Thor: The Dark World
With Thor: The Dark World set to pound its way into theaters on November 8th - with the treacherous Loki in tow, no doubt - Gameloft has opted to release a free-to-play mobile game based on the film. In it, you play the hammer-wielding Asgardian as he does battle with enemies from five different worlds, in the hope of restoring peace across the universe.
He won't be alone in his endeavors of course, as Thor can summon allies and mighty Einherjar warriors, as well as general archers and warriors to help turn the tide of battle in his favor.
Gameloft's team did a good job creating the environments in The Dark World, and they mirror those featured in the Marvel Comics of the same name. The action moves along at a decent pace too - save for a few bugs - and some of the larger enemies in the game are suitably impressive.
Several mighty hammers and new suits of armor can be unlocked over the course of playing the game, as well as new and powerful skills for Thor and his fellow warriors. In short, there's plenty of replay value for those who wish to stick around.
Even ignoring the handful of game-breaking bugs we experienced (we had to restart the game three times during our review), the gameplay of Thor: The Dark World just isn't all that good. The touchscreen controls are frequently inaccurate, and you'll often throw your hammer in the wrong direction as a result. Even when the controls do come together, the combat still feels monotonous.
Also, the freemium system is rather unfair. You're given limited health and mana potions to use throughout your journey, and once you're out, you'll only have one life to get through each stage unless you pony up some real cash. Certain armor pieces and weapons are free of charge, but you'll need to pay for the rest.
Had Gameloft just charged a flat fee and offered a virtual joypad control set-up, Thor: The Dark World would've fared much better in the final analysis. Instead, it simply feels like a bit of a chore. Save your cash for the film.