Surprise, surprise, Clash of the Titans is an awful movie-turned-videogame. While some games like this year’s surprising Toy Story 3 buck this trend, this generic and uninspired game proves that crappy license titles are, sadly, a fact of life. Apparently this is the will of the gods.
This boss fight looks fun, but trust me it’s not.Clash of the Titans follows the plot of the film…sort of. It still tells the story of Perseus, a demigod, and his quest to take on the gods of Olympus in an effort to save a local kingdom. Familiar scenes and characters from the film appear in the game, but these are intertwined with a series of events that feel laughably shoe-horned into the game. From quests that force Perseus to gather a fish to feed his companion, to levels that consist of killing more enemies than the guards in an effort to “prove” yourself to them (also read: we needed to extend this game so here’s a filler level), the game is full with a host of stupid stages that serve no narrative purpose.
The way the quests are given is also perplexing. The game is primarily a third-person hack and slash, but you talk to other characters to get quests from them. However, for some weird reason, it gives you the choice of accepting or rejecting quests. Often, unless you have a choice in the order you do the missions, there’s no reason for the game to give you the option to do a quest, as it’s the only way you can continue the game. The game’s entire quest structure ultimately comes across as a vaguely disguised method the developer used to force you into the same environments over and over again, giving you a host of stupid small jobs in order to add additional game time. Perhaps the fear was that keeping the quests tied to the movie would have made for a short game, but in this case I think it would have been an act of mercy.
This game is founded on its combat, and unfortunately its foundation is completely unstable. Idiotic enemies present little to no challenge, while your characters own arsenal of moves — again made artificially large thanks to a series of weapons that are mostly reskinned versions of a few basic types — are hardly needed because mashing your primary attack can dispatch most any foe. Certain enemies require a specific type of weapon to damage them, but these fights end up feeling more like a nuisance than a feature that makes combat more interesting.
Not that fighting is all just mashing a few buttons. Actually, I guess it is, but sometimes you do have to mash these buttons at just the right moment. Once you hit an enemy enough you can activate a Sub weapon Seize — a quick time event where you press buttons at specific times in order to instantly kill enemies — which, you would think, make the combat more gratifying. Instead, each instant kill animation is visually uninteresting and repeated over and over until it’s entirely mind numbing.
The poor combat ended up making me run past enemies as much as I fought them. Sure, fighting enemies was useful because it yielded materials I could use to upgrade weapons, but the combat was so boring — and the enemies generally so easy to fight — that I never felt like this was a necessity. The end result was the whole upgrade system came across like yet another feature put into the game to make it seem deeper, but was so superficial and uninteresting that it warranted little attention. Fighting enemies when you’re forced into it by temporary walls, and running away any other time, soon became my motto.
Two player cooperative can generally draw the fun out of even the most creatively dry material, but Clash of the Titans doesn’t even get the basics right. Cooperative play isn’t available on every mission, and furthermore isn’t an option at all until you’ve played the first couple hours of the game’s story. When you do sucker someone into playing with you they’ll take control of a secondary character, but the game’s camera can’t make up its mind who to follow, resulting in fights over the camera’s position, as well as several moments where the camera situates itself in such a way you can’t tell what the heck is going on. I mean, if you’re going to bother implementing a way for me to play with my friends at least put the time into it where I won’t feel like I’ve somehow wronged my pals after we’re done — sheesh, I feel like I owe the guy pizza or something.
Clash of the Titans is the not only one of the worst license games I’ve ever been tasked with reviewing, but is also just an awful game in every sense you can think of. It’s ugly as sin, has terrible character animations and voice acting, and feels like it should cost next to nothing as opposed to as much as a retail game. Aw heck, I take that back, I wouldn’t want to insult the host of excellent cheap games out there.