by Howard, reviewed on
Hard to miss with this title
There have been many action games in the past and many of them certainly have been first-rate games. If my opinion were worth anything I would have to say that there are three elements that are needed in order to have a smash hit. Number one is an absorbing story or plot. When a game acts like a rudderless ship floundering helplessly between success and failure it will generally find itself sunk to the very bottom of the bargain bin. Number two is the need for deep and developed characters. Number three includes good graphics, sound and a well thought-out control interface. If you get all of these elements in order, you could have the makings of a game of the year.
That is not to say that Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer -will- be a game of the year candidate. Fantastic Four is a fully developed team of super hero characters that have been with us for decades in comic books and on television. There has also been a major motion picture that made its relatively successful debut a couple of years ago. With all of that history to draw on, you have to believe that this new game will have all of the necessary elements available to be a winner. Throw in some snazzy graphics, lively sounds and some good programming and it -should- be a can't miss situation. However, we all know what can happen when game companies scramble to maximize their profits by trying to cash in on a popular movie. Hopefully that will not happen here. Since the game is slated for release on the same day as the movie of the identical name, perhaps this would indicate that some thought was put into this title. That release date by the way is June 15, 2007.
Yes, we do have a very popular team of super heroes and we have history, but will a game that will be released for all of the major game consoles including Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and 2 and Nintendo's Wii and DS machines cut it when it comes time to man (or woman) the game pads? I think it will. The publisher Take-Two Interactive and developer Visual Concepts have years of experience with action adventures such as this. I have a hard time believing that they would let themselves become involved in an enterprise solely to gain monetary rewards.
The good old cast
Lets take a look at what we might expect to see in this new third-person action adventure. The Fantastic Four obviously has 4 main characters on their superhero team and you will be required to control them all, although, luckily, not at the same time. The game can be played with a single character and the AI will control the characters that you aren't using. However, this game shines when you can get 3 of your friends to play in the cooperative mode. This is where this one truly stands out from the rest of the pack.