Review: Clash of the Titans – The Videogame

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I haven’t seen the movie remake of Clash of the Titans, but the game based on the movie is an insult to the theatrical mythological tale of yesteryear. After games like Genji and Folklore, Game Republic is a developer I’ve come to respect and expect quality from, but what Clash of the Titans proves is that even a talented development team can’t turn licensed movie garbage into licensed video game gold.

It’s almost hard for me to even call Clash of the Titans a complete game. Much of the game is nothing more than a series of hack-and-slash survival challenges strung together by cutscenes telling a lifeless, poorly-acted, poorly-written storyline that tarnishes my fond memories of the classic myth about Perseus and his grand quest to rescue Andromeda from the mighty Kraken (I took four years of Latin in high school, and pretty much every year we watch the 1981 Harry Hamlin classic at some point). There’s very little exploration to be found here, and even when there is the levels are so bland and cut-and-paste in design that you yearn for the small, arena-sized environments that make up the bulk of the game.

I must say, though, that the core of the game really isn’t half bad. The hack-and-slash combat, which Game Republic always seems to get right, controls well and is fun in spurts in much the same way Dynasty Warriors games are (or used to be). It’s a nice, mindless diversion for a level or two at a time, but after that it just becomes a monotonous, coma-inducing slog through one of Greek mythology’s most treasured tales. Every 10 minutes I played felt more like an hour, and by the time it took me a hair over nine hours to finish the story I felt like I’d been playing for more like 30.

Per usual with a Game Republic production, Clash of the Titans has a few interesting tricks up its sleeve. The base combat system is good for shallow kicks, and also has aspirations to become something greater thanks to its seemingly in-depth sub-weapon stealing system and accompanying method of upgrading abilities. Every enemy you face carries some type of weapon – sword, bow and arrows, axe, hammer, magical cores, etc. – and by whittling down their health you can trigger a QTE finisher sequence in which Perseus takes down his foe with its own weapon and subsequently steals it for his own arsenal.

There are more than 80 different sub weapons to collect across 12 classifications, and at any one time you can have four of them hotkeyed to the D-pad to whip out on creatures of myth such as sirens, harpies, centaurs, skeletons and of course big, bad bosses like Medusa and the Chimera.

At first this system seems promising too, but eventually you find that it, like the rest of the gameplay, just never goes anywhere. Sure, there are a ton of weapons in number, but the vast majority yield the same results in battle and are simply the same weapons re-skinned to look different. The game is often so easy that it’s generally quicker to mash buttons than to waste time playing around with the sub-weapons and watching the same QTE animations over and over.

Everything in the game has that recycled feel to it as well, from the dreary environments to the repetitive finishing move animations to the tired “run forward, mash, mash, mash; run forward again, mash, mash, mash” style of gameplay, with no elements of adventure or puzzle solving to break up the monotony. Even the game’s co-op element is lazy, sporadically providing a second player the chance to take control of an AI companion and lend Perseus a hand in battle. The unlockable Challenge Quest side missions are always open to co-op, but when going through the story the second player typically has to wait for long stretches before a mission comes along that they can help you with – and trust me, anyone who has to sit by and watch you trudge through a few levels before they can play probably won’t be your friend afterward.

What more can I say. Plain and simple, Clash of the Titans is yet another derivative, uninspired movie game with absolutely nothing of value or substance to offer, not even as a rainy-day rental. Hopefully Game Republic can get back on a positive streak with the upcoming Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, which is shaping up to be a promising holiday sleeper.

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Pros:
+ Combat mechanics are at least halfway decent
+ Interesting weapon stealing mechanic
+ Good variety of iconic enemies and bosses from Greek mythology

Cons:
– Shallow gameplay never develops into anything meaningful or challenging
– Grind-it-out pacing becomes dreadfully boring in no time
– Bland, cut-and-paste level designs
– Dark, muddy graphics
– Lifeless voice acting and storyline

Game Info:
Platform: Reviewed on Xbox 360, also available on PS3
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: Game Republic
Release Date: 7/27/2010
Genre: Action/Adventure
ESRB Rating: Teen
Players: 1-2 (offline only)
Source: Review copy provided by publisher

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About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!