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Thor: God of Thunder (PS3 Review)

Movie games eh? Developed on a tight schedule and released just to have some form of merchandise on the shelves at the time of release, the general consensus tends to be that they’ll either end up alright or a bit naff.

That brings us nicely to Thor: God of Thunder; the game based on the film of the same name (minus the ‘God of Thunder’ bit). You are Thor, son of Odin; the ruler of Asgard. An invasion by the Frost Giants of Jotunheim leaves Thor’s childhood friend Sif mortally wounded and it’s up to him to take a big hammer to the face of many an Frost Giant in return. Oh, the Frost Giants are also out to conquer the nine realms starting with Earth.

The game is your typical action-adventure with you controlling Thor through a variety of ice-based stages, smacking the ever-loving snot out of as many icy baddies as possible. As you defeat enemies you are rewarded with either health, magic power or experience which can be used to level up your abilities. Rinse and repeat.

This would all be good fun if it wasn’t so mundane. Trust a movie game to make hitting things with larger hammers boring. Thor’s attacks feel nice and weighty but there’s never any real indication you’re hitting an enemy other than a ‘thud’ sound effect. Enemies don’t stumble, there isn’t any visual cue other than their armour flashing yellow instead of greenish-blue and nothing interesting every breaks up the onslaught of enemies. Sure, there might be some loose platforming or a new ability to learn, but it only leads to more repetitive button mashing.

You’re also stuck in a world you can’t be bothered to explore. Everything is slow bland and last generation. Ice there. Oh look, ice over here. Hey, a palace! Oh wait it’s being frozen and covered in ice. Character models are equally bland. Thor’s hair is stuck in the same shape at all times like he’s wearing a plastic mould and despite some movement in his cape it still looks like it’s been in the starchiest wash ever. Small enemies just look like jagged rocks that float around and the bigger enemies are just large, blue people with various shards of ice stuck to them.

One enemy does stand out and that is the massive bosses that lumber around the area, swiping you across the scene and lugging more ice at you. They’re actually a lot more interesting to fight as well. After weakening them by any means necessary, you have to climb onto them and break their armour down enough to pull the bad-guy out who’s piloting the beast. These fights tend to be far more intense than anything else the game throws at you and actually require you to use all your abilities.

Continuing with the state of Thor’s presentation, a few words have to be said about the game’s framerate. There is nothing going on here that deserves such a wildly fluctuating experience. This could be down to poor porting to the Playstation 3 (which is an infamously difficult console to develop for) but these issues have been corrected on many a multi-platform game. Therefore, this terribly choppy framerate cannot be excused and it just makes the game look unfinished.

The sound generally fares better than the graphical quality. Every hit makes a satisfying crunch and as ice appears you hear a lovely crackling noise that’s actually quite unique. The soundtrack is taken directly from the film so you’re treated to huge, bombastic score. However, it is worth noting that there aren’t any real ‘themes’ so a lot of it is difficult to remember. This is certainly not a soundtrack you’ll find yourself whistling along to.

Voice acting has to be the single worst feature in the presentation department. Despite Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston continuing their portrayal of Thor and Loki, you can hear they are not particularly well trained in the art of voice work. Their performance is so bland and uninterested that it makes you wonder why you should be. You really get the impression that the game’s entire voice work was probably smashed out in a single day.

What else can we say about Thor: God of Thunder? It’s certainly not the worst game we’ve ever played, but it’s not doing a great job of proving movie games can be worth playing. It’s just another poorly made hack-n-slash that a tonne of other games have done better already. The only God that Thor makes himself out to be here is the God of Blunder.


Written by Sonic Yoda on 16/05/2011

Box, Disc and Instruction Manual Photo


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