The Rock is one of the most prominent WWE superstars today. We have seen him battle other WWE superstars in the ring and become victorious. He is probably one of the most entertaining wrestlers to watch today. With the success that he has attained in the squared circle, this has opened the doors for Dwayne Johnson "The Rock". He has now stared in his own movie "The Scorpion King" that was a great success in the theatres. Now we have the chance to live the adventures of the Scorpion King with the help of Universal Interactive and their new title available for the PS2. The story in the game title is original and was inspired by the blockbuster film. You play as the main character Mathayus "The Rock", who has been trained as an assassin for the clan The Akkadians. Mathayus has been sent out to dispense justice by the King Urmhet, where he must avenge the wrongs that have been done to others as well as protect his village. Also great evil lurks near as the dark lord Magus is determined to harness the evil powers of the underworld. Magus must protect all and stop the evil lord before it is too late.
With the success that all blockbuster action adventure films have, it is safe to say that there will more than likely be a video game on the horizon. When I saw the movie, I could tell with the amount of action that was in their software developers were just rubbing their hands and taking notes. Well here we have it, the game has arrived but does it live up to the hype of the movie? The graphics in this title are decent. It is nothing that we have not seen from other PS2 titles. The character models in game look like their movie counter parts. The world that the game takes place in seems to be detailed quite nicely. There are a few load times when the environments change or other levels are accessed. There are animals in the scenery that look very real as well. The character models of the bosses look great as well. They move with fluidity and the action can be fierce. Also when there is more than one enemy on screen at once there is no slowdown and the action is smooth. However my one complaint is with the collision detection, this is where it looks as fake as a wrestling match! When punches and kicks or even combos are preformed on enemies, they appear not to even touch the intended opponent. Even when you grab enemies and flip them over it looks very awkward. One time I grabbed an enemy and he seemed to flip over me without my character's hands even touching him. Maybe this was the ghost grab technique. Because of this, it real made for a real eye sore when the game is being played. The game look alright and stays true to the theme of the movie, but the poor collision detection and the awkward, quirky fighting moves make this game lose points in its overall graphic presentation. Better luck next time; prepare for the sequel boys.
The gameplay in this title is pretty much straight forward and user friendly. The attack buttons are the x and square buttons. Different combos can be preformed with the pressing of these buttons. Jumping is done with the circle button, the special move button is the triangle button, and jumping attacks can be done once in mid air. There is an extensive training mode in the game that allows you to practice moves on the villagers before you go into the world to do battle. You also have an array of weapons that you will acquire on the way. From one handed to two-handed swords, shields spears etc. You will have quite a few weapons to dispense justice at your disposal. The one problem that I found to be a pain was the camera angles. When you are in combat, the camera does not follow behind your back as you move in the 3D environments. You must constantly direct the camera with the R3 analog stick. This gets to be a pain after a while because as the action becomes more fierce, and as more enemies come on screen it becomes hard to direct your attacks to all those around you. In addition, this major factor needs to be improved upon if there are plans for the sequel.
The sound in this title is its savior. It was great to see that the main character "The Rock" lend his voice to the game so that there would be that level of authenticity for the movie to the game transition. The other characters voices in this game are great and they bring life to the cinema screens that we watch as the story unfolds. This is most likely one of the best aspects of this title and this is where their highest score should be seen.
Overall, if you are a big fan of The Rock, then this is a game for you. If you were a big fan of the movie, then you may also want to get your hands on this title. However, for those of us that have played other action adventure titles that have that RPG element that this title also has, it just does not cut it. There are too many slight eye sore flaws in the game to rank it among the rest. Overall a good effort, but only for the true fans at heart, maybe not for the serious gamers! Developers should be aware that a blockbuster movie to game titles do need to live up to the hype as well, there should be no riding of coat tails here.