G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Cheat Happens Game Review
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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Playstation 3, XBox 360, Nintendo Wii

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Developer:
Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

To be honest --   GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It still is however really, really bad.

As if you needed someone to tell you, the video game adaptation of this summer’s GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra won’t be winning any awards. Complete with a shoddy camera system, unbalanced action and tedious gameplay, Rise of the Cobra isn’t your typical crappy movie tie-in --- its worse.

Like many licensed titles, Rise of Cobra attempts to go beyond the movie with a deeper, longer story. Longer? Sure. Deeper? No. The plot revolves around the Joe’s attempts to thwart Cobra’s plans to collect pieces from around the world to construct a weapon called the MASS Device. Is it hokey? Yes, but it’s a bit more tolerable when you take into account that the original GI Joe cartoon didn’t feature the most intelligent of stories. There are moments where you’ll laugh out loud at just how bad the writing is – but it all feels a bit like a throwback to the old days…in some weird kind of way.



"Often you’ll find yourself taking cover on the opposite side of a wall..."

 
   

The idea behind what GI Joe could have been is simple: create a fun arcade style shooter in the vein of Contra and give it a GI Joe overlay. What the fine folks at EA chose to do though was steal concepts from popular action games, strip them of everything that made them novel and shove their hackneyed versions down gamer’s throats. Doesn’t that sound fun?!  Take the game’s cover system for example. Obviously stolen…err...borrowed from Gears of War, the system is meant to be the foundation of the game’s core mechanics but serves to do more damage than help.  The action in GI Joe basically consists of running, shooting with one button and taking cover with another – but the game moves too fast for this to be effective. Often you’ll find yourself taking cover on the opposite side of a wall or even rolling directly past the cover you wanted to use. It’s very infuriating to have to restart an entire chapter merely because the game won’t recognize your button presses correctly.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that the makers of GI Joe are under the impression that we’re all incredibly dumb. Just look at the game’s targeting system. Like most games, GI Joe features an auto-targeting system; you can manually switch to another target by flicking the right stick but if you don’t fire at your chosen enemy within a few seconds the game automatically switches back to the default target as if you’ve made a mistake. This all but takes away any concept of strategy and forces you to leave cover and shoot, even when you know you’re going to take on damage. What’s worse is that you gain power-ups by shooting them (a good lesson for any child), but the game’s targeting system doesn’t distinguish between these power-ups and enemies. You’ll be firing at an unneeded power-up while you’re surrounded by Cobra troopers because the game feels it’s more important.

Did I mention just how bad the game’s camera system is? Most action games will allow players to control the camera using the right thumbstick, but no – not GI Joe. In this game, you have no control whatsoever over the camera. As you play through the game, the camera swoops around the action to give the best view possible. At least, that’s what’s supposed to happen. In reality, the system is an utter and complete disaster. Instead of giving you the best view of the action and your objectives, the game seems to give you what it deems to be the best view of your characters (remember – the object of these games are to sell more merchandise), which means being shot at from enemies off-screen and quite often getting stuck behind obstacles in the environment. The only real way to fix this is to run around the map like a maniac until the camera is close to where you want it. Still, this fix is a temporary one as any movement will send it back to crapville.

"...passing a checkpoint doesn’t mean your game is saved – only your score."

 
   

Perhaps the most infuriating part of GI Joe: the Rise of Cobra is that it takes the checkpoint system – which should be a given in any game and makes it completely worthless. Unlike practically every game from the last 15 years, passing a checkpoint doesn’t mean your game is saved – only your score. Yes, you read that right, even if you die directly after passing a checkpoint; you’re still going to have to do the mission completely over. Gamers have come to rely on the checkpoint system and to change it isn’t being edgy – it’s just a spit in the face of fans.

To its credit though, GI Joe does do some things right. For one, it’s surprisingly challenging; especially on the higher difficulties where dead characters only return after you complete a mission – if at all. Also, since the game doesn’t mirror the plot of the film – you get the opportunity to play as classic Joe’s that aren’t featured in the film (and in most cases they’re more interesting, as they haven’t been given dull suits the characters in the movie have). There’s also a great deal of fan-service here, including a nice set of unlockables including several of the classic PSAs and bios on the characters.

Unless you’re a really big fan of GI Joe and are a glutton for punishment – you’d be better off skipping GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. You’ll easily find much better action games on the market that are worth your money.  

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Unlockables, Bonus Costumes

Aside from the unlockables (like Cobra characters Baroness, Destro and Firefly), the only real cheats available are for bonus classic costumes for a few of the Joe's. There's something about playing as Classic Duke that makes this game seem all the more satisfying. Perhaps because it makes me forget for just a brief second that I'm playing a game based on watered-down versions of a childhood staple?

There's also an unlockable mission once you complete the game but sadly it features the same problems that the rest of the game does. It would be nice to get an unlimited weapons and god mode cheat as it would help get through this god-awful game a bit faster. 

Stay with Cheat Happens for more GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra cheats as they become available.

 

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