Scorpion King, and make a movie game that sucks this badly. Second, I'm amazed at how good of a wrestling game this is! After all, when the Scorpion King (or is it The Rock?) smacks an opponent down or does that cheesy wrestling kick, you know you've got quality!