Thor: God of Thunder

4.0 Overall Score

Written by on July 6, 2011 in

Since comic book and video game fans were children they have wanted to play as their favorite superheroes. This game isn’t what those children imagined. While I did get the opportunity to play as Thor in this game I identified more with the world weary Odin, watching his son, full of naivette and anger try to navigate his way through the world. Maybe this is due to the fact that I’m a father myself? You want the world for your children. You want for them to reach the potential you see in them and explore every opportunity. Yet sometimes they can’t help to repeat the same mistakes made in the past. Sometimes they reach for the sky and fall. Sometimes they don’t even try. Thor is a game that had the opportunity to do wonderous things, yet doesn’t try, instead rehashing mistakes from games past.

I had high hopes when I opened the game and inserted the disc for the first time. Visions of walking through glorious Asgard and exploring the nine worlds in awe at the sights before me. I pictured myself fighting valiantly against frost giants, sending my hammer Mjolnir into the wolf Fenris, staving off Ragnarok and saving my fellow warriors. Given what I’ve read from writer Matt Fraction, who penned the story for the game and currently writes The Mighty Thor comic I should expect all these things. This isn’t the game I ended up playing though. Instead i played a game mired in mediocrity.

The one remotely bright spot in this game are the visuals. The rainbow bridge and several other areas have some interesting effects that I haven’t seen elsewhere and the visuals, aside from Nefelhelm, the ice world, are fairly interesting to wade through. At least things look pretty. The level design and overall AI was a different story. I was dissapointed that Asgard seemed to consist of maybe five people and a handful of guards. Other games like Lord of the Rings, while not being the best game in itself, made you feel like you were in the middle of a massive battle due to others fighting in the background. Instead, we see a handful of guards defending what is supposed to be a major attack on Asgard to start the game.

Upon playing the game I found the controls and hit animations  sluggish, and while it is fun to call down lighting and throw your hammer into your enemies, having those enemies either not react at all, or shrug the blows off easily weakens the fun. The boss fights are frustrating and repetative and consist of hitting an enemy enough to activate the ability to jump on them and destroy part of their armor. You then rinse and repeat until they are vanquished. In the three worlds i had time to play I must have used these same fight mechanics at least ten times. Well, make that thirty because the game is saddled with an archaic save system. While playing you come across save points you can activate with your hammer. These are few and far between and while the game does auto save, it’s usually three frustrating battles and thirty minutes back. The voice acting is sub par even though it’s being delivered by actors from the movie. Thor should not seem bored in the midst of battle.

One of the biggest flaws in the game are the extras. Games like Ultimate Alliance raised the bar for extras in comic book video games by including in game pick ups to unlock historic comics, multiple costumes, and more. In Thor you have the ability to change your lightning color and unlock a total of four costumes, two of which you start with. Once again, the game doesn’t live up to its potential.

So in the comics Thor eventually grows up a bit and fulfills his potential and becomes a leader of The Shining City of Asgard, sadly this game failed to follow that example. Instead we’re left to play the same sub par movie tie in that comes out every single time a new movie is releases. The studios make their money off the customers who walk by it in the stores after seeing it in the theaters and reach into their wallets and buy the game. They imagine it’s like the movie and comic. They imagine it’s something different that all the other games. They imagine it’s good. These customers use something this game is entirely unfamiliar with, imagination.

A copy of THOR was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of evaluation and review.

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Author: Shane Bailey View all posts by

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