Thor: The Dark World Review

Thor: The Dark World Review

Jan 7, 2014

Thor: The Dark World is loosely based on the movie of the same name. Does it break the curse of poor movie games?

Thor: The Dark World’s interesting gameplay spark is its reliance on summoned allies. During missions Thor can summon lesser fighters, such as swordsmen, archers and so on. These warriors will aid in combat. Indeed, using allies is rather vital to stay alive as they act as meatshields and take some of the heat off of Thor in battle. Unfortunately, allies have nearly non-existent AI. Once summoned they march forward constantly and die very quickly. They ignore enemy numbers or other dangers and cannot be ordered to go after a specific target or even told to wait. This makes them remarkably short lived.

Screenshot_2013-12-30-08-35-22Besides the allies, Thor is a pretty basic beat em up. Thor runs along, bashing up any evil fiends with Mjolnir and can use the occasional godly power to wipe out groups at once. There really is little else to it. Allies don’t add enough to the game because of their hopeless AI and there’s not much else to do but tap on enemies and watch the repetitive animations.

For a god Thor is surprisingly weak. It’s easy to go from full health to dead in a matter of seconds, even against basic grunt enemies who should be little more than speedbumps. Indeed it is much better to stand back and attempt to throw Thor’s hammer at enemies like an enraged home handyman while the meatshields do all the melee combat. Thor feels weak and unskilled, which is really not acceptable.

Thor: The Dark World has fairly bad controls. Ordering Thor to attack is a very dull experience: simply tap once and he auto-acquires targets. Getting him to throw myjolinir is an exercise in frustration however. The controls for throwing it are so imprecise that even hitting a stationary chest is a complete pain, let alone using it in actual combat. Thor’s movement just feels very unresponsive.

Screenshot_2013-12-30-09-05-12The game features no less than three types of currency.. First there’s Runes, the in game currency, then there’s ISO-008 used to power up Thor and his abilities. Then there’s Uru, which is used to charge money for a lot of things. Health potions, the most basic item in any game cost Uru here. To unlock anyone cool from the movie, like Loki, will cost a serious amount of real world cash to buy the required Uru. Even basic tasks, like reviving Thor if he dies on a mission costs a fair chunk of Uru.

At least Thor: TDW looks nice. The graphics are highly detailed and the sound is decent enough, with plenty of clangs and yells.

Thor: The Dark World is a poor game. With poor controls and uninspired gameplay Thor: The Dark World can’t be recommended to anyone.

Thor: The Dark World Review

Thor: The Dark World Review

Dec 6, 2013

Thor: The Dark World is an arcade pseudo beat-em up arcade game that also serves as an official Android companion game to the movie of the same name.

The game is nice to look at. Thor’s hair has the golden yellow halo effect, and the virtual environment is a fine interpretation of of cinematic imagination. Bright colors, interesting beasts and nicely animated characters rolling to the booming voice of Thorish proclamations. There is a judicious use of color, and while some of the animations are a bit formulaic they are altogether hard not to enjoy.

Play-wise, the game, as noted, is a leveled task oriented arcade type of game. The storyline loosely follows the movie canon, with familiar characters and a whole lot of enemies to dispatch. thor1

It wouldn’t be a Norse epic without Mjolnir, and Thor’s famed boomeranging weapon takes front and center in this game. Waves of enemies try to deplete Odinson’s life source, but of course our protagonist has some major advantages. Controlling the action is mostly done through single and multi-touch taps, and a gesture here and there. Taps control melee attacks, hammer attacks and are also used to summon help from among the available forces on Thor’s side. As Thor makes his way through the levels, the baddies become more formidable, with mini-bosses and major bosses coming in at the appropriate junctions. The overall objective to get through some crystals and to have Thor’s life bar outlast that of the bad guys.

There is gold to be had, and there are plenty of upgrade options available; it’s possible to increase attributes of Thor and even his hammer.

In the end, Thor’s easy feel lends to its struggles. After a few rounds, it tastes too familiar in its repetitiveness. It is cool to see known enemies, but the plot is overly simplistic.

It’s free to play, is based on a box office winner and involves golden hair and a hammer. It just might be worth checking out.