Ever since Mary Poppins, Disney has been working to unite the animated world with our own. Often times, they succeed and create a memorable fantasy world with believable relationships between humans and cartoons alike.
It doesn’t always go according to plan, however. Disney’s latest film, G-Force, is currently sitting on a 25/100 rating on the aggregate review website Rotten Tomatoes.com. Surprisingly, the game actually isn’t that bad.
First off, it’s important to note that the mediocre plot from the movie remains relatively unchanged. You are Darwin, team leader of the G-Force, a special offshoot of the FBI consisting entirely of highly trained guinea pigs. Your mission is to halt the production of killer appliances that have been manufactured for nearly every home in America. The plot ranges from nearly passable to absurd, and once you get to the highly predictable twist, you’ll be skipping the cutscenes anyways.
The main problem with G-Force is that it takes itself way too seriously. When agent Darwin and his team members are constantly spouting nothing but technical spy terms and lame one liners, you’ll find yourself wondering, “Where’s the Disney magic?” Sadly, I don’t think I laughed one time the entire game, unless it was at the absurdity of some of the dialogue.
What G-Force fails to deliver in story, it makes up with solid gameplay. I have essentially dubbed G-Force “Dark Void for kids”. Yes, you get a jet pack; and yes, it is the crux of your character’s maneuverability. Of all the jet pack games I’ve played, G-Force does a great job in terms of making you feel empowered with the gift of flight. You can double jump, hover for a full seven seconds, get on all fours to dash boost, and boost vertically. In conjunction with climbing, your jet pack makes it so you can reach nearly anywhere the eye can see, which is a blast.
Darwin’s weaponry ranges from generic to unique. While you have the typical lot of beam rifle, beam shotgun, flamethrower, and freeze gun available, there are a few fun choices like the electro whip and nanohacker. The electrowhip is your “go to” weapon if you run out of ammo with everything else, and every time I use it, it brings back fond memories of Castlevania.
The nanohacker is also a blast; it rearranges the artificial intelligence of an enemy, forcing it to become your ally for a limited amount of time. You’ll even have to use this tool to solve a few puzzles later in the game. There’s also a scanner tool that you can use to get quick tips on how to beat any enemy in the game, which is pretty nifty for youngsters.
The absolute best part of G-Force is the sheer amount of diversity the game’s enemy stable has. Because the main plotline centers around “appliances gone wrong”, you’ll have the opportunity to fight various household objects that are twisted in such a way it makes the Transformers jealous. You’ll battle robotic beings, such as killer fire extinguishers that look like bugs and killer paper shredders. Surprisingly, all of them look fairly terrifying and have some sort of sharp pointy object to launch at you.
A huge mechanic that sets this game apart from others is the ability to send out the recon fly, Mooch. Mooch functions as your all-around grease man, and he is generally used for sneaking in tight cracks to open up otherwise inaccessible doors. Even though he has no spoken dialogue (come to think of it, that would be rather creepy), Mooch is a blast to play as, and the most fun section of the game is actually based around his utilization.
Considering it’s a movie based game by Disney, you would assume there would be top notch talent involved. A few of the film’s voice actors are back for the game, but sadly, most of them are absent. The most welcome change is geeky sounding actor Matt Olsen (Sly Cooper’s Bentley the Turtle) filling in for Nic Cage, who sounds more at home in his role. The others changes result in a more generic sounding cast, which detracts from the game’s overall fun factor.
The sound effects in G-Force are actually quite good. Your electrowhip’s “zapping” noises never get old and neither do the various creaks and shrieks of your enemies. While the in-game music isn’t anything to write home about, it does use film quality tracks during cutscenes.
Most gamers will finish G-Force in about 8 hours or less (I was able to speed run it in 4 hours), and once you’re done, there really isn’t a reason to go back. Your only options are to beat the game over again on hard (Agent) and very hard (Special Agent). You will also have the opportunity to seek out hidden discs to upgrade your arsenal, but most of the pertinent discs are given out at the end of major boss fights anyways. The only time you’ll really find the optional hidden upgrades useful is on the higher difficulties, otherwise there’s little point in seeking them out.
When all’s said and done, G-Force is a decent action game that will not likely be pushed aside due to the movie’s poor reception. Even though the characters and overall plot line are just as forgettable as it’s movie counterpart, I can heartily recommend the solid gameplay to most hardcore action fans. G-Force is definitely worth a rental, just be prepared to skip the cut-scenes.
Reviewer’s note: The Xbox 360 version was tested for this review
G-Force the game ultimately suffers the same fate as the movie. Unlikeable charactes combined with a predictable plot don't offer much enjoyment. The graphics, however, are very sleek.
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When controlling the electro whip, you'll feel extremely nostalgic for a Castlevania game, and the jet pack controls are very robust.
Sometimes you'll find yourself reaching for the mute button during cutscenes. Otherwise, the music is pretty standard, but the sound effects are above average.
Without leaderboards, multiplayer, or additional content, you won't have much to do after beating this 8 hour game.
G-Force is a jet pack enthusiasts dream and a solid action game that's worth a rental. Just don't expect much to do after completion.