Game Review: Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction (PS3)
Release: October 5th 2010
Developer: D3 Publisher
Available Platforms: X360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, PS2
ESRB Rating: E10+
In Cosmic Destruction you step into the shoes of the teenage hero Ben Tennyson, wielder of the watch-like alien artifact known as the Ultimatrix and take part in his never ending quest to preserve the galaxy.
As Ben Tennyson you will use the power of the Ultimatrix to change into various alien lifeforms and use their powers as you battle your way through legions of enemies and solve puzzles. During intense boss battles you will use the quickswitch feature, which allows Ben to transform into an Ultimate Alien of your choice during quicktime events and then use their power to defeat your enemy.
Cosmic Destruction excels at given players control over various unique alien lifeforms right off the bat. Each alien comes with different talents and abilities that players will need to learn and master as they progress throughout the games levels. Each alien can be upgraded with DNA points that are collected through combat and by destroying various objects in the environment.
The game gives you the freedom to choose how you wish to develop the various aliens of the Ultimatrix. You can choose your favorite alien to use all your collected DNA for, or you can split it evenly between the various aliens for a more balanced approach to each level, but ultimately the choice is left in the players hands.
Locations and boss fights make up some of the games high-points, allowing players some nice views as the fight their way through endless enemies and boss fights are where the game shines.
Boss encounters vary depending upon the level, a reoccurring theme however is the quickswitch system. During some boss encounters players will be treated to a cutscene which allows players to choose which alien form the wish to use through the cinematic. Players are often given the choice to display a different alien in each scene, allowing for a variety to be used, with the final choice becoming the Ultimate Alien used to defeat the boss at hand.
Sadly, despite a few unique ideas and nice looking game environments the game falls short on many of its primary selling points. In general the game suffers from being clunky. Combat is a rigid affair right from the get-go, and with no targeting system to speak of players are subjected to constantly attacking the wrong target in a fight. Along with the targeting comes the camera issues. Whatever direction Ben is facing will be the direction Ben is attacking, leaving huge “blind spots” in the field of combat allowing off-screen enemies to annoyingly break combat-chains without any forewarning, and this can lead to cheap deaths when your health is on the wire.
While the environment may be nice eye candy, it falls short in the actual level design.
Many times I would notice that my alien was floating a few feet off the ground for no particle reason and there are some noticeable clipping problems, such as when I tried try to walk on a ladder across a roof and then clipped off the edge to my death because my angle of approach hadn’t been dead on, forcing me to start the whole puzzle over again.
My final complaint is in the glitches. While infrequent, the sound did occasionally take an early vacation, leaving me without hearing any of the dialogue between Ben and a boss wielding a red axe.
The biggest problem I had in this regard was with freeze-ups. The game froze-up 3 times during play, usually right after I had visited a save location, and it always lead to a full system reboot.
All in all, Cosmic Destruction is the definition of a budget brawler adventure game. I think what is most disappointing with that statement is that it didn’t have to end up that way. With some redesign and bit more polish around the edges, Cosmic Destruction could have been a much better experience all in all and a good tribute for fans of the series.
- Fun boss battles
- Nice environments
- Clunky combat
- Poor level design
Final score: 5/10
My final say would be that while there are a few definite high-points in gameplay, and some great boss battles, unless you are a fan of the series it won’t likely be worth your time to sludge through the rest of the game to get to those points.
If you are a fan of Ben 10 and want to play Cosmic Destruction I would suggest renting it, or getting it on sale. For anyone else looking for an Action-Adventure game I would say to pass on this title and put your hard earned money into something else.