Big MonkeyPeter Jackson
should have the nickname ‘Midas’ because he is getting the reputation, anything he touches turns to gold. Lord of the Rings
for instance, while some people didn’t like his alterations to Tolkien’s
classic fantasy tale, the films were a rip-roaring success.
Enter Jackson in collaboration with Ubisoft and you have a recipe for a good solid game, based on his up-and-coming big Gorilla movie: King Kong
, another classic tale retold with Jackson’s meticulous attention to directing detail. With the full support of Weta
and the cast of the movie Ubisoft is going for the jugular on the Xbox 360 with their launch title.Story
The Kong game mirrors the story in the movie and gives two unique viewpoints in terms of gameplay elements. To begin with you play the role of Jack Driscoll a friend of a particularly lunatic directory, Carl Denham. Denham drags Jack, himself and a whole host of other people including the lovely Ann Darrow to the remote Skull Island in search of the best location for his new movie.
While on route to the island things go horribly wrong and that’s where the adventure kicks off for real.Gameplay
Kong attempts to do things a lot differently from your average run and gun shooter game, by combining two distinct styles of play together seamlessly. At first you’ll play in the role of Jack, this provides the FPS style gameplay and secondly at key points in the story you’ll be able to let go as Kong himself, putting all kinds of Big Monkey hurt on your opponents.
The best way to describe both sections of the gameplay are intense, the FPS element gives you only a few moments to breathe before it throws you into near-impossible odds and expects you to survive, but realistically that’s what has happened to Jack and the others, they’re stuck on a dangerous monster laden island with no way off. Fortunately Captain Englehorn has access to a Seaplane, so you’ll spot him zooming around the island dropping off supplies for Jack.
Kong brings to the fore a new gameplay dynamic that I can see being used in a lot more games, there is no HUD and there’s no crosshair. That’s right; all the things that we are used to seeing in a FPS are gone. A quick tap of the B button and Jack will let you know how much ammo he has.
If you get hit, the screen will flash red and you’ll hear Jack’s heartbeat increase – the more you get hit, the worse this becomes until of course you’re in serious trouble and shuffle off the mortal coil. The game tracks your progress through fairly forgiving save points so you don’t have to tread old ground too often.
Jack can pick up bones from piles littered around the area, using them as makeshift spears when he’s out of ammo for a weapon. There are also spears that Jack can use, these can be lit on fire from various sources and several of the game’s puzzles require you to do just that to progress any further.
Jack’s sections require you to think before you shoot and conserve ammo, they are extremely atmospheric and some of them border on the downright difficult – the sense of achievement is however worth it if you persevere with the section and beat the odds. You can also target characters like Hayes, requesting their weapon or giving them one of your own if you want a different one.
As for the weapons, you have a pistol, there’s the obligatory shotgun and of course later on a sniper rifle and Tommy gun make up the arsenal of possible weapons.
Jack can carry only one gun at a time and this makes for a much more tactical gameplay experience.
Kong has several un-lockable achievements that can be tracked via Xbox LIVE or offline. They will add to your overall gamer score and prove to the world just how cool you are.