Every summer blockbuster seems to spawn a video game tie-in these days. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is no different. The game from Electronic Arts, lets you step into the boots of some of your favorite G.I. Joe characters. Whether you are a fan of the original animated series or have just recently enlisted as a fan of the feature film, the game manages to bridge the gap of both incarnations. Story-wise, the game picks up where the summer blockbuster left off. If you haven’t seen the film yet, have no fear as the game serves as a stand alone adventure.
The game opens fast and furious as Duke and Scarlett set out on a mission to save Heavy Duty who has been captured by Cobra. Along the way, they will need to ferret out intel on what the evil organization may be up to next. The game is a fast paced and the player selects two Joes per mission to take on whatever Cobra may try and throw at them. Once you step foot on the battlefield, there is rarely a dull moment.
The game is a classic run-and-gun style shooter, with a little hand- to-hand combat thrown into the mix. Players earn points during the missions which are then converted to Battle Points at the end of each level or at mission checkpoints. Battle Points are the key to unlocking additional characters and other items in the game.When taking to battle in one-player mode, you can switch between both characters quickly, which can come in handy should you require a particular Joe’s skill set or heavier firepower. The game is certainly reminiscent of the old school arcade feel of Konami’s original G.I. Joe arcade game and is even more enjoyable when you team up with a friend. As you you make your way through the waves of Cobra attackers, which range from everything from Vipers to Battle Android Troopers, you will also be able to tap into the power of the “Accelerator Suits” that played a sizeable role in the film. Once you activate the suit, your Joe will experience increased speed and firepower, which is great for taking on end bosses. In discovering the power of the suits for the first time, we were floored to hear the classic “Yo Joe!” battle cry along with a revved version of the cartoon’s theme song. This alone garnered more then a few hoots, hollers and fist pumps from the guys in the room. Very well done!
During the course of the game you will fight on many terrains varying from the desert, to the jungle, to the tundra, which gives you the opportunity to pilot several different types of vehicles as well. The vehicles in the game may not be the easiest thing to control, but there is nothing sweeter than the satisfaction of running down a few of Cobra Commander’s minions in an old school “Snow Cat.”
Throughout the adventures with the Joes, the player will have the chance to play as and unlock G.I. Joe staples such as Duke, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Heavy Duty, Gung Ho, Hawk and Shipwreck. Fans of Cobra’s classic characters will also be happy to see Storm Shadow, Destro and The Baroness. Other non-playable characters, such as Wild Bill, Breaker, Dial Tone, Snow Job and Dusty make appearances in dialogue sequences and will definitely provide some nostalgic moments for fans of the series. The little extra touches that the developers added into the game are really what make it most enjoyable. Along the way you will notice the iconic red and blue laser blasts from the two rival organizations some of the classic vehicles from the series and even some interesting trivia during the load screens.
Does G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra reinvent the wheel? Of course not. However, it does offer up a heaping helping of fun for fans of the franchise. The controls are pretty simple for anyone to pick up quickly and jump into the fight. The classic arcade feel adds to the fun whether playing with a comrade or going it alone. Another selling
point for the game is the unlockable characters and hidden content, which will provide plenty of replay value for the die-hard gamer. With a sequel to the film as good as green lit, fans of the game can rest assure that a sequel to the game will soon be in the works as well.
The game is available for for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS2, PSP, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS. Be sure to check out the official site for the game at gijoe.ea.com.
Icon Vs. Icon Game Rating: 3.75 out of 5
ESRB Rating: Teen.