After the mediocre The Legend of Kora and the nice but too short Transformers: Devastation, Activision and Platinum Games continue their collaboration with a third game. This time, we find the quartet of Ninja Turtles to accompany the release of the film on our screens this summer. A license rarely used accurately in video games, with a few exceptions like Turtles in Time on Super Nintendo. With such a talented Japanese studio, we could expect an excellent title. Alas, the disappointment is as high as our hopes.
Four for all and all for one
A weak point of the studio’s previous productions, we cannot say that Platinum Games sought to create a very original scenario. We therefore find our four ninja turtles, Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo, facing a whole gallery of villains known to fans, from Schredder to Krang via Rocksteady. In short, nothing transcendent, but it will lead the player to a 9-level structurewith 1 boss as the conclusion of each of them.
And this is one of the main faults of this game. This structure gives the very bad impression of playing an average PS2 game in HD, with an unsurprising and very classic progression. The basis of the genre at the gameplay level is there since Platinum Games takes up the codes of beat them all, of which he became the main representative. However, the title disappoints on this point with a dodge/counter system that is far too shaky to be effective. This time, we don’t slow down time like Bayonetta or Transformers, but rather a dodge which allows you to slip behind the enemy and occupy him for a few seconds while your brothers follow him with blows. The problem is that with 4 fighters displayed on the screen, the action quickly becomes confusing and Platinum Games failed to make the fights fluid.
With 4 fighters on screen, the action quickly becomes confusing
From Transformers and its few RPG mechanics, Mutants in Manhattan keep an evolution of special techniques that we can use to quickly overcome our enemies. You will therefore have to collect the most experience points to be able to purchase new techniques or level them up, in order to make them more powerful with shorter recharge times. Unfortunately, this cooldown is terribly long at first, and you get bored hammering the medium and heavy hit buttons. We still appreciate the ability to instantly switch from one turtle to anothereven if this does not solve the visibility problem of the game. It is also possible to equip yourself with charms, which increase your characteristics (for example + 10% in health), and various healing or attack objects.
A reference… things not to do in a video game
Despite gameplay that remains decent, the game is deadly boring after the first level. We find ourselves constantly repeating the same objectives: find a group of enemies before defeating them, defuse the bombs, defend a pizza truck, etc. And don’t expect to find memorable fights thanks to the bosses. The latter are just pointless bags of life points, the only goal being to empty their 7 life bars to beat them. No QTE and no staging effort in order to give a semblance of soul to these games.
Like the recent Transformers, Platinum Games had the good idea to go on a cel-shaded graphic rendering, closer to comics or cartoons than films. If the whole remains pleasant to the eye, the title suffers from its lack of details. The settings, rather open, are too empty and do not compensate for the poverty of the level design. Especially since, as we said earlier, no effort is made on the staging. Nothing varies the action just to breathe rhythm into the adventure, like the chase phases in Transformers. We just chain the levels, beat the bosses, with total boredom since the game never takes off.
The game is deadly boring after the first level
It’s almost a relief to see the end credits appear, after only 4 hours of play, maximum. Platinum Games has accustomed us to short games, and it is even rather logical for the genre, but this time we are breaking records given that these 3 to 4 hours of play are very repetitive and sorely lack rhythm. Fans will still be happy to be able to play as their turtles in a game playable in 4-player cooperation, only online (we regret the lack of local cooperation), but boredom risks replacing the pleasure of playing after the first quarter of an hour with the turtles.Most :
- The ability to change turtles instantly
- Presence of a multi online
- Confused action
- Flavorless level design
- Almost total absence of staging
- “Life point bag” bosses
- Only 3 to 4 hours of play to see the end of it
- No multi local, no pizza evenings
What a disappointment this new installment of the Ninja Turtles is! With Platinum Games at the helm, we could have expected an excellent title that would have made a name for itself, especially since beat ’em alls have been rather rare in recent months. But with a development time that is much too short, we end up with messy combat, a structure of 9 levels which gives a miserable lifespan, not to mention the repetitiveness, and a staging coupled with a level design worthy of an average PS2 game. With this kind of adaptation, we prefer that the turtles no longer come out of the sewers…