Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie

aka: Jin Gang
Moby ID: 20441

Windows version

Mostly very good, with some great ideas.

The Good
The first thing that struck me when playing this game was the intro, using clips from the film.

The second thing that struck me when playing this game was how the characters transferred, all look pretty true to the film, except perhaps Ann Darrow, who looked a little iffy, and all are voiced by the original actors, so excellent and authentic voice acting then.

The very beginning of the game puts you straight in the shoes of Jack Driscoll, leaving the Venture to row ashore to Skull Island, you’re alongside in a small wooden row boat with Carl Denham and Ann and a couple of others, the rain's beating down and the swell’s rocking you’re boat as Englehorn shouts down from high up on the Venture's bulwarks. Denham, true to character, starts filming as the boat struggles to avoid crashing against the rocks on the approach. It’s very atmospheric and very well done, a great start.

You end up washed up and staring up at Ann, you actually have to press the forward key to climb to you’re feet before you can get around, a small touch but nice attention to detail.

This game is a game of survival when playing as Jack, and it does the action very well, very tense, you will run out of ammo, and you will have to resort to using improvised spears (and real spears left by the natives) to fend off the attacking dinosaurs and other hungry creatures. The use of fire is a novel inclusion and it works far better than I expected, it’s handy for clearing areas to allow passage to other areas (destroying any creatures in its path, including you). You can also bait some enemies by spearing some of the smaller inhabitants of Skull Island to distract them as you run past. The characters will all hold their weapons above their heads when wading through deep water and on occasion you’ll have to provide cover for them (they’ll also provide cover for you).

One section involves running between, or trying to, the feet of some very large stampeding Dinos, similar to the film. Some of the Dinosaurs are huge, naturally, and they can look pretty breathtaking when you first cross paths.

I enjoyed playing the Kong levels on Skull Island, lots of jumping from cliff face to cliff face and snapping Dino jaws, Kong also has a frenzy mode (achieved by spinning the mouse wheel for awhile) which makes it easier to knock out enemies, and quite a few other moves under his belt as well.

The Bad
Once you get to New York everything really is rounded up very quickly and I got the impression that the game was under pressure to be finished and out the door.

The Bottom Line
Lots of atmosphere, for the most part a very well crafted game. Jack’s levels are the highlight and there’s some un-lockable goodies available from the Extras menu. But a bit disappointing when you get to New York - there is, however, an alternative ending, available from the Extras menu, I didn’t earn enough points while playing through the game to unlock this but I read up about it in a few walkthroughs and it sounds pretty cool, mayhap a good excuse for another play through. If you liked the film or Michel Ancel’s (Creative Director) previous game Beyond Good and Evil than you should enjoy this. Mostly very good if not excellent.

by Jack Lightbeard (2685) on November 17th, 2006

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