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Thor: God of Thunder
Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Sega of America, Inc.
Developer: Liquid Entertainment
Style(s): Third-Person 3D Action
Synopsis: Players venture through the realms of legend as Thor: God of Thunder. The video game is based on the contemporarily released feature film, and follows Marvel Comics' interpretation of the stormy figure of Norse mythology. The adventure proceeds through third-person melee combat with supernaturally-empowered area-of-effect attacks. Thor commands the powers of wind, lighting, and thunder with his mighty hammer, Mjolnir. The vaulting, fast-paced battle style is reminiscent of games such as Devil May Cry or God of War. Large boss enemies have grapple points that allow Thor to launch himself up the creature's body and make well-timed strikes at vulnerable spots. Much of the game takes place in the different worlds of Norse mythology, as Asgard faces threats from the realms of fire, ice, giants, and trolls. The story was co-authored by Matt Fraction, an esteemed writer of the Thor comic series. Actors Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston reprise their roles from the film to provide voice acting. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Package Contents: 9-page Instruction Manual
While every comic book hero needs a nemesis to maintain the cosmic balance between good and evil, the scales of superhero-based video games are heavily tipped in various degrees of awful. For every Arkham City or Spider-Man 2, there is a stack of software unfit to wear the cape or spandex of its featured protagonist. Thor: God of Thunder represents a return to the dark side of superhero-based games, a joyless episode of button bashing and stick swinging that will have you reaching for the power switch faster than you can say "Mjolnir." Okay, <i>a lot</i> faster. The chief problem with so many games of this type is that the publisher often skimps on development costs in order to save a buck or two from the licensing fees. So it should come as no surprise that Thor's gameplay follows the same format of so many other limp licensed games before it. And that format involves throwing the title character in a by-the-numbers beat-'em-up, with moves and locales loosely inspired by the comics and/or film on which it's based. That in and of itself may be passable for those who enjoy the simple pleasures of pounding on enemies as long as there's a variety of moves and some degree of technique required, but Thor can't even get the basics right. The camera is so unwieldy you'll frequently lose sight of your character as enemies surround Thor. Attempt to move out of the predicament, and you'll end up staring at Thor's impassive gaze as he attempts to lumber away. Thor's movement feels so stiff and awkward that most players will find it extraordinarily difficult to dodge or escape from attacks, making progression rather frustrating. The controls could also benefit from some refinement. While you can use different moves based on Thor's affinity toward lightning, wind, and thunder, combos often involve tapping the same button four or more times before hitting another button to implement a specific attack. So unless you routinely count the number of times you press, say, the X button, you can't say for sure what move you'll initiate in the thick of battle. You'll just rapidly start tapping and hope for the best, which isn't particularly satisfying. Enemies are all slight variants of the same basic models, with armored foes requiring additional effort like throwing a hammer or smashing the ground so that the armor eventually breaks off before you can finish the job. You'll advance across linear environments that are typical of the genre, defeating groups of enemies along the way, solving a puzzle or two, and jumping across a few platforms until you eventually encounter the requisite boss fight. As with most aspects of the game, these battles are made more challenging because of the awkward camera and Thor's surprising lack of mobility, with most boss encounters relying heavily on quick-time events instead of direct fighting. Since there is no shortage of beat-'em-up games starring comic book icons, Thor should be near the bottom on your superhero shopping list. And if your Spidey sense isn't tingling the next time Sega announces its intention to publish another Marvel-licensed title (after Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Thor), you're probably too numb to be playing games in the first place. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.