Monday, 31 December 2012

Rise of the Guardians - Review (Xbox 360)

Rise of the Guardians is the latest animated film from DreamWorks. It tells the tale of four legendary guardians and their battle to keep evil away from the children of the world. It just so happens that those guardians are North (aka Father Christmas), BunnyMund (aka the Easter Bunny), Tooth (the Tooth Fairy) and the Sandman. Joined by the reluctant Jack Frost they set off to defeat Pitch (the Boogeyman) and his nightmares before they engulf the world in fear.

Now, I will be honest, when I first slapped this into Xbox I was expecting the usual movie licence game for kids. Some form of platform based collect-a-thon, which the majority of kid's film tie-ins end up as. Instead, what you get is a isometric action RPG more like Diablo III or Torchlight for kids.

You can play as any of the guardians in single player and move between characters by a quick press of the d-pad. Each Guardian has their own set of combat powers and special moves. These moves can be upgraded  via a simple levelling up system. This gives players a chance improve their stats and attacks, although kept to a simple level.

The game sees the player travel across the five different realms of the guardians. Each realm has its own very unique visual style and feel. Although the missions across each of the realms can feel repetitive. Lots of go here, fight that and collect this quests. Enemies appear and immediately charge the player, which only adds to the repetitiveness. Constantly hammering away at the attack button and earning achievements and trophies for actions you do not feel quite in control of.

Having said all that, kids really enjoy the game and the simplicity of it all is great for kids trying their first Action RPG. It is  brave move from the developer to stay away from the tried and tested movie licence formula. The addition of the four player co-op is also a great addition. This is a great game for the kids and where else can you kick evils bum as Father Christmas.

Verdict: 7 out of 10

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