- Replay Value
I remember reading a post on Destructoid not too far back. The title was “So the Expendables 2 game is actually fun”. Because of this, I decided to give the game a spin. I figured “Hey, the game is bound to be over the top, action packed, and should play similar to Dead Nation, a well done twin stick shooter.” I would definitely go as far to say the game is over the top…over the top horrible. After playing through The Expendables 2 Video Game, I have to go back to that Destructoid post and ask the author if he was either intoxicated or high while playing it. No, ladies and gentlemen, the “Movie games are bad” curse has not been broken with this one.
As you would expect, The Expendables 2 Video Game is a rendition of the upcoming Expendables 2 movie in video game form. The game plays like a twin stick shooter with action elements. Everything is explosive, fast paced, and very manly. However, these aspects seem to lead to one of it’s greatest downfalls; half the time you can’t even tell what is going on in the game. The game uses an overhead view, and your characters aren’t very big. Add in the fact that there are four different characters, and you already can’t tell your own team apart. Throw in an excessive amount of explosions, a ridiculous number of enemies, and now you are to the point where you can’t even tell where your character is half the time. Instead of actually aiming at enemies, I would just repeatedly mash the shoot button because it was more effective. Also, I would lose track of my character on multiple occasions, only to be reunited when I changed to a new one. It’s just very sloppy, and the developers overdid the whole “everything must explode” theme of The Expendables.
The gameplay mechanics in The Expendables 2 Video Game are pretty much a mess. To just start naming off the reason’s, there is virtually no penalty for death in this game. First, you have to get all four characters killed for you to have to restart a checkpoint. Getting all four characters killed is a challenge in itself. You can heal a dead character as many times as you please, making it almost impossible for you to actually lose all four characters. Not to mention the fact that the checkpoints you return to are at most 20 seconds apart. There’s just no death penalty, and it takes any reason to play away. There is no ammo limit, making it possible to just spam the shoot button. Once you empty your clip, you are instantly given more ammo. Games like Dead Nation work because they have a set ammo limit, which makes you think about how you use your bullets. Without this limiting factor, there is little to no reason to even worry about playing carefully or skillfully. Oh, this is actually kind of funny. Throughout levels, when you kill bad guys, you can fill your special gauge. Once it’s filled, you can use a signature kill. Now, this would be sort of cool if it weren’t for the fact that it kills one single enemy that you could kill in one shot anyways… It’s a totally useless mechanic, and it just makes me laugh. The only thing that the game actually did right was the 4 player co-op with local and online drop-in/drop-out because lets face it, playing this game alone would be no fun at all (the only problem is finding people who have such low standards for games that they would actually enjoy playing it…).
On top of all this, The Expendables 2 Video Game runs on an experience system that allows you to add perks to different weapons and skills. The only problem is that they individual skill trees are so lame that they sound like they were derived by a 12 year old. They are extremely generic, such as “Increase Health” and “Increase Power”. Come on guys, at least give me the ability to upgrade my ass-kicking skills or something. I already kill everything in almost one hit. Why do I need to have more power? The skills are generally irrelevant, and I made it through almost the entire game without touching the perks much at all. All that time getting experience was wasted. Can I have those hours back please?
As I expected, The Expendables 2 Video Game falls under the biggest curse ever established for video games; movie based games are horrible. I gave The Expendables 2 a fair shot. I played it alone, joined in with some friends, and almost thought I was having fun. Then, everything changed, and my smile started to fade completely. The more I played, the more I realized just how horrible the game was. Our Features Editor, Jake Thomas, kept telling me how bad it was, but I was in denial. “Just a little more…you will see that it isn’t THAT bad…” Then he made me eat my own words. Sorry guys, but you should definitely pass on this one. Just go ahead and buy Dead Nation or something. Let’s just hope that the Expendables 2 movie is a little better than this.