In brightest day… in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight! Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power — Green Lantern’s light! Those words may stir some emotions within you, especially if you’re a Green Lantern fan or watched the film recently. If you wanted to play a game as the Green Lantern, then you’re in luck because Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters makes an appearance to coincide with the film release. Ryan Reynolds lends his voice to the proceedings which is a good start, so hopefully Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters will possess some ‘star’ qualities.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is inspired by the current Green Lantern film, which brings the popular DC Comics super hero to the big screen for the first time staring Ryan Reynolds in the title role as Hal Jordan, the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps. In Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters you have to utilise several constructs and fly across the deepest and darkest parts of the universe to restore order by wielding the ultimate weapon: the Green Lantern power ring. A Green Lantern’s abilities come from willpower so you better be prepared to put some work in!
A Green Lantern is able to build hard light constructs via their ring to help them preserve order or, in the case of Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, help dish out some severe punishment. The structure of each mission is basically the same throughout, you are told there is some trouble and you have to fly somewhere to sort it out. Luckily you have several weapons available; it’s a good thing Hal has such an innovative imagination.
These weapon constructs are unlocked as you progress through Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, and cleverly they’re easy to access because they are simply mapped to the buttons on your controller. You can have up to 8 constructs mapped and their interchangeable adds strategy to the fighting. Besides the constructs you have basic punching and kicking in the form of hard light fists and blades. You can also fly over/past, evade, grab and throw enemies.
The various constructs include a gating gun, hover mines, a mech suit, a jet and a baseball bat. You’re basic moves are upgradeable, so for example your hard light fist becomes a hammer whilst you can also boost your ring performance. There are several Green Lanterns dotted across the missions which can give you an unlimited will power for a period of time. It’s slightly confusing why you have to purchase constructs but it means you have to plan a little ahead because you are able to purchase some constructs which can’t be used because you haven’t gained enough experience. You have to be careful not to use your ring too much because you’ll be unable to use your best constructs when you need them most!
The missions have you travelling across various places that, for the most part, are quite bland. It seems most of the production value has gone into the constructs because every world you come across is quite bare. The ground-based missions are interspersed with on-the-rails flight missions which are quite fun. With so much happening on screen when you’re flying you end up not really having any control because the best tactic is just to constantly shoot and fly across the screen randomly. The enemies are reasonably varied but for the most part easily defeatable. One issue though is that you’re able to throw Manhunters over a platform which kills them, but a Manhunter can fly, so it doesn’t make sense that they can be beaten in this way. A good inclusion in Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is that some of the larger enemies can be beaten with a finishing move where you follow the onscreen instructions. It must be noted that there are some noticeably long loading times in between the missions, which unfortunately slows down the Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters experience.
Graphically the enemies and Hal look quite vibrant on screen, but that’s mostly down to the blank (well dull) canvas that is the background. The constructs fill the screen, although the set camera can be annoying when you’re running away from enemies as you can’t see where they are. This can become frustrating when you’re using the gatling gun from afar because you don’t know whether the bullets are registering. As mentioned earlier, Ryan Reynolds lends his voice and is backed up by a professional and reasonably acted script. The background music is pretty forgettable, whilst the weapon and explosion sound effects are fairly average which is a shame.
There is the option of a co-op game where you and a partner team up as Hal & Sinestro and play through the missions. It adds a little more depth but doesn’t change the way you would approach Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. When you complete missions, you can play them again individually but you’ll find there’s nothing drawing you back because you achieved it all the first time. Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is essentially a mission-based beat-em-up with a storyline.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is an above average comic film related game that, at times, can be really entertaining. Whether you’re hammering Manhunters into the ground or utilising one of the many constructs on offer, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters fills your time with some highly engrossing battles and is backed up by a reasonable plot that is well acted. It’s just let down by longish load times and bland landscapes which take some fun out of the proceedings, along with the fact that when you’re finished there’s nothing to go back for. In summary, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters should make most Green Lantern and comic book fans smile. It’ll be interesting to see what the developers will do in the next game.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.