Monsters from Godzilla
Cinema’s most destructive anti-hero returns to gaming, but does this new tie-in really do justice to the king of the monsters?
On the face of it Godzilla and video games seem like the perfect match. But making a good quality game where you play as a nigh invulnerable, skyscraper-sized monster, with no particular goal other than beating up other giant monsters, is not as easy as it might sound. It has been done before, but unfortunately this new game is not fit for a king.
We’ve always been very partial to the Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee series of games, that started out on the GameCube and worked as a sort of slower, stodgier (as is Godzilla’s wont) version of Power Stone. In fact turning the Godzilla universe into a fighting game has worked multiple times, not just in those games but in unofficial homages such as SNK’s King Of The Monsters series and PlayStation 2 title War Of The Monsters. The early Earth Defence Force games are also worth a mention, as a fun portray of the human side of the concept.
It’s when a game tries to hang a single-player campaign around the Big G that things start to go wrong, and this new game is worryingly reminiscent of Godzilla Generations on the Dreamcast. Not just the basic city-smashing premise, but in terms of the outdated graphics and some very odd design decisions…
In the main story mode you start off controlling an old school Toho versions of Godzillla (the American version from the new movie is in the game, but you have to unlock him) as he appears in Japan for the first time in 60 years. He’s quite small though and by destroying objects and acquiring ‘G-Energy’ you slowly begin to grow over the course of 10 stages. We don’t profess to be Godzilla experts but we’ve never heard of that happening in the films, so it seems an odd premise to base a whole game on.Godzilla (PS4) – everyone loves King Ghidorah
What’s even odder is that the person designing the controls still seems to think it’s 1996, as Godzilla has what are essentially Resident Evil style tank controls. You push forward to move but turning left and right is achieved by using the shoulder buttons to rotate you around. We assume this was meant to enhance the impression that you really are controlling a slow-moving giant, but all it does is make Godzilla look drunk and confused.
The story mode has a branching structure, with 25 possible arenas in total, and where the idea is simply to absorb as much G-Energy as possible. Nothing the puny humans throw at you does much to impede your progress, and blowing up helicopters with your atomic breath or stomping on tanks is usually relegated to mere bonus objectives. The real challenge comes from fellow monsters, who turn up seemingly at random and, naturally, don’t have nearly as much trouble with the controls as you do.