The Incredibles Review
Pixar Studios’ films are so packed with details and subtleties that it can be difficult to capture their spirit in a video game. This is the case with The Incredibles, a game that does a good job of capturing the look of its big screen inspiration but fails to capture its soul.
The game follows the movie’s storyline, opening during the heyday of superheroes and then fast-fowarding fifteen years into the future after a host of lawsuits forces superheroes to hang up their capes. The game is true to the movie – the cutscenes are all made up of actual movie footage – with the action sequences naturally drawn out and expanded to make for better gameplay. You begin by alternating control between Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible himself, but when the game moves forward to the present day you’ll also get to control their children, Violet and Dash. Each character has his or her unique powers, and their levels are all designed to utilize those powers. Mr. Incredible is superhumanly strong and you’ll spend a lot of time with him beating up waves of henchmen and tossing things around. Elastigirl is super-stretchable and she can reach bad guys from afar or grab onto and swing on distant objects. Violet can turn invisible, and her levels take on a stealth-based tone. Dash is like The Flash, all super-speed, and his levels feature timed runs through obstacle-strewn courses. One thing that is missing in all of this though is tight teamwork – even though the family really came together and found themselves through tight teamwork in the film, that whole aspect of the film does not really come through in the game.
Overall the gameplay is your standard action/adventure, platform fare. The level designs are pretty basic and don’t stand out much from those you see in your average, run of the mill platformer. This is a bit of a shame, because a film that is as imaginative as The Incredibles deserves a game that is just as much so. The Mr. Incredible levels tend to be on the repetitive side, as the game throws waves of henchmen at you to test that strength. As do all the Incredibles, Mr. Incredible has both a regular attack and a super attack that can be charged for even more power. The super attacks can be fun to use as they feature some fun animations such as Elastigirl’s whirling dervish attack. Anyway, with Mr. Incredible it’s punch, punch, punch, with an occasional object throw added for good measure. Elastigirl is a little more fun to play as she can reach out and grab distant enemies and fling them around. Unfortunately the objects that she can grab are limited to those designated to for the level. It would have been a lot of fun if you’d been given the freedom to grab anything and use your imagination to get around the levels, even if Spider-Man 2 style free roaming would be asking too much. Violet’s levels are more tedious than anything else. Her limited invisibility and lack of cues on what the guards can and can not see make these levels too much frustrating trial and error. Dash’s high-speed runs can be fun, but the controls feel a bit on the loose side and may take some getting used to.
As a platform game, The Incredibles suffers from a few problems that plague the genre, primarily issues with the game camera. It can get stuck on in-game objects or be difficult to swing around to the right angle to see the action. Another problem with the game is that it can be difficult to line yourself up right to accomplish some of the game’s objectives. For example, to take out Bomb Voyage in a boss fight you need to pick up the bombs he throws at you and then toss them back before they explode. The problem is that the controls are touchy and you have a tendency to just chuck the bomb in whatever direction you happen to be facing when you pick it up. This requires you to try and have everything pre-aligned for a successful throw, which is more work than you should need to do. Also, the hotspots designated for Elastigirl to grab won’t be enabled unless you are looking at them from the right angle. This kind of maneuvering can make the game frustrating at times because it feels like you are unnecessarily fighting with the game instead of playing it.
Overall, the game looks and sounds good and is faithful to the movie, but is disappointing and repetitive in the gameplay department. The game also runs on the short side due both to the low difficulty and short levels, so a weekend rental is enough to complete the game. If you loved the movie and want more of The Incredibles, then it is worth a look. Others will probably want to get their platforming kicks elsewhere.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 64%. These Incredibles are just average.