Review | Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

In brightest day, in blackest night

No evil shall escape my sight

Let those who worship evil’s might

Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light

I’m sorry, but I just had to. The Green Lantern film was pretty mediocre to say the least, so what can we expect from the game tie-in? Not too much, but it gets the job done.

I’m not going to lie, ever since I got off the Green Lantern roller coaster in Six Flags: Great Adventure, I’ve been kind of obsessed with the whole concept of superheroes bearing an all powerful ring that lets them craft whatever they please. I was a fan of the Green Lanterns before, but it wasn’t until just recently where I’ve seen myself transform into a fanboy. That being said, I was disappointed with the film, but still wanted something to make me feel as if I had these powers. Of course, playing around with a toy power ring wasn’t gonna do the trick, so I picked up the movie-licensed video game. That being said, one can only expect the worst from a game based on a mediocre movie, but it actually gets the job done pretty well.

The Story

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters doesn’t follow the plotline of the film, but instead transverses into a unique plot full of twists and turns, minus any true memorable moments. The plot is there, but there aren’t any true moments that will leave a player in awe. The boss battles are overused through different designs and the cutscenes aren’t too shabby themselves. If you’re looking for a deep plot with unique concepts that tie-in to the familiar Green Lantern universe, don’t set your expectations too high. It is almost completely predictable, and I even managed to guess the “twist” of the game midway through.

Despite the lackluster plot, the game’s story mode does bring a unique surprise, to me at least – some pretty darn good voice acting. Ryan Reynolds lends his voice and likeness to the game, proving to be one of the best voice actors in the game. The voices behind Sinestro and Kilowog are also pretty good themselves. For the most part, the voice cast behind the game managed to provide for some pretty decent lines throughout.

Players can play the story mode in one of three difficulties – Poozer, Emerald Warrior and Emeral Knight (Easy, Medium and Hard). For the most part, the game doesn’t get much harder after Emeral Warrior. I managed to run through the game in about seven to eight hours on Emerald Knight, with minor troubles on only two bosses. The game is composed of ten different missions set across various locations, and pits you against numerous waves of enemies. At the end of each mission, you are put against a boss, in which most of the time, they end up being a big disappointment. There are some memorable boss battles such as against the Zamaronian Defender and Amon Sur, but the rest are recycled and dry. There are also sections of the game that are literally on-rails shooters as you fly throughout the location you are in. While it feels like a cluttered mess, it definitely eases away from the usual formula set behind the other missions. The game is in full support of local co-op, allowing a friend to drop in and play as Sinestro. The game is definitely a lot more fun when playing with a friend, but to my own disappointment, the game does not support online co-op. So have another control ready for a friend if you want to play through the course of the game in co-op.

Gameplay

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters plays out like your usual hack ‘n’ slash game. If you are a fan of games like God of War or Dante’s Inferno, you’ll feel more than comfortable here. The gameplay is practically identical to the aforementioned games – the face buttons provide light and heavy attacks and the shoulder buttons make for special attacks, which in this game’s case are hard light constructs. This is where the game shines. While the formula is tired and used plenty, Green Lantern bring in several different constructs that all have different effects in game. Some of these constructs include a hammer, a Jet plane and a turret gun. Need to hit a pressure switch? Use your hammer. Need to send a projectile back? Use your baseball bat. You will most likely find yourself using each and every one of your constructs as you unlock them. They are a blast to use, and are a sight to see. The game also packs a leveling up system, with a level cap of ten. As you level up, you unlock more ring upgrades and hard light constructs to use.

Despite the fun that is to be had with the gameplay, I did manage to find a few issues that are minor flaws but should not have gone overlooked. The first of these is the lack of a lock on system. One of the first hard light constructs you unlock is your Ring Blaster. Be prepare for numerous nuisance instances to which you wind up shooting into the air due to the lack of a proper lock on system for this and many other constructs, such as the turret gun. My other gripe with the game is the lack of camera control. The camera can go quite bonkers on occasion - namely during boss battles – and without the ability to control it, it can get quite annoying.

The game can also get quite repetitive. While I did have fun, I could only play the game for so long. After long hours of play time, I had to give it a break – not out of eye strain or finger cramps – but of playing the same thing for too long. Even Hal himself played with his words to realize we are doing the same thing. Their is a serious lack of enemy variety, and at times you feel like you’ve completed the same objective at least three other times before that. There are some puzzle sections and other different sections to try and change it up, but they usually are heavily flawed and for the easy minded. The fact that environments are mostly rehashes doesn’t help the cause either. It’s actually a good thing the game isn’t too long, as it would have only dragged on worse for itself.

Aesthetics

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters doesn’t look so great. If you’re expecting something high end, look elsewhere. At quick glance, the cutscenes look pretty nice. The environments are all practically the same throughout each different mission, with three areas spanning these missions. The character animations aren’t too fluid, and details are very scarce. There were even some moments where I noticed Hal speaking, and his lips weren’t even moving. This isn’t one of the best looking games, and surely isn’t the best looking movie-licensed game, but the vibrant colors might take your mind off of that. The vibrant pinks and green sure do look nice, but unfortunately what the colors are painted on, don’t.

The game also comes packaged with anaglyphic 3D glasses, so you don’t need a special TV to play this in 3D. However, the effects are hardly noticeable and it only makes the game even uglier by making it a lot darker and murkier. With the glasses on, Hal almost looks like a Black Lantern rather than a Green Lantern. And all of Hal’s structures appear to be composed of Yellow Fear Energy rather than Green Will Energy. The simple gimmick isn’t worth ruining what already isn’t a great looking game.

Closing Comments

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is no award winner, but it surely is one of the better movie-licensed games. A good movie-licensed game isn’t something one comes across often, so to see this come through is a feat. With some fun gameplay, good voice acting and an “okay” story that will cover the game, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is definitely worth a rent. If you’re a fan of the ring bearing hero, pick it up. If you’re looking for an excuse to wield some badass hard light constructs, rent it. If you’re a Trophy or Cheevo whore, definitely rent it.

The Good

  • Damn good voice acting
  • Co-op makes the game even more fun
  • Numerous hard light constructs, and a nice leveling up system add to the exciting gameplay

The Bad

  • Lackluster story
  • No online co-op
  • Repetitive gameplay, lack of enemy and boss variety
  • Simple, redundant graphics

7.5/10