Fantastic Four Review
When you’ve got the word “fantastic” in your title you’ve got to be good, right? Well, that’s not necessarily the case with Fantastic 4. In fact, the comic book heroes on whom the game and the movie that spawned it are based were comicdom’s original dysfunctional hero team. They succeeded in spite of themselves, battling their own flaws almost as much they battled super villains. Well Fantastic 4 the game certainly has its own set of flaws, but succeeding in spite of them may exceed its powers.
Fantastic 4 puts you in control of the team’s four heroes and their unique powers. Mr. Fantastic is a plastic man who can stretch and shape his body, which allows him to reach and attack enemies at a distance. The Invisible Woman can generate force fields and bend light around herself to make herself invisible. The Human Torch has the power to cast fireballs and ignite enemies. Lastly there is The Thing who is all about strength and brute force. At times you’ll be controlling just one of the troop, but a lot of the time at least part of the team will be working together and you’ll be able to switch between the characters on the fly, leaving the game’s AI to control the others. If you’ve played X-Men Legends this play mechanic will be really familiar to you.
Fantastic 4 is almost a pure brawler. You enter a room, clear out waves of attackers, and then move on to the next room. To accomplish this each character has a light and a heavy attack, as well as a couple of special powers known as “cosmic powers”. The cosmic powers require energy to unleash, but energy is plentiful as it is dropped by most defeated enemies – and there will be a lot of defeated enemies during the course of the game. In fact, keeping your energy up is so easy you’ll spend most of your time using cosmic attacks and foregoing the pedestrian light and heavy ones. Wading through the scores of enemies is not too difficult to start out with, but when you bring in the cosmic powers things become even more unbalanced.
The one factor that serves to level the playing field a bit is one that you really don’t want in a game – the controls aren’t very precise. There will be frustrating moments as you find yourself attacking air or misaligned to even keep your opponent on the screen. It seems that the developers were aware of these issues because they’ve included a targeting system that is supposed to allow you to lock onto and cycle through targets, but this doesn’t work very well either. But then your competition is not that good, so random flailing will eventually get the job done.