|November 12th, 2004 (France)|
|XBOX - Play Station 2 - Game Cube - PC - Mac - GBA|
The Incredible family arrived on consoles in 2004. As the film was very action-oriented, a video game was promising.
The test was conducted on the XBOX version.
The game offers you the chance of playing with all four members of the Incredible family. However, we mainly stayed with Mr. Incredible, played as Elastigirl a few times, three times as Dash and once as Violet.
The gameplay is pretty basic and does not allow you to do much. Running, hitting, lifting and carrying are the only actions you can perform. On rare occasions you will have to swim or climb. Each character has an extra ability. The parents strike swiftly and hard, while the children have the power of speed or invisibility.
Every now and again, you will have to activate switches or hang on to reach certain areas within the levels, but the poor gameplay brings on an irritating form of repetition. It might have been wiser to have designed more interactions. Indeed, the game is a platform game and compels the player to follow a given course to reach the end of the level, leaving you little freedom of movement.
One detail which will annoy some players is the impossibility of inverting the camera, which will bring about playability errors until you get used to it. The only way of switching this camera is by entering a secret code (which you can find on the Internet). We did not really understand why the publishers made such a choice.
The video game follows the film plot, and each level is separated by a scene from the feature which enables you to situate yourself within the story. Though actually, if the player has not seen the film, he will not understand much. The game includes 18 levels.
So the beginning of the game takes place on building rooftops with Mr. Incredible chasing Bomb Voyage. This level serves as a tutorial, and shows you the character’s abilities and the type of interaction you may have to perform.
Afterwards, we played as Elastigirl. This character is more pleasant to play with, as she moves about faster and can hit opponents from a distance.
The next level does not have much of a purpose. You are hanging on to Buddy and you just have to avoid obstacles.
You move on to the scene featuring the burning building, where you meet Frozone. Though this scene is quite brief in the film, here you have to confront arsonists. We would have enjoyed being able to have Frozone by our side so as to make the game a little more entertaining, rather than seeing him from afar and telling us to hurry up.
The fifth level is fun, but pointless and irrelevant to the film. Dash is the player character, and you have to rush off to school by racing through the city and avoiding obstacles. This is fun, inasmuch as you come across the Pizza Planet truck or the Eggman removal van. However, the first flaws in the game become apparent. The dialogues are always the same (the level amounts to three or four lines played on a continuous loop).
You end up on Syndrome’s island, where you have to destroy several robots to make any headway. The enemies are very repetitive and defeating them is not difficult in itself, but you sometimes get overcome by the sheer number of them, leaving you little opportunity to defend yourself. Another major flaw in the game is when you lose. The levels include a few automatic save points, and a defeat takes you back to one of these points. The problem is that they are very spaced out, and having to start over a whole section within the level soon becomes annoying when you fail several times in a row. Furthermore, there is no game assistance. There are barely any instructions, and you sometimes end up wondering what it is you have to do.
Then the moment finally comes where you have to destroy the Omnidroid. The method is once again simple, but the game has one very prominent flaw: you do not necessarily have time to react. The obstacles soon follow on from one another and do not leave you the chance to ward off blows or even attack. Which leads you to be hit very often, and there are few health recharges to be found. The worst thing being that you sometimes have to get hit so as to easily approach the robot to destroy it.
Back on the island, you once again have to face the same types of robots as before. This time, you board the defence ships in order to destroy turrets. Once again, you will need to replay this part of the game several times as we were so often attacked from every which way. The last major flaw of the game then becomes apparent: its difficulty. This game is really very hard-going and most of the time ruins the enjoyment of playing. At the end, you once again face the Omnidroid that has new powers, adding more impediments to defeat him.
The game goes on in a repetitive style by leaving us within the island command centre and increasing the difficulty of the various levels. It was only when we reached the twelfth level that we were once again able to play as Elastigirl. However, the flaw regarding save points compelled us to start over entire sections on several occasions.
A few levels near the end, you are back with Dash for a wild race on the island. The difficulty is still there and the scenery sometimes conceals the obstacles you have to avoid, which makes things even more complicated for the player. The slightest mistake is indeed practically unforgivable, compelling you to start over and over again to reach the end of the level.
The next level is meant to have more of an "infiltration" quality to it. Thanks to Violet’s invisibility, you have to edge your way in unbeknownst to the soldiers. This is pleasant, but the level is really very short.
The fifteenth level is a real brain-teaser, bringing together both children in the spherical force field. The handling of this sphere is very complicated due to the rebound. Furthermore, this level is very far removed from the scene in the film as here you have to destroy several characters and robots to get by.
The next levels first lead you to play as Elastigirl, and then as Mr. Incrediblein the maze that is the island’s command centre. We were really sorry there was such little level variety in that respect. Admittedly, the film plot had to be followed, but the game designers really extended scenes that did not need it.
The very last level is set in the city for the final fight with the Omnidroid. The robot is really more complex than the previous ones and is hard to defeat.
It is a shame there was no level in which you could drive the motor-home. This would have allowed for some variety regarding playability.
The graphics are really very beautiful for back then and are still enjoyable nowadays. The jungle levels are the most interesting in terms of visuals as they are more elaborately detailed, unlike the indoor scenes which are quite poor.
The characters are very true to the film and have not been altered, which enables you to immerse yourself even further into the world of the film.
The player is bathed in Michael Giacchino’s musical atmosphere, and the French voices match those that dubbed the characters. As said earlier, one of the flaws might be the repetition in the dialogue.
The other flaw relates to the sometimes inconsistent mixing during the full motion videos where the voices are barely audible.
The game can be completed in ten hours or so if the player is very apt. It is because of the very far-reaching difficulty that the life cycle can substantially be extended.
Throughout the levels you can find icons that unlock bonuses. These bonuses enable you to watch scenes from the film or view artwork.
The game has one extra flaw and a bothersome one at that: every level you start must be completed. The save points throughout the levels only come into use if you fail. Should you have to turn the console off to resume play later, you will go back to the beginning of the level. This is quite an off-putting restriction for a player.
Well-wrought graphics and a polished soundtrack cannot make up for a disjointed plot and poor gameplay.
However, it is because of its difficulty that we do not recommend this game. It would have been a good idea to be given a choice regarding the level of difficulty as in most games, but THQ thought it better to impose a mode. This far-reaching difficulty is not suited for young children even though the game is aimed at general audiences.