King Kong - The Official Game of the Movie - Xbox360 review

3 out of 5
£50

For

Graphics, sound

Against

Short levels, even shorter game, chance to only play King Kong later in the game

No big blockbuster movie would be without its movie tie-in. Peter Jackson's latest movie - a remake of the 1933 classic King Kong is no exception. But can the game of the movie match the star quality in the film? We beat our chest to find out.

As with any movie tie-in the game follows the storyline of the film and follows the ambitious filmmaker, Carl Denham (played by Jack Black) as he drags his support staff to the remote regions of a fabled island, in hopes of scoring the perfect venue for his upcoming movie. Part of this staff includes an aspiring actress Ann Darrow (played by Naomi Watts) and writer Jack Driscoll (played by Adrien Brody).

While its understandable that any movie tie-in will want to keep to the script of the film, for us it makes Kong linear and rather dull.

Gameplay is based around the first person perspective for the most part, although FPS gamers will be surprised at the lack of head-up-display information. Health is monitored simply by your screen turning red when you're attacked, and bullet info by Jack, your character saying how many magazines or bullets you've got left every so often.

Where the game struggles however is in the short levels that require you to do certain things at certain times to continue. The levels don't allow for any free roaming at all and it's a case of paint by numbers killing monsters or solving simple puzzles along the way.

That storyline eventually will lead you to King Kong and it's only here that any fun can be had, albeit simplistically. The reason, well you get to play Kong himself, however this element, which is played in the third person perspective only makes up for about a quarter of the game and is over quicker than you know it.

Available on virtually every format including the PSP and Nintendo DS, we tested the game on Microsoft's new console, the Xbox360. The graphics are impressive. The first 10 minutes of the game for example is designed just for you to look around and enjoy the scenery. Additionally Jack Black's character Carl Denham looks just like him, Kong is equally big noisy and hairy and little elements like the ability to set fire to certain parts of the scenery all add to the appeal.

Likewise the sound is equally as good with Jack Black lending his voice talent to the game for the air of realism.

Verdict

Unfortunately the game just doesn't hold up for us. The levels are ridiculously short and the game even shorter. What doesn't help is that the levels are linear and you'll whiz through this game in a long afternoon or a short evening.

Even worse the game's monsters don't really offer any challenge or scare factor aside from coming at you in annoying numbers. For the Xbox360 version this would be forgivable if the price was reduced, however at £50 it comes across as rather expensive however you look at it.

There are some nice elements, and some good graphics but neither good enough to keep you entertained.

This is one for renting or sticking to watching at the cinema.