King Kong Review

President Kong. Mr. Kong. Kong, Esq. Principle Kong. Nope, none of those quite capture the needed vibe as much as King Kong and choosing the right name probably had a lot to do with King Kong being such a well known movie figure. As you may know, King Kong is a really big gorilla from a movie of the same name made way back in 1933 and recently remade by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. (Yes, I know all about the the 1976 version but for the sake of quality I'm going to pretend it never happened.) Now from UbiSoft comes the game for the movie with the very specific title Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, or PJKK:TOGOTM for short. It used to be a guarantee that if a game was based on a movie it would be horrible, but there have been some recent examples that the trend is ending and King Kong is another in that new trend. But is it actually good or just not horrible? Let's see...

I am Kong, hear me roar.
King Kong the game follows the story of the movie. In case you don't know the story of the movie it goes a little like this: A group of people go to an uncharted, or at least poorly charted, island aptly named Skull Island where they run into a bunch of prehistoric animals, some unhappy islanders, and one rather large ape...Kong. Things happen, people die, Kong and an actress make an emotional connection, and the group decides to capture the big monkey and take him back to New York where they plan on making a ton of money showing him off. Once in New York Kong escapes, crawls up the Empire State building with his new friend, watches an air show from up close, and takes a bad fall. More or less the same things happen in the game and for the most part it is a lot of fun to be going along the journey.

In Kong you play as two different characters, Jack Driscoll in first person and Kong in third person. My first thought was that I really didn't want to spend much time playing as Jack. I mean when you have the chance to play as King Kong over a playwright you've got to go with the big guy. But after playing for a while it turns out that the more enjoyable sections are the ones with Jack. This works out for the best since you end up playing through Jacks eyes more than as Kong. As Jack you are guided and helped out by filmmaker Carl and the first-mate of the ship you sailed on, Hayes. Jack has a few guns on him but very little ammo is laying around so you end up using a lot of bones and spears as weapons. It gets a little repetitive grabbing and tossing bones around as does the need to keep burning vines out of your way. There is a lot of action in the game and I suppose that the developers felt we needed breaks from the really fun stuff so they added the need to go hunting for levers to open gates. I certainly could have done without that.

Jack has all sorts of scary and creepy things that wants to do him harm and while having a giant dino chase after you is always cool, but I'm not a big fan of crawly creatures so I kind of got the grossed out by all of the bugs that were around. But there is no doubt the whole experience can raise your heart beat and that is a good thing in a game.


Also reviewed on:
  •  · GameCube 
  •  · Xbox 
  •  · Xbox 360