If you’re any kind of fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, you know the infamous director behind the King Kong movie. Peter Jackson himself along with Wingnut Films and his WETA studio are behind this ambitious project. But oh, what a surprise! A seemingly popular upcoming movie is getting a direct videogame adaptation! Now it’s time for us all to think this is already a doomed project.
But should we really be so quick to think so? It certainly wouldn’t be unjustified to feel that way since almost all movie-based videogames have turned out to be utter crap in our gaming lifetimes, but this might finally be a fresh exception! When you think about movie-based games that were highly successful, most gamers have games like GoldenEye 007 immediately come to mind. Well, based on most critics’ recent feelings, this just may be the best upcoming movie-based game to date! Why? It’s simple, while it does maintain many of the important elements of the movie, it doesn’t exactly try to mirror everything while offering a sense of freshness to the overall experience!
In this game, you will take control of both a man by the name of Jack Driscoll and the mighty gorilla himself King Kong! But as the game starts out, Driscoll is your goto guy. When the game begins, yourself as Driscoll and a group of his friends are lost in a land that time has seemingly forgot. This dreaded territory is known as Skull Island. For those of you who are actually familiar with the past King Kong movies, you would know Skull Island is a fictitious location in which all kinds of wild species live freely. Whether that might be velociraptors, T-Rexes, giant gorillas (go figure!), millipedes, or centipedes, Skull Island is home to many different fauna that will certainly give you run for your life! There are even ancient tribal clans that worship these very beasts and you have to look out for them too!
One of the first events that you will witness playing this game is the fact that you’re personally involved in a tribe’s sacrifice. No, you’re not actually the victim of it, it’s the poor blonde woman that is tied to a simple wooden contraption. King Kong himself eventually arrives to consummate this sacrifice, only to your hearing the blood curdling screams of the unfortunate female. After showing off his “massiveness,” Kong takes his prized sacrifice away. Quickly after this event your friends manage to show up and cut you lose from your bindings! So now yourself along with two of your friends manage to sneak away from the crowd and head your way out of the fortress you’re in. However you are eventually spotted in your escape attempt and are then showered with a beautiful array of flaming arrows! Well, maybe not beautiful, but cool to see at least. So while dodging this attack along with the flaming ground, you eventually make your escape with only having one of you hurt.
In terms of graphics, Ubisoft has seemingly done an excellent job so far to really deliver an authentic “jungle” atmosphere with this game. Not only do the character models look very nice and the bodily animations smooth, but the environmental effects look absolutely incredible! In many of the backgrounds that you will be able to feast your eyes upon, there is dense jungle, jagged rocks, boulders and those predefined footpaths are evident as well! To make things even more fantastic in regards to special effects, Ubisoft has worked extra hard to provide a realistic looking mist! Working with the natural effects of sunshine that brilliantly radiates through the trees, the mist’s effects are truly unreal. The sunlight shining through the mist will actually “thicken” the light like it would in real life, adding that sort of high density and humid atmosphere feel to the air. Truly awesome!
Now getting back to what the game is all about, once your small team eventually makes it through all the nature you’re trekking through, you eventually run into a small campsite that appears deserted. On the far side of this camp is a sort of cave that serves the purpose of protecting you from any kind of harm. There you will also find a nice collection of spears for you to use! Surprisingly each spear is actually given a heavy amount of detail. Whether it’s the intricately detailed and sharpened stone tip to the “stringy” bindings that keep it together with the rest of it.
Shortly after making it to this camp, you are already threatened with an attack! Unfortunately a hungry velociraptor has shown up and sympathy is something these creatures do NOT have. He immediately goes after one of your friends and begins taking a few nice bites out of his leg. Desperate to help, you pick up one of the many available spears and begin hurling them at the attacking creature. Unfortunately they do next to nothing to distract its feeding so you begin to feel truly helpless. But thankfully, an even hungrier creature shows up shortly afterwards! It happens to be a giant centipede, and lo and behold, it goes right after the velociraptor! So with the two of you seemingly saved, you breathe a sigh of relief. But wait a second, after it kills the previous attacker, it decides to then come after you! But thankfully this creature is far more vulnerable to the spears you previously tried to use and you take the creature out without much problem.
