More Reviews
REVIEWS Firefall Review
Repetitive gameplay makes this fall a little boring.

The Walking Dead: Season Two Review
At this point, you’re not coming back for the zombies. Let’s get down to business.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Preview
Put up some movie glasses, because Geometry Wars is entering the third dimension.
Release Dates
Release date: 09/09/14

Release date: 09/23/14

Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star
Release date: 09/23/14

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

LATEST FEATURES And I Was All "Hell Yeah I'll Play a New Dreamcast Game"
I just played a Dreamcast game that was released in... wait, 2014?

A Comprehensive Guide to Dealing with Controversy in the Video Game Industry
Need help wading through the latest misogyny/homophobia/racism/corruption debate in the gaming industry? Paul Tamburro’s here to help!
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP samsmith614 Since game design is a business, I decided to see what's really selling well for the PS4. I did this search a week ago, and at the time, out of the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon 10 had not even been released yet. By now some have been released. But others still have not. And yet others...

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Review

Chris_Andrien By:
GENRE Action / Adventure 
PUBLISHER Take-Two Interactive 
DEVELOPER Visual Concepts 
T Contains Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

With great power comes... mediocre gaming.

Call me a nerd, but I like comic books, I like movies, and I like video games. [Editor's note: Nerd!] The thing of it is that it seems like the three are naturally intertwined and should, therefore, be compatible for crossovers. In fact, I’ve seen good movies based on comic books (X-Men, Spiderman); I’ve played good video games based on comic books (X-Men Legends I &II and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance); hell, I’ve even read a good comic book based on a bad movie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Origin).

click to enlargeWhat I don’t understand is why no one has been able to make a good video game … based on a movie … that’s based on a comic book. The question is: Does Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer go where no video game (based on a movie … based on a comic book) has gone before?

Well, the good news is that FF: ROTSS isn’t just based on the movie (and you’ll notice I didn’t mention the insipid FF movies amongst the well adapted), you actually fight the whole gamut of Fantastic Four villains (the Skrull, the Terrax, etc.) and not just the Surfer and Doc Doom. This is particularly beneficial if you are more of a fan of the comic and not the movies, since with the ability to unlock different costumes, you could just think of it as a Fantastic Four game and forget the godawful movies.

However, the bad news is that while you do fight a diverse group of enemies the fighting itself is anything but diverse. In fact, it’s repetitive and (quickly) becomes boring. Regardless of the enemy, expect a lot of walking around, smashing, taking of elevators to the next floor, more walking around, and more smashing and more … well, you get the picture.

In terms of mechanics, the game plays like X-Men Legends, only from a third-person rather than top down perspective. In other words, the game looks good and seems like it SHOULD be fun (again, how hard is it?), but it feels like you’ve done this before and with a better game to boot. You control one of the Fantastic Four (for those of you who don’t know, choosing between Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Girl, The Thing, or The Human Torch) at a time and can switch back and forth between characters on the fly.

click to enlargeOf course, you have the requisite red and green bars indicating your health and energy levels, which you can replenish by smashing the objects conveniently left around whatever fortress you’re infiltrating. (Note to self: When you finally achieve your lifelong dream of becoming a full-fledged super villain - try NOT to leave barrels of energy and health orbs lying around the hideout for the benefit of the heroes attempting to thwart my maniacal plans. That is all.)

The problem here is that despite the FF’s vastly different powers each character plays remarkably the same. Sure, The Thing smashes things and the Torch shoots flames, Sue wields force fields, and Reed … well, stretches, but really they all primarily fight hand-to-hand style. Except for the specific parts of the game where you have to use a particular character’s skill set to solve a “puzzle” (like Sue Storm using her force fields to move an object) I didn’t feel any great desire to switch around the team members, because they just weren’t that different.

Also, while the X-Men Legends games were fun a few years ago, the model is beginning to show its age, and here you don’t have the wide range of characters to choose from like you did in last year’s Ultimate Alliance (a game I actually thought did a good job of providing a unique experience related to each different character). This lack of character diversity really hurts the gameplay. I mean, who wants to play Reed Richards running around boxing people? That’s like playing Wolverine and having him outthinking folks and solving puzzles. And – worse yet – there’s no sense of teamwork, a staple of the FF I knew and loved.

click to enlargeThen there’s the problem of the energy bar and its relation to your use of super powers. I’ve read a lot of Fantastic Four comics and, for instance, The Human Torch could “Flame On!” and fly from the moment he was bombarded with Gama Rays while trying to beat those darned commies in space, but not so in the game: sustained flight is something you earn. The problem with this is the FF aren’t mutants that had to harness their powers so why should I have to fly in spurts, stretch briefly, etc. until my energy (quickly) wears off? This was mildly annoying in the X-Men Legends and Ultimate Alliance games but is a real spoiler in this game. Frankly, I don’t want to have to level The Thing up for clobbering time to ensue.

The Wii version is similar on most fronts, except it’s played from a more top down perspective (making it look a lot like the X-Men legends games) with (obviously) inferior graphics to the Xbox 360 and PS3. They try to make up for this by using the motion control system, which creates the interesting paradox of a motion control button masher! Just keep waggling. Really, with the Wii controller and nunchuck the game becomes even more tedious.

In the end, I find myself still waiting for the good video game based on a movie … based on a comic book, kind of like I’m still waiting for a good Fantastic Four movie. The good news is yet another chance lies just around the corner. Come on, Iron Man!
C- Revolution report card
  • Looks pretty good
  • Comic & movie appeal
  • Been here, done this
  • Repetative. You do the same thing a lot. Redundant.
  • Boring
  • The Fantastic Four movies stink!

More from the Game Revolution Network

comments powered by Disqus


More information about Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

More On GameRevolution