PS3 Review – Clash of the Titans: the Videogame
Movie games have had a long history of being mediocre. Clash of the Titans has recently released on DVD and Blu-ray so of course there needs to be a videogame to go along with the movie. Will this game be one of the shining few that breaks the stereotype, or will it occupy another spot at the bottom of the bin? Well your about to find out, because I’m going to release the Kraken on this game!
The game follows the storyline of the movie closely, but takes a few liberties with the plot. You play as Perseus, a humble guy who lives in a quiet fishing village. Then Hades shows up and kills your mother, father, sister, and all your fisherman friends. You set out for revenge and find yourself in the nearby city of Argos. I assume it’s nearby, because after one loading screen Perseus magically appears at the city gates. There he meets King Kepheus and Queen Cassiopeia. Queen Cassiopeia has a little too much wine that night and says she’s better than the gods. At this point, Hades drops by to show them who’s boss. Hades kills the queen and tells the king that he must sacrifice his daughter or his town will be destroyed by the mighty Kraken. Personally, I thought it would have been easier to just kill the princess, but Perseus decides to set out to kill the Kraken. Along the way you will meet new people, make enemies, and all the usual hero stuff.
The problem with the story is that it suffers from poor dialogue, and an uninteresting plot. The game has a bad habit of making huge reveals about a character and then nobody reacts to the news. Seriously, one of the characters who is fighting the Gods turns out to be the son of Zeus and nobody says a thing about it. Throughout the game, you will find the characters lack of emotion to be rather jarring. This is especially true when the game continuously fails to introduce new characters properly. At this one point in the game, Perseus is having a conversation with King Kepheus when this woman walks up and starts talking to Perseus and telling him what to do. It isn’t until the next time we talk, in the next chapter, that the woman actually introduces herself. The rest of the time, the characters carry out conversations like they are thoughtless robots.
The story is also slowed down by a repetitive mission structure. At various times through the game, you will have to “prove yourself” to various groups of people. You need to complete 5 missions to prove yourself to the people of Argos, before they will help you kill the Kraken. You need to do 3 missions to prove yourself to Stygian Witches, before they will tell you how to kill the Kraken. You get the idea. The game is padded with missions like these that serve nothing but to unnecessarily lengthen the game.
Luckily, the combat is decent. You only have one main weapon. It gets upgraded as you progress in the game, in the form of new swords, but the upgrades really don’t make much of a difference. The combos you can perform with your main weapon are extremely basic. You can get through the entire game by just mashing square. In my case, I would jump in the air and then mash square for an air combo. All the combat variety comes from the side weapons. Four weapons are mapped to the d-pad and you can activate them for a one time hit. There are axes, swords, melee attacks, health recharges, and more. There are around 80 weapons. You can experiment with different weapons to use but a lot of them function exactly the same. Each time you use a special weapon, you use up some mana. You accumulate mana every time you hit an enemy, and you can also execute a special move to extract mana from an enemy. You acquire these special weapons by doing a God of War style QTE on enemies after you smack them around a few times. However, you are not required to push a specific button. A circle appears on screen and starts shrinking. Hit any of the face buttons before it gets to the middle to execute the QTE.
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the missions are repetitive. Well, the enemies are the same way. Be prepared to fight a lot of skeletons. The game does introduce new enemies with each level like centaurs, goat men, worms, and ghosts. Fighting these enemies is only fun once, and having to fight the same group of enemies for five missions in each area can get very tedious. Most of the time when I was given a mission, I would just run past the enemies until I got to the end of the level and found the one special enemy I was suppose to kill.
The level design is uninspired and at certain points seems downright lazy. Every mission is accepted in a circular type room. Whether its the Argos palace, a grassy field, or a patch a sand, these areas are almost identical. They feature the friendly NPC’s standing around and maybe a couple dozen crates for atmosphere. Everyone knows ancient Greece was overrun with crates. After you accept a mission from an NPC, you walk to the exit and a loading screen pops up. When it’s done, you are magically teleported to the level where you need to complete the mission. After the mission is done, you get a “Quest Completed” screen and are teleported back to your mission room. The level itself is broken up into smaller sections for no apparent reason. You will be walking along when all of a sudden, the game will fade out and you will be teleported about ten feet in front of you. It really breaks up the flow of the missions. The game is also plagued by tons of invisible walls. The levels are basically smooth corridors that occasionally break up into an arena. It is very noticeable and it makes you feel completely disconnected from the game.
For a lot of missions you can have an NPC companion to assist you. They are somewhat helpful, but you do have to heal them a lot. They have a bad habit of just standing there while enemies hit them in the face. You don’t have to worry about leaving your NPC friends behind. If you get too far ahead, they magically appear behind you. If you want to share the tedium with a friend, you can have a second player control the support character.
Now, we come to the boss fights. The boss fights were not planned well in this game, and there are a ton of them. The most glaring problem with boss fights are the QTE’s. The timing on the QTE’s are wildly inconsistent. Some are incredibly slow, while others happen so fast that they are impossible to react to. Every boss is dealt with by just hacking at it and maybe dodging every once in a while. There is one boss that requires a couple specific side weapons to be used at a very specific times. If you don’t use those weapons, then you can’t beat the boss. Then, after you defeat this boss, the next bosses have you going back to just mindless hacking and slashing. Random inconsistencies like this only make the game more frustrating.
Clash of the Titans is a game that you should avoid at all costs. Fighting enemies becomes such a chore that you just want to avoid them all together. The side weapons you get in the beginning can carry you throughout the entire game, so there is no incentive to do repetitive take down QTE’s. The wild inconsistencies in the game will frustrate and confuse you. Every boss fight is a waste of time and will try your patience. In short, this game has 2 hours of content stretched over 12 hours of gameplay.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Extremely Poor Dialogue