Peter Jackson’s King Kong
When I first started writing this review, it dealt with difficult subjects such as Monkey shit. After a while I began to realise, this wasn’t going to work. Nobody gives a flying fuck about anymore about monkey shit. Luckily, the shit of monkeys isn’t really a reference for this game. On the contrary, King Kong couldn’t have grown into a masterpiece. Too bad the game has a few unforgivable mistakes.
Of Course, the game is based on the movie of Peter Jackson, yet it doesn’t exploit the concept. You don’t have to expect much movie scenes through the game, they just aren’t there. Most of the characters have lend their appearance and voice to the game, so you can easily enjoy a filmic experience without the cut scenes from the movie. It’s funny to see Jack Black (School of Rock, Tenacious D.) running around like crazy with his camera.
You both play with Jack Driscoll and the almighty King Kong. I don’t need to tell you this offers you totally different gameplay experience. Jack has to survive while using his environment and the few weapons he got, while King Kong smashes through the game. After a few sessions with Kong, it gets obvious that Kong is merely a repeat session. You haven’t got much to do with the big Ape actually. It’s just a wild rollercoaster ride where you have to punch mean dinosaurs and flying overgrown chickens. If you expected a new generation of Rampage (Midway), you just get King Kong fighting one T-Rex, two T-Rex and yes three T-Rex. And I didn’t even mentioned the boring fight with the gigantic bird, which repeats further in the game.
I much more enjoyed the adventures of Jack Driscoll. With few weapons, you are trying to find a way of the island. The graphics also look much better in first person view. If we try to forget the clumsy fire effects and the cheap water, King Kong is a great graphical experience. Jurassic Park is just nothing compared to the herd of dinosaurs running towards you while you are looking for some fire. While you try to find a way through those giants, smaller dinosaurs try to attack you. You try to survive, burning the bushes and hoping the dinosaurs will fall for your trap. Flying dinosaurs smell the rotting flesh of long dead creatures and begin eating. This is without a doubt the strongest scene of the game and easily one of the most imposing moments in gaming the last few months. It gets even more impressive when the bombastic music starts playing and the magnificent sound effects do their work quite good.
Playing Jack Driscoll looks like playing a shooter, yet you can’t really call it a first person shooter. It’s all about surviving, and it’s best just to run away instead of shooting all your bullets away. You have to start killing with broken dinosaur ribs and wooden sticks. Too bad the gameplay of King Kong is just a little too limited. You will have to find fire for burning the bushes way to much. It just gets better when you find out the bushes don’t come near your knees. Any grown up man could just easily walk through the bushes, but no can do for Jack Driscoll. After putting the bushes on fire, you will have to find some keys to open a door where there is another bush to put fire on.
I was going to give King Kong quite a good score actually. I thought a 88 seemed fine for a game that offers you tons of atmosphere but just isn’t perfect enough for a magical 90. But, you probably seen it coming, King Kong really fails horrible at the end of the game. Everybody expected a brilliant end in New York, but gets clumsiness. It really felt as if the levels from New York weren’t meant for this game. As if Ubisoft didn’t want to make a New York level, but quickly got one made by an apprentice developer. The camera is just awful, the steering of Kong is worse than the rest of the game, and the last 15 minutes are just a waste of time. The most disappointing of all was the time in which I saw the end of King Kong. It’s possible to complete this game in less than 9 hours.
What starts as a top-notch game ends in a disappointment. I try to stay focused on the first 6 magnificent hours of the game, because they are quite special. It still stays a good game. King Kong just fails in the end, and that’s what makes this game so sad.