by Justin Snyder
reviewed on WII
Dull, repetitive enemies and controller issues (cntd.)
For defeating the ice and fire trolls, and each boss, there were short Quick Time Event sequences, consisting mostly of flicking the Wii remote. Problem is, after each flick of the remote, the game freezes for about half a second, then Thor does whatever it is he’s supposed to do. The pause is just long enough to be a noticeable annoyance. In two instances, despite flicking the Wii remote in the proper direction, the game didn’t read it and I ended up failing the QTE. One of those actually cost me a boss battle, because the health lost due to failing was huge.
Outside of the QTEs, I often found Thor using a power other than the one I was calling for. It was never a problem to cast Lighting Storm, which requires a downward flick, but at least half the time I tried to use Cyclone (left), Thor cast Charged Hammer (right). The opposite happened a few times when I was trying to cast Charged Hammer, but nowhere near as much. Adding to the annoyances here is the ever-annoying camera. More often than not, the angle was too low for me to really see what was going on. I often found myself getting hit from enemies I didn’t know were there, because Thor was between the camera and the enemy.
Lastly, the Wii comes with its own, unique flight-based levels that involve directing Thor around obstacles and pointing the Wii remote at the screen to shoot lightning at enemies and incoming projectiles. I quickly realized that these levels could simply be cleared by moving around the edges of the screen in a circle and just spamming the A button to fire at whatever I saw. Ultimately, they were just monotonous and boring.
As is to be expected, there are a couple different kinds of collectibles in the game: cards that unlock concept art, videos, costumes, etc., as well as runes that can be equipped to bolster Thor’s abilities. Reaching certain points in the story mode unlocks arenas in the game’s challenge mode. I played a few, but in a game with such frustrating factors of combat, I don’t see much reason to play them, nor did I find anything new or special about them. Beating the game rewards the player with a final rune slot (there are four in total), and a new costume for Thor, as well as unlocking the hardest difficulty.
Graphically, the game is far from amazing. Admittedly, this is the Wii version, but even with those limitations, the game just looked very dated. Some environments looked better than others, and the boss battle with Surtur looked particularly good, but overall it was nothing spectacular. On a few occasions, usually as the camera swept over something in a cutscene, I could see some texture pop-in. However, instead of having active 3D cutscenes, as you’d see on Xbox 360 or PS3, Red Fly Studios created comic book-style stills that were voiced over. They looked pretty good and showed some ingenuity in the face of the Wii’s hardware limitations. The game also included voice acting from Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Jamie Alexander as Thor, Loki, and Sif, respectively, but it didn’t seem to have much impact. The voice work wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t stellar, either.
Typical licensed title
Thor: God of Thunder comes close to being a competent action game. But, the short development time that comes with most licensed titles means there are some glitches that haven’t been ironed out. On top of those glitches, you’ll run into a terribly short play time, a lack of replay value, a too-simple combo system, a confusing camera, controller issues, and a lack of variety in enemy types. When I look at Thor: God of Thunder, I see a game that wanted to be as good as God of War, but that fell far too short of the finish line.
Creative application of comic book-style art to overcome Wii’s hardware limitations
Incredibly short, uninspired level design, graphical glitches, boring combat system