Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie is one of the more anticipated games from Ubisoft, representing a new level of collaboration between filmmakers and game developers. The collaboration is said to create a game experience that reflects the look, feel and key sequences of the King Kong film. Will the collaboration mean a better game or will it mean the end of all game innovations?
Before I get started there are minor story points in the game that do not mirror the film exactly. These creative decisions were made in conjunction with the filmmaker in order to make a more enjoyable video game. There is also additional content exclusive to the game - new creatures, environments and more developed by the filmmaker.
In King Kong you take the part of Jack Driscoll in a first person view and sometimes King Kong in a third person view. You must make your way through the jungles of Skull Island and battle beasts like V-Rex, Raptors, island natives, millipedes and more along the way. You will get to use an array of weapons like a pistol, rifle, sniper gun, spears and a few others.
Gameplay in King Kong moves along at a good pace with beasts appearing along the way. Beasts become harder as you make your way through the game, but they do become repetitive. If the beasts are in one spot one time and you come through again they will be there again. The game is very structured and linear. You cannot go outside the storyline.
Controls work well, but the aiming for the game leaves a little to be desired. I didnï¿½t understand why they didnï¿½t turn on the crosshair for aiming as a default. I got tired of just aiming, throwing spears and shooting blindly. After I turned on the crosshairs it was a huge help and made the game much easier, sometimes too easy. The gun’s aim was good and the spears had to be aimed a little higher to allow for the drop in speed as they traveled. Walking and turning with duel analog sticks worked well for the most part.
The sound effects and soundtrack for King Kong worked well with music building as someone came close or a fight was starting soon. The soundtrack was nothing to write home about but was well done. King Kong’s roar and the sound effects for all the beasts sounded good. When Kong got mad and roared it would shake the room if you had the volume turned up. Weapons sounded realistic as well as the sound of the grass as you ran through. Voice-overs were done by the movie counterparts and sounded very good.
Graphical King Kong did not disappoint and the best part of the game was the climactic battles between Kong and other beasts. The way Kong moves and swings from place to place is so smooth it almost looks real. The backgrounds look realistic with grass and water that moves as you walk through it. The beasts move fast with no choppiness or break up no matter how close they get to you. The most realistic looking thing in the game is the fire. It looks like it would burn you if you would reach out to touch it.
King Kong was one of the shortest games I have played in some time. If a person played a lot of games with duel analog sticks they could beat the game in less time you could go and see the movie (The movie is 3 hrs 20 min long). In the end not even great graphical output could save this game. You can go back and play each level again to open other special features like an alternative ending, interviews with Peter Jackson, Art and more but it does not add any value to the game or gameplay. Do yourself a favor and go see the movie instead.
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