'The Expendables 2' Misfires on PlayStation Network
Fuzzy graphics and repetition hamper what could have been a run-and-gun thriller.
With "The Expendables 2" due in theaters in a couple of weeks, audiences everywhere are probably pumped up for the return of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and their merry band of mercenaries. And with Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger added to the mix, the testosterone pumping probably couldn't be at a higher level.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for "The Expendables 2" video game, which came out last week for PlayStation Network and is due for Xbox Live Arcade in a few days. We can easily see that Ubisoft was aiming to create a fast-paced run-and-gun action game, along the lines of Konami's "Contra" series. However, the game lacks the personality of the films, not to mention variety.
You get to choose from only four Expendables – Barney Ross (Stalone), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) – as they tackle four complex missions. It's a shame Chuck Norris is missing here. He would have been most welcome.
Each character has a weapon that's best suited to his style of combat – our personal favorite is Caesar's multi-firing shotgun – though they can also pick up rocket launchers and assault rifles to do additional damage. Kill enough bad guys and you get to finish off the rest up close with a knife. Warning: This is not for the squeamish.
Unfortunately, the gameplay suffers from too much repetition and not nearly enough variety. What's worse, sometimes your weapons can be inaccurate, especially with enemies that are higher up than you, while they hit you with utmost precision.
Segments involving shooting enemies from a helicopter fail not only because of your limited controls, but because of how long they go. They just don't offer enough variety to last. A power-up system is available here, but your general actions don't change enough to make them worthwhile.
The graphics show stale level design and fuzzy character sprites. And sound doesn't fare much better, between average background tunes and on-again, off-again voice acting. Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews reprise their roles in fine form here, but Sylvester Stallone has been replaced with a lame sound-alike.
Those of you in the mood for a quick run-and-gun romp with friends might find some satisfaction from "The Expendables 2," but, honestly, these soldiers deserved better.
RATING: 2 / 4