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Innovation & Design

Fantastic 4: Not fantastic, but not awful either

Rating: 3 stars

Release Date: 06/27/2005

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Torus Games

Genre: Adventure > Action Adventure

Game Description

This is the only game based on Twentieth Century Fox's upcoming feature film. Fantastic Four game players will be able to harness the Marvel Super Heroes' unique and amazing powers through a compelling single-player or two-player co-operative team based gameplay experience. Authored by Zak Penn, who co-wrote the story for X2, the game follows the Fantastic Four film's storyline and expands the adventures by letting players stretch, control fire and use invisibility and brute force to defeat evil Super Villains in new environments and familiar comic book locales. Challenged to master the individual powers of each Super Hero and combine them to level even more devastating attacks, players must battle some of Marvel's most notorious Super Villains, including, the ultimate evil - Doctor Doom - to save the human race from disaster.

Game Review:

Clobberin' time indeed.Seeing as how Spider-Man and the X-Men had their days in the sun already (and will again this fall in some new offerings), Activision felt compelled to give the Fantastic Four a try in a game that faithfully uses the 20th Century Fox film license of the same name. Comic book fans will appreciate the inclusion of additional enemies and the ability to fight alongside a friend in co-op mode, but the game still comes up short in some areas. Worth a rent, though, if only to trash with The Thing for a while. Clubberin' time!

The Score:

+ A complementary presentation of sound, complete with voice acting by the film actors and a heroic score.

+ Plenty of unlockables, including additional stages, interviews, and comic book art.

+/- The co-op modes can offer some fun, but they seem somewhat limited to just beating up thugs.

+/- Gameplay has a nice mixture of distance and short-range attacks, but quickly grows repetitive, no matter which character is used.

+/- Graphics look alright and there's ingenious level design, but the camera has some problematic issues that come into play.

- Seems mostly uninspired, especially compared to previous Activision/Marvel collaborations.

Bottom Line:

Well, seeing as how the Fantastic Four's previous video game endeavor was one of the worst PS1 games ever made, I think it was time for a little redemption, and Activision delivers a serviceable, if not entirely classic, video game experience. This version is a pure beat-em-up with some enjoyment, and it shines in a few areas like co-op play and being able to upgrade the Four, but it still ends up being just a little less than fantastic.

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