Review by DandyQuackShot
"If the Money’s Right, We Don’t Care Where the Job Is! Got It?"
The Balkans, Somalia, Myanmar...how far does the elite mercenary group of semi-retired action movie star heroes go to pick up a Chinese businessman? This is the set up for The Expendables 2: The Videogame as you blast your way through a cooperative top-down dual stick using style game with four chapters that is easily beaten in a few hours. Not a whole lot of effort was put into The Expendables game and even more was left unpolished by the developers to get this game released in time for The Expendables 2 movie. I thought this game would be fun and it is for its challenge and leaderboards and finding games featuring other light-hearted players who also pitched away 1200 Microsoft points.
The Expendables 2 game takes place just before the start of the second movie as Barney Ross (Stallone), Gunner Jensen (Lundgren), Yin Yang (Jet Li), and Toll Road (Crews) have to track down a Chinese businessman as part of their mission. Unfortunately for us only Lundgren and Crews thought it would be cool to lend their voice talents to this game. The game is full of one liners anyway so it does not really matter although Gunner's "This water looks haaaaaard!" quote made my day. Unfortunately for all four of the Expendables crew, they will have to track down this Chinese businessman and blow away half the world to find him. The game is split up between four chapters with about five levels each that don't last too long. At least one level in each chapter features a classic arcade-style shoot 'em up mission where you and the other players gun down soldiers and vehicles while riding along in some method of transportation. The rest of the missions are simply gunning your way to the end of the mission with the occasional challenge tossed in to complete.
What I liked about The Expendables 2 game was that it is a dedicated arcade game complete with scoring and leaderboards. The game play definitely brings back memories of playing some arcade action games and there are plenty of chances to compete on the game's leaderboards by trying to reach the highest score on the missions and the challenges. You can go back and play each mission's challenge to try for a high score or go back and play the missions for achievements and to upgrade the skills and weapons of each of the four characters in the game. This beats some of the more classic arcade games that do not have much to offer after you beat the game.
The Expendables 2's campaign is relatively short and you can easily get through this game on the Casual difficulty in no time. If you are looking for a challenge though, the best thing to do is find a public game going on in the matchmaking on the Hardcore difficulty. I found the challenge to be pretty fun to share with others online. Upgrading your characters will help complete the Hardcore difficulty campaign but a decent cooperative game goes a long way too. Nobody wants to be a Gunner Jensen in a game like this. Your team rides and dies together so whenever a man goes down he has to be healed to be able to move on. You can take cover to avoid being sniped or hit with a shower of lead, but if you have a teammate that is trying to go Rambo in this game you might be stopping every so often to patch him up.
The game suffers in a lack of polishing of the graphics. A few of the best moments in this game are the glitches in the cinematics where the Expendables team hops onto an invisible boat and rides off. Another scene depicts a guard walking along holding his invisible AK-47 before Gunner takes care of him. In game, there were a few glitches I ran into where the characters get stuck or walk through walls.
Final Recommendation 6/10
I was hoping The Expendables 2 game would get me into wanting to go see the movie, but it is easy to tell when a game has been rushed and this game reminds me of why The Expendables movies are both bad and good. The concept is great, but the delivery is poor. While The Expendables 2 game is fun in competing on the leaderboards and playing online co-op games, the glitches and brevity of the game take away from what could have been much better even in that top-down blast away format. I did not have high expectations with this being another one of those movie games so I was not disappointed by The Expendables 2 but I also did not find anything about the game that did exceed my expectations. If you like four player cooperative games like GI Joe or The Outfit, you may like this shorter version of the same game play style. If you are looking to expand your The Expendables 2 movie experience then I would say you would be better off watching some original 80's and 90's action movies.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 08/20/12
Game Release: The Expendables 2 Videogame (US, 08/17/12)
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