Version Played: Xbox 360Current CEX Price: £2 2011’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn was a motion-captured animated film with some seriously heavyweight cinematic personnel behind the […]
Version Played: Xbox 360
Current CEX Price: £2
2011’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn was a motion-captured animated film with some seriously heavyweight cinematic personnel behind the camera. Steven Spielberg directed and produced, with the film co-produced by none other than Peter Jackson and (now in charge of Star Wars, in case you’re not sold on how big a deal these people are) Kathleen Kennedy. A trio of brilliant British writers wrote the screenplay to translate Belgian comic creator Hergé’s comic books from page to screen (Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish); elements from three Tintin adventures were used to create the cinematic story.
It was glorious! The characters sported cartoonishly exaggerated features in keeping with the source material, though the level of detail and superb CGI lent it an oddly realistic look. The film was a huge amount of fun, with some absolutely wonderful, fun and funny action sequences and gags (both visual and verbal) galore. Though Peter Jackson is supposed to have directed a sequel by now, eight years on it’s looking less and less likely that it’ll come to fruition, sadly.
The video game adaptation by UbiSoft is an unsurprisingly well-produced title, with a variety of genres represented throughout the game. The style of the film is used to great effect, though the character voices aren’t 100% accurate – and there are some very noticeable changes to the way that a number of scenes play out, which are jarring when you’re so familiar with the film.
For much of the game’s running time, you’ll be making your way through 2.5D platforming levels, which are straightforward and simple, with the odd switch or enemy based puzzle to figure out. Nothing too taxing, however.
On occasion, you’ll be in charge of a vehicle – a motorbike or a plane, for example. These are a little basic, but in the case of the motorbike you’ll also get the opportunity to indulge in some on-rails shooting, which is pretty satisfying. There’s also a smaller number of third person sections, in which you may need to chat to NPCs to uncover clues about where to go next, unlocking dialogue options via a very basic and limited dialogue tree.
You’ll sometimes take control of a secondary character too, with Tintin’s faithful dog Snowy in particular being a charming addition to the proceedings (the almost on-rails swordfighting in one level is an unfortunate low point, however).
The animation throughout is wonderful, with some very amusing slapstick arising from combat. The soundtrack is also a highlight, with tracks that sound very reminiscent of the orchestral music in the film (the movie’s composer being John Williams).
There are a few issues – the vehicle sections often feel very undercooked, the platforming is incredibly basic and there’s little replay value – but it’s wrapped up in such a well presented and charming package that it’s difficult to care, especially at current, Bargain Bin prices. There are some neat multiplayer modes and even Kinect support, though I’ve not tried these out yet.
It may well have been critically panned on release (bizarrely, 1UP.com called it ‘a frontrunner for Worst Game of 2011’, which is incredibly harsh and unfair), but is it worth a punt for it’s current price? As a fan of the film and Tintin in general, I say yes. It’s perhaps too slight a package as a single player game to have justified full price on release, but for a few quid you could certainly do a lot worse.
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