Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan
Platform: PC, PS4, and Xbox One (reviewed)
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: If PlatinumGames can’t make a good TMNT, no one can.
Price: $49,99 / £39.99
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan features an original storyline from IDW Publishing author, Tom Waltz, which sees our heroes investigate strange criminal behavior from Shredder’s Foot Clan. Leo, Raphael, Michaelangelo and Donatello must run around all over the Big Apple in order to stop the Foot. Unfortunately, as they successfully stop the gang’s evil plans, the Turtles are digging into something bigger than they could ever imagine.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan is a third person beat’em up requiring players to take down enemies in order to reach the level’s end boss. Whether players are playing solo or with friends, all four characters are on screen at all times which can lead some crazy attack combos. Players can switch between all four characters at all times throughout this (mis-)adventure. Thankfully, all four have a different feel. Mikey and Raphael are the fastest of the group with their small weapons; Nunchukus and Sai respectively. Donatello feels more slower and sluggish with his Bo staff while Leo feels like the perfectly balanced character with his set of Katanas.
Each character has a regular and strong attack, though strangely, all weapons make the same amount of damage. And fitting to the developers history with action games (such as Bayonetta, Vanquish, Anarchy Reigns; just to name a few), enemies take an inane amount of damage before going down. Normal Foot soldiers and tiny flying saucers can go down after a few quick hits, but bigger enemies seemingly made out of rock will take a crazy amount of hits before dying. Bigger guys can somewhat feel like mini bosses and will sometime take longer to kill than some regular. Kind of crazy considering that the latter have five health bars!
The game has players chasing a different and recognizable villain in each level. In order to reach the boss, players have to tackle a variety of repetitive and tedious objectives. Unlike “traditional,” beat’em ups where players can simply walk through a level, find enemies, kill them, move on and repeat, TMNT has players constantly using their communication device in order to find enemies and objectives. It’s basically the game’s answer to Batman’s detective mode. It gets annoying as sometime players need to activate it, wait a few seconds and move the camera around to track the objective; it cuts the flow of the game and goes against PlatinumGames’ traditionally fast paced action. Objectives can vary from tracking down enemy lairs, capturing enemy weapons or disarming bombs.
One of PlatinumGames’ strong point has always been the combat system and it doesn’t disappoint. Sure, much like the rest of the game, it isn’t the developer’s finest, but there’s still enough to have fun with. Along with the aforementioned regular and strong attacks, each of the four characters can throw shurikens and equip four Ninjutsus at once. Execute a certain a special skill near one of the other heroes and it’ll result in a team attack. Ninjutsu skills can also be upgraded to reduce recharge time after each use. Additionally, completing levels will reward players with Charms, which can be equipped for helpful perks such as inflicting poison or increase the number of items dropped by defeated enemies. There also items such as Pizza to regenerate health or canned drinks that will provide temporary speed or attack boost.
The game features a beautiful cel-shaded artstyle… for the characters. Whether it be the Turtles or the familiar bosses, they all have a unique cel-shaded look which makes them stand out and is one of the game’s strong points. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the environments, the developer somehow managed to make look a digital New York city dead and boring. Audio wise, it’s pretty much unnoticeable. While there are a few interesting jazzy tunes early on, the rest of the game’s score is pretty generic, nothing that really stands out.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan is an OK beat’em up at best and unfortunately it’s not PlatinumGames’ best work to date. Although switching between Turtles on the fly and executing their ninjutsu attacks, the game’s poor level design and tedious objectives drag the game down. The game is very short (can be done under four hours) and although there are additional difficulty settings to tackle, it’s way too boring to consider replaying.
After last year’s Transformers Devastation and PlatinumGames’ reputation of action games, I was expecting something much more solid and coherent. While its interesting to have access to all four characters at once, the level design and less impressive fighting mechanic drags the experience down. The overall product is just a mess. My verdict would be less harsh if it was a 20$ digital download, but for a full price retail game? This isn’t worth it. Even die hard TMNT fans should wait until its in the bargain bin.
- Easily switch between characters
- Awesome cel-shaded design
- Poor level design
- Criminally short
- Objectives feel tedious and boring
- Underwhelming final boss
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan is rated T for Teen as it features fantasty violence. Due to its cartoon nature, the game does not feature any blood.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by Xbox