Jumper: It's a Game Sorta
The trailer for this movie looked incredibly uninspired when I first saw it. I didn’t watch it. I think Hayden Christiansen is a better actor now then he was during The Clone Wars, but the plot looked uninspired. Another movie licensed game couldn’t be bad right? Talk about a complete turn-off for a movie through a game. Now I really don’t have any interest in Jumper.
First of all, the game gives you control of . I don’t know who is. I know who Hayden Christiansen is. But in the Jumper game I don’t get to use him. If I watch the movie I will likely know who is. But maybe playing the game could give me that background right? Why wouldn’t there be a cut-scene to explain why I’m not Hayden. They have cut-scenes for other things. There’s a full FMV of me teleporting a guy over the grand canyon. Why can’t they do a video for the story of the game they made? More so, why aren’t there any photos or scenes from the movie? It’s hard to believe that sort of media isn’t available. All that aside, you control . He has a Scottish accent most of the time. And he delivers generic lines.
You start out in a part of this coliseum. It gives you some text boxes about the controls. The combat is basically this: Four face buttons, four sides of an enemy. Each button is each side. Red means the enemy counters. Green is the combo. Grey is regular attack. I’ll give the game credit for one thing, and that’s how oddly fun the combat can be. When you push a button, teleports from that angle and hits the guy. You don’t have any other options. But it does feel better then worse.
Each time you enter specific rooms you get a cut-scene of walking into the rooms. Or a cut-scene of enemies coming into the room. Either way they must be load times or something. I don’t want to call them design flaws because I don’t really know if that’s the purpose. Either way, it slows down the action. Not that you’re immersed in the game anyway because it isn’t very good. But at the very least we all would want the game to flow well.
The enemies are mostly dudes with weapons. They all look the same. You also have Paladins. They all look the same. There are male and female models. They counter. Then you have a guy who doesn’t sound like Sam Jackson. This guy has two counter areas and he does pretty heavy damage. The final enemy is some guy. I say some guy because the game never says who he is. You just see him running in a few cut-scenes. He has a trench coat, and I guess he’s the leader of something. I don’t even know why they want to kill . It never says, and I don’t care.
There are four distinct levels. Unnamed Coliseum, which I guess is in , , and some laboratory/dock. It takes about ten minutes to get through the first level. There aren’t puzzles. You just clear rooms to move on. Room after cloned room. You get pickups. The typical health, and weapon upgrades. gains experience which he can use to get stronger. Beyond that it’s not much more. FMV’s randomly come up during a fight. They show you teleporting enemies around the world. They’re virtually pointless since you don’t do the killing, you just watch someone else do it.
The Sam Jackson boss fights at the end take you around the levels again. It reuses areas for that. You fight the final trench coat guy in a library. Everything is so generic. The geometry blocks you in from places. The unlocks appear in a room, at the main menu. You literally load a room, and get to see tiny items you collected. You get the option to play through again but that’s so pointless. You’re stronger each play through. It doesn’t mean the game will be any more fun, just funnier. It ends quicker.
My biggest issue is that it tricked people into spending a lot of money on arguably the worst game in the past year. It’s no secret movie licensed games suck. But why couldn’t Redtribe make one more character model? I mean come on, just re-skin the existing models. Do something. Wikipedia says Redtribe has 90 employees. So during a year of development you couldn’t get two people to spend one day to make all the models? One day out of 365? I’ve done that before by myself, without the tools they had. And they were better then Jumper’s. Why were all these FMV’s made when you needed help in other areas? Are actual game makers planning these games? I can see a suit right now in a conference room. Probably saying something like “Yeah, I just watched my kid play this game called Ninja Gaiden. Lets do that, but with jumper, and teleporting.” And then he got in his BMW and drove home to pat himself on the back. If I was delegating a budgeted game based on a movie, I’d probably shoot for better game reviews over FMV’s. The suckers that are buying Jumper will probably buy it no matter what. Might as well give it a shot. Redtribe also made a Looney Toons title so they have an extensive library of two failures.
I don’t even care if they defended it or felt bad about it. The fact is that people spend money on this. The general public is completely uninformed and think that it might be worth getting for the family. Or maybe someone saw this movie and it wasn’t completely awful. So they bought the game. Either way it’s bad for gaming and lowers what normal people expect from a game. It’s really sad when Cars at its worst is still more fun. Highly educated suits are literally getting paid to make crap. They should hire the guy in the art department who worked hard on this game because he has a passion for gaming. He might not be the smartest or most business savvy, but at least he knows the difference between what makes a game fun and what makes it an utter failure in every aspect.