No one can stop the power of Thor, especially when using the hammer/lightning combo!!!!
Seemingly released to capitalize on the recent film adaptation of the Marvel comic, Thor: Son of Agar from Marvel Entertainment is actually not based on the film at all. Instead, the game focuses on a new story, taking place across some of the nine realms as you fight your way to uncover a sorceress plot to over throw Agar.
Gameplay is reminiscent of God of War, or in the iPhone’s case, Hero of Sparta (a clone from Gameloft), where you button mash your way through hordes of enemies with a variety of attacks in full 3D environments.
However, that is where the similarities end…
Thor is mind-numbing bore of a game. Be it the first level, or the last, the game is just the same incessant action over and over. The basic gameplay premise plays out as follows: walk a few steps into an area; area is blocked off by two gates of fire; enemies appear; button mash to kill enemies; gates of fire open; walk on; repeat.
There is some variation in enemies early on, but that soon dries up as you encounter the same pattern of foes over and over. There are regular foot soldiers which are easily dispatched without any harm to yourself; archers for which you can block their arrows and take them out without much of a fight; the frost giants are a push over, quite literally, you can simply roll through them with your dodge move and then slash at their backs without so much of a bruise; from even the most challenging enemies that can block your attacks, there’s nothing that cannot be taken care of by just banging at the action button and unleashing a lightning blow.
Tapping the hammer action button twice and then tapping the lightning button performs this special move. It unleashes a devastating lightning smash, knocking all enemies in the immediate vicinity to the ground. You can then slash away at them whilst they are down, or even easier simply repeat the move and keep them down until they are all dead. Even if you do take some damage from a stray arrow, as soon as you kill an enemy your health meter is powered up from their life force.
It’s such a shame that the gameplay offers so little challenge, as Marvel seem to have put a lot of effort into the visuals. Characters look good, if a little blocky, and the environments are relatively well detailed and textured. By far the most impressive elements though are the motion comic-style cut scenes. Illustrated by Marvel’s comic book artists and voiced by some familiar cartoon VO actors, these scenes do well to push the story and the game onwards. Sadly they are few and far between, with many story sections instead told through the in-game engine and text boxes with no voice, which is a little inconsistent. The comic book art doesn’t stop there either. As you play the game you can unlock cover art from Marvel’s back catalogue of Thor comics, and view them full screen. It’s a nice addition, especially for die-hard fans.
Regardless of its high level of presentation in both visual and audio, the game is seriously hampered by highly repetitive gameplay with a control system that is flawed. Despite not being a direct spin off from the movies, I can’t help but think that the game was rushed out to cash-in from it. It’s a damn shame too; as it could have potential, but it’s a trend we are seeing with AppStore games time and time again.
Thor: Son of Asgard is out now for $4.99. Get it on the