"Ben 10," the series about a young superhero with a device that lets him turn into various aliens, is seven years old this season. The latest soft reboot in the series, "Ben 10: Omniverse," has remained popular and acclaimed for its combination of action and style. With the series incoming, the video game was naturally soon to follow. At E3 2012, D3 Publisher showed us a video game that hearkens to both the series' earliest and newest days.
The video game, simply titled Ben 10: Omniverse, does not adapt any plot from the show. Instead, series writers were brought in to pen a distinct plot with a hint of Sonic Generations. In this entry, the now-professional hero-in-training 16-year-old protagonist, Ben Tennyson, has decided that he's tired of the energy limits that prevent him from using the Omnitrix (a wrist gadget that lets him transform into a variety of alien forms) for sustained periods of time. Working on a way to correct this quickly goes wrong, tossing Ben six years back in time, where he encounters ... Ben Tennyson, a 10-year-old kid who has only begun to use the Omnitrix. Fortunately, Rook, who is Ben's partner and a by-the-book new character, is along for the ride. Unfortunately, a new villain is around to cause trouble, too — though we didn't learn the identity of the antagonist in the demo.
The gameplay mostly plays like Ben 10: Protector of Earth, the first game based on the series. Players play as Ben or Rook, fighting enemies and progressing through stages. This sort of gameplay is never quite fresh and new, but it never really gets old, either.
The two characters behave differently in significant ways. Ben has 13 transformations (you can hotkey four to the d-pad and change between them at any time), each of which can level up a few times based on the number of defeated enemies. However, his device's power limits prevent him from maintaining forms for long, forcing him to often fight as a normal human with a slight knack for brawling. Rook uses a Prototool, which can transform into a variety of weapons as befits the situation.
Naturally, as a kid-oriented game, Ben 10: Omniverse is relatively easy but has nicely developed graphics that feel authentic to the show. The gameplay is also decently smooth, as Ben was easy to control and he could effortlessly take on groups. The game also uses drop-in, drop-out co-op, allowing Rook to be left to the AI or handled by a second player. The developers discussed how to handle WiiU Gamepad integration, and they do intend to make some use of the tablet.
Ben 10: Omniverse is scheduled for this holiday season, soon after the start of the television series.
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