Rise of the Guardians (Video Game Review)

DreamWorks released Rise of the Guardians last year to give fans a brand new take on old fairy tale legends including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Fans are obviously skeptical when it comes to new video games based on films, especially when they are based around an animated film that doesn't appeal to many gamers in the first place. Still, developer Torus Games has managed to do a good job with their new release of Rise of the Guardians to present a fully completed title that isn't quite to the production level of the beloved LEGO series of game, but it is pretty close.

Rise of the Guardians presents a storyline that very much follows along the narrative of the hit film. A diabolical force known as Pitch is threatening the children of the world with terrible nightmares that threatens to ruin their happiness forever. It will be up to the fairy tale legends North, Tooth, Bunnymund, the Sandman and Jack Frost to fight back against Pitch and his shadow minions to save the world. Players will battle through each the protagonists' five respective realms to rid the worlds from the shadow's grip and find powerful items that will allow the team to stand up to this dangerous new foe. Though each of the five characters from the film are represented in the game, it's worth noting that each are now played by a different voice actor.

The action adventure game allows players to take control of each of the five different characters at any time throughout the campaign, and a family can team up in the game to control four of the characters with AI taking control of any characters left unmanned. Fighting enemies typically requires plenty of melee attacks mixed with unique special attacks for each character. By progressing through the game, additional special attacks can be unlocked, and additional statistical boosts can be given to each character as well. The sense of progression gives Rise of the Guardians a level of replayability that will keep players interested in the game some time after completing each of the game's five realms and final chapter.

Mission design is Rise of the Guardian’s major weakness. The game is linear to a degree with players moving from one room to another taking out waves of enemies or searching for an important item in each. The game can get awfully repetitive with a difficulty setting that doesn't require much more than continually mashing melee attacks to overcome encounters. The game controls a bit different on Nintendo systems with various interactions with the different controllers unleashing special attacks in-game. The rest of the game's presentation is pretty well designed including the various levels in the game that are clearly distinguishable from one another as players would expect to see. Sound design is another plus with the voice actors doing a good job as fill-ins for their celebrity counterparts.

Rise of the Guardians the game manages to capture all of the elements that make the hit film such a unique story and charming film. It's humor and creativeness carry over to the game, and though the game can feel awfully repetitive at times, it still manages to be one of the better games based on a film to release in 2012. Fans can now pick up the game this Summer at bargain bin pricing for a fun family adventure, then fans can enjoy the film together to see how the two compare. Check out Rise of the Guardians on your favorite console today!

Game Features:
Offline Cooperative 1-4
5 Playable Characters
Story Based on Hit Film

Game Information:
Developer: Torus Games
Publisher: D3Publisher
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii (reviewed),
Nintendo DS & Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: November 20, 2012

Score: 6.5 out of 10

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