Minority Report the movie, was one of last summers blockbuster movies based on the notion of how psychic twins could be used to foresee future crimes. The story tells of how this new pre-crime unit deals with controversy when one of its own officers is accused of a future murder. The movie ended up being one of Tom Cruises better performances in recent times and thus went on to make a half decent run at the box office. Back in late August 2002, it was announced that a videogame was in development using the movies license. My first thought was how a videogame based on this movie would really work. When the game did arrive during the holidays, it became evident that the game was nothing more than an average beat-em up using the movie as a loose backdrop for plot.
The developer Treyarch, has a good history behind it and therefore the presentation here is somewhat disappointing. Character designs are rather bland with little detail and generic looking for a beat-em-up title. The level design is also somewhat rather limited in design and function. They look too simplistic and similar to designs we have seen in the Dynamite Dekka series back on Dreamcast. Both characters and environments could have benefited from a lot more detail. The camera tends to be problematic in tight spaces, which usually results in an untimely and frustrating death. On a positive note, the weapon explosions are half decent. The presentation ends on a high note thanks to a very competent voice acting team and a solid in game soundtrack to go along with the futuristic nature of the game.
Take away the lucrative movie license and Minority Report more or less plays like Treyarchs Spider-Man title. Your character is controlled in the same way, the hand-to-hand combat is familiar and the level design is closely identical. Of course in Minority Report there is a larger weapon arsenal to utilize but the overall feel of the game is too close to Spider-Man. That is not necessarily a bad thing but the issues that plagued Spider-Man have not been remedied in Minority Report. The combat, which makes up ninety percent of the game, is less than stellar and at times downright button smashing boring. Some cool jetpack levels allow you to fly around looking for escape routes. Too bad, there were not more of these. One of the games main objectives is to run around and search for money in each level. The money is then used to purchase power-ups. Nice idea, but the problem is that the need to find cash disrupts the flow of the game. Another game flow issue comes in the form of random ending points in levels. This proves annoying in some areas that are just starting to get exciting when suddenly comes to an end and you are treated to more loading times. The result is a chopped up game that just cannot get itself together.
Minority Report is not a total disappointment but rather a recycled and somewhat broken game engine that we have already experienced this past year. If you liked the movie or are looking for some good old beat-em-up moments, then give Minority Report a rental. Otherwise, your hard earned money should be spent elsewhere.