REVIEW – PlatinumGames tends to make one licensed game via Activision per year in a lower price category. After Korra, they went to Transformers last autumn, and now they took their spin on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. The problem is that the same issues are present here as with the robots with more than meets the eye.
I completed the game in four hours, and thirty-three minutes. Blind. On Normal difficulty. I only got „killed” once. Sure, there’s Hard and Very Hard difficulties, but wow. Perhaps I shouldn’t use such an in medias res beginning, so let me talk about my thoughts about the new Turtles game.
The latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game has one good thought: seeing how the crew consists of four turtles, you can play online with three other players. And this is where I begin tearing Mutants in Manhattan apart: you cannot play the game offline for co-op. What the hell, even the LEGO games offer couch co-op, but not this title! Whatever. The story is the usual suspect from the comic books. Shredder and Krang come in, they devise a plan to take over the world – they recruit bad guys such as Slash, Wingnut, Bebop, and Rocksteady, and the pizza fanatic turtles must stop them. That’s not a problem, mind you! However, the way it ends is an annoyance. I don’t want to spoil anything (hopefully I can do so!), but the last boss fight is pathetic. I see that this person has seven health bars, but bam, bam, bam, it (yep, we’re sticking with IT) loses one every ten seconds. Seriously? Of course, the ending is a cliffhanger. Great.
The story is the usual suspect from the comic books. Shredder and Krang come in, they devise a plan to take over the world – they recruit bad guys such as Slash, Wingnut, Bebop, and Rocksteady, and the pizza fanatic turtles must stop them. That’s not a problem, mind you! However, the way it ends is an annoyance. I don’t want to spoil anything (hopefully I can do so!), but the last boss fight is pathetic. I see that this person has seven health bars, but bam, bam, bam, it (yep, we’re sticking with IT) loses one every ten seconds. Seriously? Of course, the ending is a cliffhanger. Great.
The four fighters have different personalities and weapons. Michelangelo is the crazy type with his nunchucks and an insane amount of craving for pizza. Raphael is the aggressive one with his sais, Leonardo is the boss with the katanas, and Donatello is the tech guy with the bō. Of course, April and Splinter sensei also shows up, but unfortunately, they don’t have a big role in the plot.
Map? Nope. Marker to show you your next destination? Nada. Instead, you get Ninja Vision, which seems to be a carbon copy of Assassin’s Creed’s Eagle Vision. You’ll use that often to see where to go. If you don’t fight foes continuously, you’ll see yourself defusing bombs. I don’t recall the turtles stop for multiple pages in the comics to focus on bombs like that.
Of course, the bad guys spawn near you just to slow down the game. Altogether, this experience becomes a mixed one: the sometimes chaotic fast combat pulls the handbrakes – while the combat system is alright, this pacing ruins the gameplay. There is a noticeable lack of balance in Mutants in Manhattan. Sure, it has a tint of RPG to level up your attacks and skills, but I never felt dedicated to keeping collecting the points at all costs.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan lacks polish. The background music is entirely forgettable, the voice acting (while being good, also including Drake’s voice, Nolan North) gets repetitive in very little time. Alright, what about the graphics? While the art direction is commendable, it should look a bit better.
This is the price we pay for a multiplat title: the usual suspects are expanded with the prev-gen X360/PS3 duo. The level designs also felt slapped together. I kept using Ninja Vision over and over, making all nine levels sub-par. (Level 9 with the elevator. Oh yes.)
Only if you can get it for dirt cheap
This game costs 50 dollars/euros on the PS4. It’s 40 on PS3, which makes way more sense. Still, the price is too damn high in my opinion. Not only is the game short (again, 4-5 hours to beat all nine levels), but it’s also overpriced. If it drops to around twenty bucks, I say, get it. The game is not bad for kids, especially because it has some multiplayer options… too bad it’s not local multiplayer. If you get knocked out, you drop to the pizza room, getting revived in no time – difficulty shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
For kids, this game is recommended, but for everyone else, it just doesn’t feel like a 50-dollar game. If it had more levels, a somewhat slower pace, and improved audiovisuals, Mutants in Manhattan would easily get a 7. However, in this state, I can only give it a 5. Too bad.
+ I liked its art style
+ For kids, it’s a good game
+ The plot is exactly TMNT-esque
– Too short for too much money
– Audiovisually problematic
– Why isn’t there a local multiplayer?
Genre: Beat’em up
Release date: May 24, 2016 (PS4, PS3)