Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is the highly anticipated video game tie-in to the 2011 film Green Lantern by Warner Bros. Rise of the Manhunters features the voice talent and likeness of actor Ryan Reynolds reprising his role as Hal Jordan, a human test pilot bequeathed the Green Lantern Power Ring by the dying Abin Sur. Hal joins the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic peace keeping entity whose members also possess similar Power Rings, giving them the ability to transmute any object within their imagination and willpower into green energy constructs.
Penned by veteran Marv Wolfman, the Wii Green Lantern game storyline features the former peacekeeping group called the Manhunters invading and taking revenge on the Corps for their forced exile. The player takes control of Hal Jordon and battles hordes of the Manhunter androids and other bosses in this action-adventure genre Wii game.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters follows similar gameplay to the popular God of War series, which involves close-up melee and range action, combination maneuvers, and quick-time combat feature. A helpful tutorial at the beginning lets players familiarize themselves with the controls and practice combo feats. Despite this, the game doesn’t rely on intricate maneuvers, and simple button mashing can do the job. Whether this is a good thing or not, fans of the action and beat ‘em up style mechanics that Rise of the Manhunters offers will enjoy this game thoroughly.
The levels are divided into ten chapters involving traditional running and eliminating bad guys as they arrive in manageable waves. Occasional flying levels are also presented where the player navigates Hal Jordan and blasts away aerial enemies in a target-style third person shooter. The game dutifully presents a variety of Green Lantern staple characters such as Sinestro, Kilowog, Ganthet, Amon Sur, the Manhunters, and Hal Jordan himself for comic book fans to identify with.
Ultimately, the pièce de résistance of Rise of the Manhunters are the amazing constructs that can be created with the Power Ring. Hal Jordan slowly amasses his collection of unique weapons by gaining experience points. The constructs start as simple slashing and bludgeoning weapons like a sword or mace and eventually progress to more deadly armaments including a blade whip, Gatling gun, rocket punch, piston blitz, and even a jet fighter. Extra abilities such as temporary invincibility and enemy projectile deflection are also developed. The imaginative constructs keep things exciting in an otherwise so-so game.
The mechanics and combat of Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters are pretty repetitive. If not for the constructs, there is little point in trudging through ten chapters of the same basic antics. The graphics are average and don’t really stand out, and the storyline is standard with a forgettable plot twist.
Another weak point of the game is the difficulty level, which is too easy. The whole game can be completed in less than a day if one takes his time, and less than three hours if on a speed run. Even on the hardest setting, it’s still fairly easy.
Other than the constructs, the one saving grace that makes Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters work is the multiplayer feature. The developers have incorporated a drop-in and drop-out function wherein another player can enter the game at anytime as Sinestro and engage in some cooperative action. If the second player doesn’t plan on staying long, he can drop-out of the game when he’s ready to leave, and the first player can continue the campaign by himself. This seamless multiplayer transition is extremely handy and makes beating up bad guys all the more fun.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a decent game. Although the movie has gotten a lot of negative criticism for its quality and storyline, the Green Lantern Wii game thankfully doesn’t bask in the reflective disgrace. However, it doesn’t shine either. This is one of those games that are enjoyable to play with a friend when you’ve got nothing better to do, but then gets quickly relegated in some dusty corner in your game collection after you beat it. It’s fun while it lasts, though, and that might be enough motivation to play it. Just don’t expect a life changing experience.