by Chris Brown
A touchstone of my childhood has now stormed my console as G.I. JOE: The Rise of COBRA is the latest movie turned video game to reach store shelves. G.I. JOE continues the relationship between Electronic Arts and Hasbro that has so far brought gamers board games such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and Hasbro’s Family Game Night. In this latest EA-Hasbro collaboration, the elite team of soldiers called G.I. JOE must uncover and stop a new cadre of evil from rising to power. While G.I. JOE has been around for the past 45 years, much of The Rise of COBRA centers around the eighties cartoon and Hollywood relaunch of the property.
G.I. JOE The Rise of COBRA offers a single or two player co-op campaign over three major maps which are split up into several sites on each map. The game begins in the Tundra and the players must begin the game as Duke and Scarlett, but fret not, as one plays the game the player unlocks and is able to purchase other G.I. JOE characters including fan-favorite Snake Eyes. Each JOE has different abilities and classes which play into how one approaches the frequent battles and is able to gain entrance into a few secure locations. Players can play as their favorite characters over three sections of the world, each with several areas and stages of their own from the frozen Tundra to a steaming jungle. Each stage has objectives that mostly consist of blowing things up, which overall isn’t bad work if you can get it.
The gameplay is easy to pick up. The controls work overall very well with one exception, controlling vehicles. The video game gives the player several chances to pilot vehicles during the battle, but this reviewer found the driving mechanics to be confusing and difficult to control. As for actual game battles, most of the battles are very repetitive with a plethora of generic enemy soldiers that are thrown at you to increase the challenge. There are a few boss battles in G.I. JOE: The Rise of COBRA which does shuffle things up a bit, and in true boss battle fashion once the player learns the Boss’s ‘tell’ they are easy to defeat.
The graphics in G.I. JOE serve the game well. The cut scenes are a bit elementary but it’s made glaring by the script and voice acting. The dialog in the video game is very corny and at times over-the-top. Granted this is a video game about a toy line made into a movie, but the storyline features an obvious twist and a somewhat confusing ending. There is a lot of “Rinse. Lather. Repeat.” in G.I. JOE: The Rise of COBRA, but being able to choose different teammates does change up this tedious grind. It should also be mentioned the the co-op play is for in-room gameplay only. Sorry but your online Xbox Live friends won’t be playing Snake Eyes to your Storm Shadow.
There are quite a few achievements in the game to be unlocked, several of them require the player to play as various pairs of characters. There are some achievements that require some collecting, and several secret achievements. There are also a couple achievements that can only be attained through co-op play.
There are some very nice nostalgic extras in the video game. During game play the player can unlock these extras which include the classic G.I. JOE cartoon Public Service Announcements, a Behind the Scenes look at the making of the video game, and also rosters of several of the JOES and COBRA pantheon. All in all while I respect a sort of retro-feel of G.I. JOE: The Rise of COBRA, the video game offers a limited amount of fun but doesn’t offer a compelling reason to run out and buy.
G.I. JOE: The Rise of COBRA is rated T for Teen and is available in stores now. A copy of this game was provided by EA for the purpose of this review.
Married Gamers Report Card: C