Peter Jackson's King Kong
The Official Game of the Movie

Format: PS2

3 307210 196811
Age Restrictions: 12+
17 November 2005

Embark on an epic adventure created in collaboration with Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson and based on the Universal Pictures' film. Survive as Jack in a world crawling with predators and live the legend as Kong. Use weapons, traps, and your team wisely to survive in first-person as Jack. Break jaws, slam enemies, and throw massive objects in Kong's colossal third-person battles...

Peter Jackson's King Kong has to be one of the most impressive movie-to-game conversions to be released to date. The graphics are impressive, the likeness of the characters from the film is pretty authentic, and you get just enough ammunition throughout the game to ensure that you have to think carefully before squeezing that trigger.

You start off as part of an expedition, manned by explorers and documentary filmmakers, that travels to the mysterious Skull Island (near Sumatra) to investigate legends of a giant gorilla named Kong. Amongst the crew that make it to the island in one piece are Carl Denham (an overzealous film director), Ann Darrow (his leading lady), and Jack Driscoll, a screenwriter.

The game starts with a lengthy introduction that sees you (playing as Jack) finally make it to the shores of Skull Island, after losing members of your crew. You are slowly eased into the gameplay as various beasties attack you and your crew, and all indications are that is going to be a pretty impressive game.

For the most part it is. However, scratch the surface and all is not as wonderful as it at first appears. The biggest problem is that the player is pretty much spoon-fed the whole way through the action. You never actually feel as though you can explore your environment. And after a while the game becomes a little repetitive - it doesn't take long to tire of shooting the same beasts.

And, when you play as Kong, you don't really feel as though you are controlling the character at all. The first time you get to control him it's pretty obvious that you are restricted in your movements. As you leap through the trees and climb up cliff faces, it's not overly obvious where you are supposed to go - but, try pushing the control in every direction, and you'll soon be heading forwards in leaps and bounds.

There are plenty of nice graphic backdrops that are pleasing to the eye. Including a great brontosaurus herd that walks past your position - although these sections can cause the game to slow down considerably. But to be honest most of the forest backdrops are pretty impressive. There are also a few humorous touches thrown in. Denham's comments can be funny - he cares more about getting his shots than he does about the lives of those around him.

While this game is a little too easy to complete, and a tad on the repetitive side, it's still a very impressive movie conversion. Your heart will race at times, and you will gasp at the graphics. The fact that you have to ration your bullets is also another plus point. Those that are used to rushing in, firing randomly every time the grass moves, won't last long.

At the end of the day, this is much more of a hit than a miss. It's almost the perfect movie conversion... almost.

Nick Smithson

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