Publisher: Disney Interactive
Release Date: July 21, 2009
We all know spies are cool; they really should occupy a place alongside pirates and ninjas as total badasses. James Bond has been around for 40 years and actually seems to be getting younger and more lethal by the day, so the villains of the world best be watching their backs. But what if you're a secret agent who happens to be a guinea pig? Would you still possess all the suave and cunning necessary to stop international bad guys, or would you be so distracted by your wheel and water bottle that you never make it out of the cage? According to Disney, the answer is definitely the former, and this summer's G-Force game is out to prove that it's more than a mere movie tie-in. The scary thing for gamers? It may just turn out to be true, and then all our preconceived notions that movie games are automatically terrible will be permanently shattered.
Both the game and the film follow the exploits of Darwin, a super-intelligent guinea pig who relies on a ring of spy friends to rid the world of evil. Darwin's main antagonist is Leonard Saber, an inventor/businessman who is weaponizing appliances in order to strike fear into the heart of the general populace and use his new inventions to rule the world. This is largely where the similarities end, though, as the game won't be directly following the exploits of the movie and strikes out to tell its own tale.
Of course, like any good spy, Darwin needs plenty of gadgets (especially since he's under a foot tall), and G-Force delivers in spades. He can attack with an electro-whip, spot baddies and secret areas with thermal goggles and fly or spring with his jet pack. He's also set up with lots of other formidable weapons, including a flamethrower and a hacking gun that allows him to take over one of Saber's inventions and turn it into an ally. Up to three gadgets can be hotkeyed at any time, and the rest are available via a wheel à la Ratchet & Clank. Furthermore, all the weapons and gadgets are exclusive to the game, meaning you won't have to worry about any movie retreads here. Those who buy the DS version will even be treated to a stylus-heavy mini-game where players can hack into some larger robots and ride them around as vehicles, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Rather than being a solitary agent, Darwin has friends because there are some areas even he can't tackle alone. At any time in the game, players can summon Mooch, Darwin's housefly partner to squeeze through narrow spaces, solve puzzles and find hidden areas. This hot-swap skill should add a degree of spice to gameplay, though players will have to be careful because enemies can still damage Darwin even while they are controlling Mooch.
Throughout our G-Force demo, the company representative emphasized that he knows the mostly bad rap that movie-based games have, and for the most part, the reputation is well-deserved. Disney is determined to break free of that mold, though, and provide a title that is entertaining and fun to fans of the film and gamers who are just curious to see a Tom Clancy-esque guinea pig on the box. While we won't be able to make a more definitive judgment on the game until we get some hands-on time, G-Force appears to be a title that's willing to put its money where its adorable furry mouth is.
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