Next, experiencing a more “arcadey” type situation, you and your friends eventually use two rafts to float down a river. But of course you just can’t be alone right? Well duh, right! So because your buddies are trying to help you survive, they offer you the use of an automatic rifle, a real weapon finally! Now as stated before, you have some company. Unfortunately a couple of T-Rexes have decided to grace both sides of this river with their presence, and of course they’re hungry! Now of course you can choose to shoot the living daylights out of them, but it’s almost impossible to know if you can take them down. Since the game has completely done away with the use of an onscreen HUD indicator, you can only tell when creatures take damage by literally witnessing their physical wounds. But nevertheless, the gargantuan dinos will continue to stomp along the sides of the river without even seeming to feel any pain, just itching to sink their teeth into you!
What’s another cool feature in this game is the actual environmental interaction you can have with your weapons! On your actual raft is a small pit of fire, and you have the option of actually lighting your spear with it. Soon your raft comes to a point where a field of grass comes dangerously close between you and the hungry T-Rexes. These T-Rexes are eventually joined by raptors, but thanks to their presence in the grass, you can simply hurl the spear at it and set them on fire, forcing them away from you! You have finally gotten your team to safety!
Eventually your raft comes to a dead stop and your team ends up in a new clearing. The location you’re now in is similar to the campsite you previously encountered, only this place is far more expansive. Unfortunately while trying to find a place to prevent the pursuing T-Rexes from tracking your scent, they eventually cut you off. You are now in their presence, and simply waiting to get a nice feel of what T-Rex teeth feel like! Or will that even happen?
But now we have a change of pace! We switch from the playing of Mr. Driscoll to the controlling of the king of the island himself! That’s right, just like mentioned before, King Kong is just as playable in this game as Driscoll is! Visually, he apparently looks very impressive. From his genuine looking body shape to the very movements that he makes, King Kong was brought into this game very well. He will beat his chest, he will barrel through his territory, all while carrying his prize female sacrifice in arm. Remember the situation in which Driscoll seemed doomed from his pursuing T-Rex adversaries? Well just when you think he’s dead meat, Kong suddenly appears from behind the forestry and begins absolutely pummeling your aggressors! Kong may not be the most intimidating looking creature of all time, but his sheer aggressiveness and strength is enough to scare anybody!
Kong himself actually has a nice number of unique battle tactics. He has an insanely powerful roundhouse punch that he likes to follow up with a painful looking backhand attack. He also has the ability to pound both of his fists into the ground, stunning just about anything and anyone nearby! However, what Kong exuberates as his “specialty” maneuver is something that is unseen in any videogame or movie EVER. In an almost too painful to watch execution, Kong can literally wrestle a T-Rex to the ground, grab its mouth and BREAK his jaw by pulling as hard as he possibly can on both sides! That’s a kind of sadistic strength that many would truly die for these days! But anyway, after Kong takes care of those T-Rexes for whatever reason made him, he then takes off into the distance!
Finally, Kong can also move in a variety of cool ways. Like the authentic looking giant gorilla that he is, he walks on both his knuckles and feet when moving slowly, but he has the ability to travel longer distances in other ways. In several different areas, Kong has the ability to squeeze into tight areas like chasms and gullies. In these areas he can swing, cling to the walls and even run along the walls in an incredibly fluid set of motion! Sort of reminds you of Prince of Persia doesn’t it? That’s almost a scary thought to be truthful. A big, strong gorilla equals the agility of an exceedingly smaller Prince? Let’s just not go there…
So there you have it! This is virtually everything we can know about this game up to this point. So as it seems, King Kong definitely has a great chance of being the next “GoldenEye 007” in terms of movie-based videogame quality. Let’s just hope that all the hype isn’t for nothing and this game does indeed turn out the way critics think it will be. Peter Jackson is indeed a respected director with some enjoying the videogame adaptations of his Lord of the Rings movies. Let’s just hope his trend can continue when both this movie is released in theaters and the game is released in stores!