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Godzilla: The Game Hands-On PS3 Preview

Godzilla

During the inaugural 2014 PlayStation Experience, I got the chance to play the PlayStation 3 demo for Godzilla: The Game. The Toho and Kaiju movie icon, star of his own big budget blockbuster released last summer, will get a new video game released to the PlayStation consoles in 2015. The game will be a PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 exclusive title. Unfortunately, only the playable demo of the PlayStation 3 version of the game was available from Bandai Namco Games at the PSX convention.

As a huge fan of the Godzilla franchise, I am always curious to see attempts at a new video game involving Big G. The new game is sort of like a modern, 3D version of the classic Rampage arcade game. The demo puts a limited sandbox out, dumps Godzilla on top of it, and the King of the Monsters can wreck shop. As Godzilla progressively wrecks more of the area, the military steps up its defense of the area with some high-tech aircrafts or battleships. Toward the end, another classic Toho monster will show up, including Ghidorah, Mothra, Mechagodzilla and even Jet Jaguar. Unfortunately, none of the other monsters will be playable for the game; only Godzilla is a playable character. I informed the Bandai Namco reps at the convention that it makes no sense to have models for all the other monsters in the game and not have the ability to play as those characters. I want to play as Ghidorah, Jet Jaguar, etc. There is no reason to limit a game to just Big G. There are three alternate versions of Godzilla that are playable in the game: Godzilla from 1989, Godzilla from 1995 and finally the new 2014 Legendary Pictures version of Godzilla. Hopefully, the other Toho monsters will be playable for the game later on. At the very least, the other monsters should be playable later as downloadable content.

Godzilla

Basically, the game entails playing as Godzilla and wrecking shop. The demo drops Godzilla into an industrial plant-type area. Godzilla is armed with various cool attacks. He smashes things with his claws and tail. He can wreck an area using his mighty roar, and he even has his patented atomic breath. I like the pace and style of the action. The game faithfully incorporates Godzilla’s fighting style and attacks. An especially cool feature is the ability to stalk and corner an aircraft carrier or vehicle and mow it down with the Atomic Breath. The escalation system with the military strengthening its forces or basically sending in another monster works well.

Unfortunately, the gameplay demo has some issues. The controls are quite cumbersome. Godzilla’s movement is very clunky. I assume the developers wanted Godzilla to be a little slower and lumbering as a giant monster, but it does not serve the gameplay to have such cumbersome controls. For example, Godzilla has to rotate directions during the L1 and R1 buttons. Using the shoulder buttons for directional movement on a controller that has an analogue stick makes no sense. Godzilla really needs a little more freedom of movement to give the game greater accessibility and to make it more fun to play. Another major issue concerns the graphics. The graphics and animation are sometimes quite choppy, especially when Godzilla wrecks a reactor and causes onscreen explosions. I played the PS3 demo, so hopefully the graphics and framerate do not suffer from these problems in the PlayStation 4 version.

I am all for new attempts at a Godzilla game. However, the demo has given me doubts about the final product. The game has a strong basic premise and style. There is potential, but the controls and visuals are flawed. In addition, players should get the option to play as the other monsters. Godzilla will be released for the PS3 and PS4 later in 2015.

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