Website: Official site
Classification: G - suitable for general audiences
Note: PlayStation Move required
Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper and Bentley; what do you get when you combine six iconic PlayStation characters in one epic action-adventure? Well, as it turns out, apparently not a lot at all. It’s a shame really, as Nihilistic Software had the opportunity here to play with an amazing set of PlayStation character licenses. Unfortunately, apart from some fun sequences utilising the best of what the PlayStation Move has to offer, PlayStation Move Heroes ends up being a very disappointing experience.
This is a game designed from the ground up with the PlayStation Move (at least one Move controller is required to play) in mind. And it shows. Clearly, the developer has spent more time fine-tuning the Move experience than developing a game that fully utilises the valuable licenses that are included.
The adventure starts off with a short introductory cinematic that shows the six iconic characters being abducted by aliens and whisked away to challenge in the "Inter-Universal Hero Games” (sound cheesy enough for you?). The player is given the option of travelling to four different worlda – three are locked at first – in order to compete in various challenges to, presumably, win each character’s freedom and save the world. The story is uninspiring at best. It is a story for the sake of one, and it is both poor and sad to see such iconic characters reduced to this.
The game does have a very informal feel to it. It contains the sort of gameplay that would go down well in a room full of 10-year-olds, or at a dinner party with non-gaming friends. Select a level, choose your character and take part in the set challenge. Within each challenge, there are bronze, silver and gold medals to win depending on how successfully each one is completed. Some challenges are naturally more fun and interesting than others, but it all ends up feeling very repetitive and boring. What is expected, however, is an epic action-adventure that brings the best out of each of your heroes. Sadly, that is not to be found here.
For all the let-downs, however, there are some positives. Firstly, it would be a fantastic baby sitter for all those parents wishing for a couple of hours of hands-off time. It has just the right amount of simplistic gameplay and fun utilisation of the PlayStation Move to keep many younger fans occupied for hours. The game progression is simple, and kids will enjoy the concept of unlocking new levels and challenges as they progress.
The artwork and animations are quite strong, and certainly don’t let the three iconic franchises down. The cities of Metropolis City (Ratchet and Clank), Haven City (Jak and Daxter) and Paris (Sly Cooper) are beautifully rendered. There isn’t much free roaming on offer, but the levels look good despite their restricted nature.
While it is sad to see our six heroes trudge their way through each world competing in some meaningless challenges, they are, however, presented accurately and respectfully. Each has their own unique attributes, weapons (e.g. Sly’s cane and Ratchet’s wrench) and strengths, which makes the character selection prior to each challenge somewhat important. While every character still has enough punch to beat each level, it does give the player something to think about. Add in some unique "Ultimate Abilities” like Sly’s "Thief Time” and Jak’s "Groove Time”, and there is at least one point-of-difference.
Multiplayer is presented as a two-player co-operative mode. In this mode, the second player – using a second Move controller – is thrown into the action as the first player’s sidekick. This co-op mode is, unfortunately, poorly implemented, as there is no depth to the second player’s involvement. The sidekick will spend their time aiding the primary character by performing subservient tasks like collecting crystals or occasionally clearing some enemies using ranged weapons. It is a mode that doesn’t add a lot of depth to the gameplay, ensuring that PlayStation Move Heroes remains very much a single-player experience.
The implementation of the Move controller’s motion tracking is, however, another strong point for this title. Some would argue that this is to be expected these days, but it does allow the game to be less cumbersome and tedious to navigate through. The navigation of the menus, and more importantly, the control of the different weapons and abilities, did work smoothly and with minimal frustration using the Move controller.
Overall, PlayStation Move Heroes is, sadly, a big disappointment. This was Sony’s opportunity to publish yet another title that strengthened the popularity and legacy of its six iconic characters. Unfortunately, the weak story, over-simplistic gameplay, and mind-bogglingly tiresome narration and tutorials make this a game that only parents with young kids should consider. If you do enjoy games that don’t take much effort to play, this title may be of interest to you. If, however, you are after an epic action-adventure that does justice to your six PlayStation heroes, then avoiding this title would be recommended.
Lasting Appeal: 4.0
Overall Score: 6.5