Hollywood’s fast running out of heroes. The household names already have films to their name, so now we get B- and C-list comic superheroes appearing on the big screen.
Green Lantern is one such hero – a man who protects the universe using a magic ring that creates anything he can imagine out of green energy. This week he makes his movie debut and, guess what, there’s a game to mark the occasion too: a game to tie in with a film based on a B-list superhero.
It has all the hallmarks of a feeble cash-in. Just look at the eye-wateringly poor Thor: God of Thunder if you want an idea where this kind of thing can lead. But there’s a twist in the tale, because Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters isn’t bad at all. In fact, it’s buzzy and more-ish.
Most of the game consists of fighting opponents in quick succession using an ever-growing arsenal of green energy weaponry, from rocket launchers, miniguns and lassos to enormous hammers, baseball bats and maces. Lesser games would fall apart trying to map all of this on a single controller. But Green Lantern’s pleasingly simple controls allow rapid and seamless use of the hero’s stockpile of abilities to produce spectacular attack combos.
The game also does just about enough to stop the sameness of its action from grating. Bosses and new abilities are in plentiful supply and there’s a few puzzles, a co-op mode and Afterburner-style moments to break up the pace.
It won’t win awards, it won’t entertain for weeks and it doesn’t even know what the word innovation means. Hell, you’d be hard pushed to remember it in six months’ time, let alone a year. But for the few hours it lasts, Green Lantern serves up juicy dollops of empty-headed thrills.