Ghost Rider – Review
After the cinematic adventure, Ghost Rider arrives on PSP devoid of Nicholas Cage and a well-defined personality …
To begin with, Ghost Rider for PSP it does not slavishly follow the plot of the film with Nicholas Cage: which, considering the paucity of the film, could also be an advantage, were it not for the fact that the storyline of the Climax title is practically nil. The game intro does nothing but introduce the user to the background of the protagonist, while there is practically no narrative link that keeps the various stages glued to each other. But this is certainly not the worst demerit of Ghost Rider, which in fact presents a playful structure visibly “inspired” by masterpieces such as God of War and Devil May Cry and which, however, fails to be in the least exciting. Just like in the Capcom product, the game is divided into missions and the action is enriched by a rating system that rewards the most spectacular combos with a higher number of points; and as in Kratos’ adventure, here too there are fast and heavy shots, a weapon upgrade system that uses orbs collected from fallen enemies and a little healthy slow-motion to emphasize the most spectacular shots. All substantially surrounding elements that cannot support a title sunk by a boring and monotonous gameplay, a very pale copy of the aforementioned videogames. This because Ghost Rider it is above all too easy and linear: the stages are extremely limited and characterized by an elementary level design, and the action is made sleepy by incredibly stupid enemies and by some excessively powerful combos provided to the player already after the first bars of the adventure. Add to this the constant and annoying backtracking and a below average longevity (a handful of hours are enough to complete the story mode) and it will appear clear how Ghost Rider is anything but a pleasant recreation.
In addition to the canonical gameplay, Ghost Rider also includes some sections aboard our superhero’s motorcycle: these should serve to break the rhythm of the adventure, but the only thing they manage to break is the user’s will to continue, given how approximate and poorly implemented they are. In these sub-levels you simply have to go from point A to point B in the shortest time possible, taking out the enemies that randomly come forward and avoiding some obstacles scattered here and there. The problems of the driving segments are many, starting with a “slippery” control system and continuing with repetitive settings and – even here – a lot of backtracking, the result of a clumsy attempt to water down the playful experience. Although equally mediocre, the sections in motion acquire a slightly higher thickness in the context of the Challenge mode, which enriches them with some variants and multiplayer support that even tolerates game sharing (all exclusive to the PSP version of the game). But that’s just too little to help Ghost Rider to rise beyond a global insufficiency, also considering how the cosmetics of the product are not the best. The only really positive aspect of the Climax work is the polygonal model of the protagonist, well defined and animated, but everything else is absolutely to be forgotten: the stages are made ugly by a flat and impersonal design, the look of the enemies is the most anonymous you can imagine, the textures are not very defined and there are even problems of frame rate – subject to drastic drops – and of the camera, which almost always cuts out the opponents, preventing us from understanding where the threat is coming from.
Ghost Rider it is, quite simply, a very bad tie-in. Almost totally disconnected from the reference film and guilty of a gameplay that results in a bad copy of elements stolen from Devil May Cry and God of War, the 2K product is not recommended for fans of the film nor for action game fans. : in the light of all this, Ghost Rider it could only be of interest to true comics fans looking for an expensive ornament.
- Winning play structure on paper …
- … but badly done
- More than mediocre graphics
- Boring and short-lived
Being the tie-in worthy of a blockbuster blockbuster is a daunting task, but even more so if the reference film has been received lukewarmly at best. It belongs to this second category Ghost Rider, action game inspired by the homonymous film coming from rather meager box office receipts and mainly negative impressions from audiences and critics. The question arises: is the film or the game better?