G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
What? Cobra wants to rule the world? Eh, they can have it.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, based on the movie of the same name, puts you in control of super-powered soldiers as they prevent a ruthless terrorist organization from taking over the world. Unfortunately, the lackluster gameplay and numerous issues will force you to surrender sooner than expected.
The game has an overhead set-up similar to the old Atari Gauntlet games. You'll run through each stage with one of six G.I. Joe characters, including Duke, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Heavy Duty, Ripcord and Shipwreck; it's good to see Shipwreck, since he never appears in the film. Aside from aesthetics, however, the characters have the same standard attack, special attack, dodge and melee maneuver, except for Snake Eyes, who slashes bad guys with his sword.
On occasion, you'll be able to climb into a vehicle, like a heavily armored tank, to bring down baddies with extra firepower. Unfortunately, they feature poor handling. Even something as simple as turning is a chore, as you need to oversteer just to get your vehicle moving in the right direction; you're better off hoofing it.
Rise of Cobra supports multiplayer, but even that comes up short. Up to four players can simultaneously jump into a mission to bring down Cobra. Unfortunately, there's no Game Sharing option. That means everyone needs to own a copy.
Presentation-wise, the game fails to impress. While the environments feature varied terrain (desert, snowy and other locales), the limited view doesn't help, since you can't see too far ahead. What annoys us the most, though, is the barrage of unnecessary story sequences that interrupt the action. There's no option to turn these off, so you must repeatedly tap buttons to speed things along.
The soundtrack is equally annoying. While EA tried to implement the G.I. Joe theme, the irritating music failed to get us pumped; don't be surprised if you reach for the volume switch. You won't miss much, aside from standard explosion and gun effects.
With better character abilities, less (make that way less) story sequences and improved multiplayer options, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra could've been a movie tie-in to be proud of. Instead, it deserves a dishonorable discharge. At least now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
What's Hot: Interesting retro design, you can play as Shipwreck.
What's Not: Bland presentation, gameplay gets old, forced story sequences interrupt the flow of play, multiplayer requires multiple cartridges, poor vehicle controls.