Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters Xbox 360 Review

June 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Publisher – Warner Bros. Interactive – Developer – Double Helix Games – Genre – Action – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – 12+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3, Wii, DS

There was some good superhero games before it, although, when it was released in 2009, Batman: Arkham Asylum became the benchmark for many as far as quality goes. I know you shouldn’t really, but it’s quite difficult to not compare other superhero games to the triumph of the Caped Crusader’s brilliant action adventure. But I am going to hold myself back, and there will be no comparisons to Arkham Asylum in this review. Honest.

In fact, as you’ll find out below, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters actually has more in common with another game. Anyway, comparison aside, the game is a perfect accompaniment to the film, well at least in the sense that it has both the voice and likeness of Ryan Reynolds, the star of said film. The story takes place after the events of the film, with Hal Jordan (more excitingly, he’s also known as the Green Lantern) taking on the Manhunters, who are planning on stealing an artifact from the planet of Oa, the very place that the Lantern’s originate from. The Manhunters require more than a simple slap on the wrist.

Visually, the game isn't too bad at all. It looks nice enough and certainly has nothing shoddy about it.

So, what is the game that has inspired this superhero’s gaming release? Well, it’s not another superhero game, but rather one that stars an angry man that does nasty things to his enemies. Yes, I’m talking about the God of War series. I would be completely shocked to learn that developer Double Helix hadn’t taken inspiration from Sony’s series, but obviously without the liberal leaking of blood.

For combat, the game uses two buttons in which you are able to string sword and hammer combos together, while holding down a trigger followed by the press of a face button allows you to make use of Constructs. Any fans of the Green Lantern will already know that, thanks to a clever ring, he is able to physically create anything he can think of, well it’s obviously not possible for you to manifest objects from your own head in this game, but the Constructs do give you quite a variety, with a total of four that can be mapped to each trigger. You can throw planes at your foes, magic up bombs and more, simply with a few button presses.

The occasional puzzle does come as a welcome break to all that fighting, and whilst they’re pretty decent on the whole, they’re not puzzles to greatly tax the brain. In truth though, I wouldn’t have minded a few bigger puzzles to give my fighting fingers a rest. We’re not all superheroes, you know? There’s also a lack of variation in the enemies you’ll face, which is also a slight design error that made me want more pauses in the combat.

A handful of flight sections do add in some variation, but the problem is that they’re just not that great. When you are given a power in a game that isn’t possible in reality it should make you feel really special, well in Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters it doesn’t, it’s just sort of there – not awful by any means but it’s not exactly an action that makes the feeling of flight wonderful. EA’s Superman Returns got a number of things wrong, although flight definitely wasn’t one of them.

The Lanterns can be upgraded, with powered up abilities and new Constructs.

The game can be played cooperatively via local multiplayer. It’s easy enough without another player, although with another player it’s even more of a straightforward affair, in which seeing the Game Over screen will be near impossible for most. If one player dies, just as long as the other player stays alive, they’ll simply respawn after 10 seconds. It’s drop-in/drop-out and is certainly an enjoyable way to play the game, but, on the whole, it almost entirely removes the challenge.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a game that looks perfectly fine, plays decently and is a fun but flawed game. It’s a game that is best experienced with a rental or when the game has a significant price drop –it has too much repetition and too little replay value to recommend it as anything higher.