Fantastic 4 PS2 Review

We think the Fantastic 4 lack the instant appeal of other superheroes such as Spider-Man and Batman, whilst it has to be said that all superheroes are a little bit on the daft side, this foursome have abilities such as stretchy arms, invisible powers, brute strength and fireballs amongst them, therefore we think they are the epitome of daft. The recently released movie has spawned this rather enjoyable throwback to brawlers gone by.

We love a good old-fashioned brawler; it’s always great for letting off some steam and attacking the joypad instead of somebody else. With this being a superhero game you’d expect nothing less but such a brawler (Batman Begins is a stealthy exception) that allows you to unleash powerful superhero powers on anybody evil and stupid enough to stand in your way.

Mr Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, The Thing and The Human Torch are the powerful characters that make up the ridiculous fighting force that is the Fantastic Four. Fans will be pleased that you not only get to control one or two, you get to control the lot – with stupid powers and all.

Stretchy arms is Mr Fantastic’s forte, allowing better range compared to his team mates, whilst the Invisible Woman can unsurprisingly turn invisible at will. The Human Torch has all manner of flesh burning attacks, but our favourite is The Thing, as he happens to boast Hulk like super brute strength. The game doesn’t allow you to consistently abuse these powers, but thanks to a recharging special attack meter, they’re never far away from being on hand when duty calls. The truth of the matter is that most of the earlier enemies can be easily dispatched with a few combos, but let’s face it, a stripped down superhero just wouldn’t be as appealing.

You can switch between the characters on certain occasions throughout the game, and it’s often a necessity to complete tasks. Mr Fantastic is able to hack into computers for instance; although it’s often a needlessly frustrating deed with no easy solution in sight, leaving nothing but a little luck to get you out of these situations. The other mini tasks thankfully aren’t as difficult, requiring simple button mashing or stick rotation.

Despite starring four heroes, the game can only be played by up to two people. Whilst cooperative gaming is still great fun, the camera is a total bane on the experience and struggles to stay rooted to the action. The camera is rather bothersome whilst playing single player, but during multiplayer it’s definitely at its dizzying worst. This is undoubtedly our biggest complaint against the game, and does considerable damage to it as a result. That four-player desire quickly turns into dust after fighting with the camera.

Elsewhere the game is typical licensed material, which means you can unlock pleasing extras such as comic book covers and bios of the foursome, as well as interviews with Stan Lee and the cast from the movie. It’s thankfully not over reliant on these things like other licensed titles, but they are nice little bonuses nonetheless and the fans will no doubt be happy.

The Fantastic 4 avoids many pitfalls of the licensed title, but does suffer from being a tad shoddy thanks to some drab visuals and a horribly unwieldy camera. The latter is a serious flaw, which detracts from the entire playing experience and knocks a point off our overall score. In spite of our complaints, The Fantastic 4 is an enjoyable title that is best played with plenty of patience, and perhaps then you could live with the camera as a result.