Despite the stigma attached to movie license video games, occasionally a good game or two will make its way onto the market. That’s not the case with The Expendables 2 Videogame, (and yes that is the title).
Developed by Zootfly and published by Ubisoft, Expendables 2 Videogame is jam packed from beginning to end with over the top gunplay, explosions, explosions, cheesy dialog, and more explosions. But it’s also got more than its fair share of issues. Expendables 2 Videogame is a less than average game. But don’t be mistaken, it’s not the hot mess we assumed it would be before getting our hands on it.
Playing as a top-down, isometric, 4-player cooperative shooter, Expendables 2 is like the mutant child offspring of Ikari Warriors and Left 4 Dead. No, it isn’t as good as either of its ancestors, but for only $15, some people may consider it for some cheap, lazy weekend, beer and pizza cooperative goodness.
Playing as one of the four mercenaries from the film, gamers can as play as Barney Ross, Gunner Jensen (voiced by Dolph Lundgren), Yin Yang, and Hale Caesar (voiced by Terry Crews). The game’s plot is set as a prequel to the film, but the story plays absolutely no level of significance in relation to the gameplay. If it moves, shoot it with guns until it’s not moving anymore.
Each character carries a different loadout of weapons. Ross is a pistols expert. Jenson is the team’s sniper. Yang prefers throwing knives and his submachine gun. While Caesar lays down his foes with his shotgun and grenade launcher. Weapons like assault rifles, machine guns, and bazookas, can be picked up from fallen enemies until they run out of ammunition.
There is never a short supply of things to shoot because the enemies come at you in swarms. When you’ve slain enough of your enemies, you can execute a character specific special takedown that instantly recharges your health meter. And believe it or not, but we really enjoyed some of the game’s rather detailed set pieces, and were pleasantly surprised by some of the destructible environments.
Expendables 2’s problems come from it’s lack of refinement in key areas. Aiming is a joke. The term “couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn” comes to mind as we completely missed immobile tanks with our RPGs at point blank range. The AI is rock stupid on both sides. If you play the game single player, your teammates follow you around like lost puppies instead of spreading strategically throughout the environment. And enemies will simply stand over your allies and wait for them to finish their task while they revive your teammates.
On PC, the customization options are cut incredibly short. The only options present are “resolution, shadows (on/off), fullscreen (on/off), and brightness).”
And even though the game is broken up into a few on-rails segments, the entire experience gets boring and repetitive by the time you’ve reached the end.
Completing the entire game will take you a solid afternoon, and there are a few extra challenges to unlock and weapons to upgrade with experience, but it’s safe to say you’re not missing anything if you don’t pick up Expendables 2, even if you happen to be frothing-at-the-mouth fans of the films.
But truth be told, there were moments when we had some genuine, bloodlust-induced fun. If Expendables 2 existed in a different time, with refined aiming, and if it was powered by jamming more and more quarters into a beautifully designed cabinet in some mall arcade, we might have recommended it to a friend or two. But for $15, you can do a lot better.
- Name: The Expendables 2 Videogame
- Available on: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Developed by: Zootfly
- Published by: Ubisoft
- Price: $15.00
- Elder-Geek Score: 1 out of 5 / Don’t Bother