Thor: God of Thunder Review (Xbox 360)

Posted by Jim Cook, May 13, 2011 06:56

Thor: God of Thunder had the deck stacked against it to start with; it’s a movie tie-in game and those have a very strong stigma attached to them. The developers opting to make a straight-forward, third-person brawler would likewise seem to both hurt and help its chances, since it’s hard to really botch that formula yet at the same time it’s also hard to do anything impressive with it on a short schedule. The end result isn’t awful, but it’s extremely generic and loses its charm quickly even as it does at least an okay job of portraying the mighty Marvel Comics hero.

Thor: God of Thunder (Xbox 360)Primarily a 3D brawler in the style of Dynasty Warriors and similar titles, God of Thunder has you guiding Thor through various stages and fixing a mix of both conventional enemies and larger bosses along the way. Most of Thor’s abilities are present, ranging from basic combos with his hammer (which can also be thrown), calling lightning and other storms, and throwing enemies around. While the controls are easy to learn, they’re also very basic and hindered by most opponents being very dull to fight against. There are plenty of foes to beat up, but they’re very passive; excepting a few cases where Thor is surrounded you’re usually welcome to pick one, smack them around at your leisure, then move onto the next one and have no trouble so long as you’re reasonably quick with your attacks. Bosses aren’t much better, mostly boiling down to figuring out their attack pattern and taking them apart incrementally over time.

There were some efforts made to break up this monotony, but their effects range from being just plain bad ideas, to ’you might care more if this were done in a better game.’ Upgrading Thor’s abilities with a mix of spending points and finding hidden items is a decent plan, and letting you do a ’new game plus’ where you start over but keep Thor’s upgrades likewise sounds good, but neither of these really matter when the core action is dull. Adding platforming segments was a far worse choice; why does the player need to jump from ledge to ledge when Thor can fly in his source material? Sadly, flight is only available for long-distance travel (e.g. leaving one stage to go to another) and this leaves you to deal with a mix of jumping segments and dealing with simple puzzles.

As a movie tie-in game, God of Thunder bears a little more scrutiny in its presentation. The environment and character designs clearly take nods from the movie and are immediately recognizable, so this works fine. However, sound quality (music, sound effects, and voice acting) is all over the place; some aspects are great, others just too bland for you to really care. The textures on most characters and terrain are oddly ’washed out’ as well, falling short of the movie’s impressive visuals. This is disappointing, since one of the reasons to play a game based on a famous movie character would be to enjoy just how spectacular his world and actions look and God of Thunder falls flat in this regard.

Sadly, even fans of the character may not find Thor: God of Thunder to be worth a purchase. Its novelty wears off quickly, and there are several more enjoyable games in the third-person brawler genre to play instead. Most players can safely skip this one, and if you’re really a devoted fan of Thor then you might want to rent this one at most; I think that will be enough to satisfy your curiosity. This game’s problem isn’t that it’s terrible, simply that it’s underwhelming and a poor value for the money.

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Our Rating for Thor: God of Thunder Review (Xbox 360)
5.0 Replay
Finding hidden items and playing through all over again with your upgrades intact are good ideas, but also wasted on a game this bland.
5.0 Graphics
Great designs inspired by the recent movie are wasted on very dull, faded textures that rob even the titular hero of some of his splendor.
6.0 Sound
Voice acting, effects, and music are wildly varying in quality, but at least most of it is tolerable.
4.5 Gameplay
While decent, the combat mechanics are too basic to hold your interest for long and are interrupted by annoying platforming segments.
0.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
N/A; this is a single-player game.
4.5 Overall
There are several better games in this genre; even fans of this Marvel superhero should seek fun elsewhere.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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