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Godzilla Unleashed

If the recently released Cloverfield is anything to go by, then monsters are in again. Well they’ve never not been in, but you get what I’m saying. And who’s the biggest, baddest monster of them all? Yeah that’s right – Godzilla. So my question to Atari is: how on earth do you manage to mess up a game where a bunch of oversized behemoths duke it out across the world. Did I mention that it has Godzilla in it? Because that’s about the only noteworthy feature this game boasts.

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The main ‘pull’ in Godzilla Unleashed is its campaign. The story is as unintelligible as the on screen action. Apparently some crystals have crash-landed on the Earth, causing the monsters dwelling there to go AWOL, but of course Godzilla remains on the right team so it’s up to you and some others (you can choose, but they all play the same) to go to a number of cities to stop Mothra and co. The cut scenes – acting as the badly woven string keeping this all together are laughably bad, with cheesy one-liners abundant; it’s lucky for players, however that they can be skipped immediately. There’s a story in amongst the mess somewhere, but I’d rather be bludgeoned to death in a straight punch up with Godzilla himself, than actually find out what in the hell is going on.

There is a decent Godzilla game out there.Be sure to check out the Thunderbolt review of the far superior Godzilla:Destroy All Monsters Melee The combat itself is a monumental failure; you fight some monsters (the same one’s over and over again) in a ‘variety’ of bland locals, beat them to death by any means necessary then go do it again for about 2 hours until the campaign is finished with. You get points for completing each mission (oddly enough for destroying the city even though you’re an ‘earth defender’), which can be used to buy extra monsters in the shop to go play through in the story again. But this is only for only the absurdly masochistic of players out there. And even then, I’d suggest cutting your wrists instead. You’ll feel like you’re in autopilot half the time; there is absolutely zero skill or know-how needed in order to get through the game. Enemies just stand there waiting for players to finish them off and put them out of their misery, and it’s all a bit of an involuntary slog as you make your way through Unleashed. There is no purpose, no reason for anything that happens.

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It is games like Godzilla Unleashed that make me think to myself why I even bother. A new generation of consoles is not an excuse for the game looking like something Rodan pushed out its back end. It’s scary to think that this is a new release, because the visuals are barely on par with some of the very earliest PlayStation 2 launch titles of what, around 8 years now? The environments have no sense of scale; the buildings look like they’re made of paper and the monsters themselves appear as if they’re suffering from heat exhaustion. The inconsistent hit detection, poor frame rate and a truly terrible camera do nothing to appease matters, either.

If you can’t get enough of the main campaign, there is the option to make matches with any of the monsters in Brawl mode. This can be played with another player (if you can find a willing test patient – my brother has yet to talk to me since picking up the controller). It’s identical to proceedings elsewhere, so if you shockingly didn’t like the story mode, there isn’t anything worthwhile here for you.

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And this is what it ultimately all comes down to; there is nothing here for anyone – not even the most ardent of Godzilla fans. It’s like if someone took your favourite ever franchise, made a half-arsed game out of it then spat in your face asking for money. Godzilla Unleashed is a mistake of apocalyptic proportions that should be kept in a room surrounded by 5 metre thick lead walls, from any living creature that’s unfortunate enough to come within touching distance of it.

2 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in May 2007.

Gentle persuasion

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