— Summer movie season is here and that means it time for those summer movie tie-in games. And nothing inspires the meh in me like a movie tie-in game.
Anyone else excited about "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" – the game based on the forthcoming movie of the same name? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Movie-based games are a hit or miss bunch, with an emphasis on miss. Far too often they're nothing but a slap-dash cash-in to take advantage of folks who dig a film but don't know any better when it comes to purchasing video games.
So color me surprised to report that the official game for the new "Predators" movie is actually pretty darn good. Color me even more surprised to report that it's not only a good game, but it's also an iPhone game.
That's right, a big summer movie got nothing but a little iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch game — and lo and behold it works.
What I like most about "Robert Rodriguez Presents Predators" game (yeah, that's the whole name), is the way it turns the movie around on itself.
You see, the movie (which opens in theaters Friday and was produced by Rodriguez) stars Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo and Alice Braga as a bunch of killers, thugs and criminals who find themselves on a kind of alien-world game reserve – and they're the game. It would seem moviegoers are meant to cheer on these humans as they try to survive and escape this otherworldly jungle and its otherworldly hunters.
The game, on the other hand, asks you to cheer on the Predators. That is, you get to play a Predator and see the story from its point-of-view. Of course, its point-of-view basically amounts to this: The humans are your enemy and you must slaughter them for honor and victory and so the other Predators in your clan think you're all badass and stuff.
The game plays from a top-down perspective with the screen providing a touch-based d-pad and buttons to control your Predator. These controls work quite nicely as you perform a variety of combos and attacks, hacking and slashing the humans, ripping their heads off and collecting them as trophies.
Yes indeed, the blood will flow across your iDevice. But not to worry – these humans were killers and criminals, so disemboweling them is, like, totally OK. In fact, killing your human enemies in particularly brutal ways will get you "Honor Points." These honor points can be used to unlock and upgrade your Predator technology, so you can become and even meaner, leaner slaughtering machine.
All-in-all you'll have 24 levels in which to discover new and interesting ways to deadify your human prey. In the early levels you'll have only your wrist blades but your arsenal and gadgetry will expand to include various guns, Smart Discs, cloaking ability and thermal vision.
You can hunt the humans down and slaughter them outright or you can sneak up for stealth kills. And although most of the humans you battle are faceless mercenaries, you will take on the main characters from the movie for some bloody-fun boss battles.
On the downside, I have to say that the level design can get pretty monotonous. And it's not like the game is hugely innovative. But for $2.99 (same price for all devices), it offers a whole lot of bang, blood and Predatory fun for an extremely reasonable price.