reviews\ May 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Review: TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan is faithful to the comics; Fails everywhere else

The worst Platinum game by far.

Review: TMNT Mutants in Manhattan

Platforms: PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Platinum Games
 
Disclosure: Review copy provided by the publisher.

The Case:

TMNT

On the surface Platinum Games and TMNT is the perfect combination, but in practice that's just not the case. It's not “bad for a Platinum game,” or even the kind of bad you expect from a licensed game these days. TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan is a bad game.

The game only has online multiplayer, because offline multiplayer was scrapped to preserve the consistent 60fps -- except TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan runs at 30fps. This game has a cell shaded visual style like that of Transformers: Devastation, it's not pushing any hardware whatsoever, 30fps for an action game like this is unacceptable. Especially when maintaining the higher frame rate was used as justification for killing local multiplayer. You need one or the other, or it's just half-assed.

Mutants in Manhattan was balanced around four players, and that's why the 3 AI turtles are forced onto you in single-player: All the enemies were designed with the intention of taking on four humans, making non-grunts incredibly beefy. Normally, sturdy enemies are awesome in character action games, because it means you can continue your sick combos on them for longer. Unfortunately, the turtles don't have much in the way of in-depth combos, and even if they did, the other turtles would ruin any attempts to carry one through in style by butting in.

The trailer is better than the game.

Speaking of the other turtles ruining things, having all of them on screen and attacking the same enemy is a bloody mess, making the fights far harder than they need to be. Combat is far easier when the others are temporarily knocked out because you can see visual attack cues and know where the attack is going. TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan would have been a far better game if single-player only had one turtle fighting at a time, and allowed you to switch between them like Dante switches between styles, popping in with a puff of smoke or something and seamlessly transitioning into a combo. Instead we got the most half assed implementation it could have been.

TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan has too many faults to go into them all: Bad camera, poor visibility, terrible MMO-lite elements like time-based cool downs, bosses that just do their thing regardless of what the player is doing, awkward visual and audio cue timing, the worst dodge in a Platinum game, tons of glitches, repetitive missions, bland combat, and a (mercifully) short campaign that's over in under 3 hours if you don't die much. There's more, but you get the picture. Licensed game on a shoestring budget or not, it's a black eye for Platinum Games.

The Verdict:

Turtle SoupTonight, I dine on Turtle Soup.

TMNT Mutants in Manhattan stayed faithful to the comics in terms of art style and funny dialogue, but it failed everywhere else. There's a lack of innovation, and the replay value of this short game is shot by the fact nobody will want to play it again. If you just have to have your turtles fix, and can't get the NES/SNES arcade games, wait for this to hit the bargain bin.

Bottom Line

If you love Platinum's brand of action, and want to see them bring a beloved childhood franchise back in a good way, then do yourself a favor...and pick up Transformers: Devastation.

About The Author
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James Wynne GameZone's freelance color commentator. Obsessed with recapturing the magic of 90's gaming. Find me on twitter @JamesAdamWynne, or check out my attempts to recreate 90's gaming magazines.
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