Electronic Theatre Preview: Peter Jackson’s King Kong

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Electronic Theatre Image            With the size of the Electronic Theatre team in its current guise, it’s not uncommon for the discerning public passers-by to be catching a glimpse of a tall shadowy figure howling from the hallowed halls of Electronic Theatre. You may simply excuse that statement if you know any of us, but for those who haven’t had the pleasure of measuring out our medication – this isn’t because we’re simply mad; well, not all of us. It’s more to do with our drastically different tastes in games. There’ll normally be at least one of us who’s been waiting for the latest piece of code for quite some time. But Peter Jackson’s King Kong was quite different. After a handful of videos, hundreds of screenshots and countless Press Releases; there wasn’t a member of the team that didn’t shriek with excitement upon the arrival of our first Preview Code of the title. Electronic Theatre Image            As you can tell from the screenshots, the title looks stunning. It has to be said that the bar is actually dropped when seeing the title in motion – and there are many titles holding up better than Peter Jackson’s King Kong that have already been released – but the whole title reflects the hugely cinematic presentation that Ubi Soft have been so desperate to convey whilst trying to conceal the actual gameplay through their minimal releases so far.            The two gameplay sections the writers at Electronic Theatre were treated to play were what appeared to be two early sections; one from each story – Man and Kong. Firstly, playing as Jack, we had to escape from a hungry T-Rex. Running through a small, linear, densely wooded area we approach a bridge only to be told of the impending doom – here’s comes the big green boy. Although the final version is no doubt going to be a complete puzzle-based First Person Adventure, the puzzle in the Preview Code was rather limited. Having to stand and defend my colleagues by distracting the dinosaur with my limited ammunition was challenging, but hardly enterprisingly original.            The later section, playing as King Kong, was slightly more inventive. Protecting a girl, the game pits you against a rampaging T-Rex. Defeated by using basic punches, throws and drop-kicks from over-head vines the section was fun if quickly tedious. In the first room of the section, you fend off a single T-Rex, killing him by knocking him to the floor, jumping on him and repeatedly pressing the X Button. Fairly gruesome is the outcome, before moving after your buxom blonde. The next room sees you fending off two of the Electronic Theatre Imageblighters, in a more open-plan arena, whilst trying to stop them from reaching your girly.

            The title features some interesting ideas; for the duration of the Preview Code, there were no Energy Bars on display. Health is determined simply by the amount of damage to your normal movement when as a human, and by how much harder it gets to fend of the T-Rex’s when playing as Kong. However, this doesn’t detract from the fact that, for as much as we sampled, the game feels like a miss-match of a variety of set-pieces; without any appreciation for the seams between. Only time will tell if the cinematic presentation will stand alongside the production that will no doubt be classified as “Film of the Year”, but as the title stands in its current form, it’s certainly not going to be hailed as “Game of the Year”.









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