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Men In Black: Alien Crisis review

For the most part, games based on movie licenses aren’t very good.  Developers usually put them together just for the sake of making a quick buck off of a successful film, as Activision attempted to do last month with the bland Battleship.  (And surprise, that movie wasn’t really a success.)  Now it’s at it again, this time with Men In Black: Alien Crisis, a game that tries to tie in with the recently released Men In Black III film.  Only difference is, the movie is the only product that manages to entertain.

Everything about Men In Black: Alien Crisis has “rush job” written all over it.  You don’t even get to play as Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones’ Agents in the game.  Instead, you’re Agent P, a rather bland character who joins the Men In Black on a whim since his career as an archaeologist doesn’t take off as expected.  Never mind how he got through the hiring process without being neuralized.  Anyways, he’s paired up with a female counterpart who manages to be even more annoying than he is, and off they go, battling various aliens in an on-rails shooting experience — one that never really picks up the pace in any regard.

Oh, sure, there are some stealth elements here and there, like when you need to inexplicably dodge security cameras (why hide the fact you’re MIB?!).  Other than that, you’re simply shooting at enemies with your weapons, which all act the same despite cosmetic differences.  The game doesn’t really change tempo that much, and the variety of aliens is very few.  In fact, you’ll see everything that the game has to offer in like an hour before experiencing flashbacks of déjà vu.

Between a completely lame script and awful graphics, the presentation for Alien Crisis never sums up.  In fact, Alien Escape — a game based on Men In Black II and released ten years ago — actually looks more respectable than this.  Character animations are bland, level design is truly uninspired, and the cinema sequences…well, imagine the films running through a Roger Corman-like filter.  Only worse.  Yep, that bad.

The gameplay fares no better.  Along with being dreadfully dull, it’s also inaccurate, whether you’re using a peripheral like the PlayStation Move or making the mistake of using a controller.  Either way, the aim feels off, and you’ll often take a hit from an alien by accident as a result.

You can get through the story — if you can tolerate it for so long — in a few hours time, but all that’s left to go back to is a split-screen multiplayer mode.  But if you subject your friends to this, we guarantee they will abandon you quicker than they did at the theater when you insisted that Battleship would be awesome.

What’s even more inexcusable is Activision priced this at a full $60.  As a downloadable release, we could see it being tolerable for around $10.  But $60?!  You do get a movie pass with it, but, honestly, you could buy a ticket and save yourself the pain.

Men In Black: Alien Crisis continues to show that there’s still a lot wrong with movie-licensed games, and also proves that the MIB just can’t catch a break in video games.  Maybe with Men In Black 4…nah, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 

[Reviewed on Xbox 360]

Terrible

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Robert Workman
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