It has been said on more than one occasion, movies turned video games can be some of the worst days of gaming history. I can remember some of my worst gaming experiences and a lot of them are when a great movie gets a bad video game. This common tale happens for a variety of reasons, but most recently it seems to happen to turn a quick buck on a big new release and putting out a video game seems to be a good idea. Today we are checking out one of the bigger movies of the first half of 2007, Ghost Rider, which is now available on the Playstation 2. Does Ghost Rider get rid of the movie to game curse? Read our full review to find out!
Normally I would start off a review with the back-story, but since most of us have a clue of the basic premise behind Ghost Rider by the constant trailers shown on TV and in the movie theater. Plus the mere fact that the game itself tells such a brief telling of the story that it doesn’t make a big impact on the experience itself. It’s a shame to that more of the game couldn’t haven’t have delved into more Ghost Rider action then the movie, but unfortunately the story falls completely flat in the game.
So let’s jump into Ghost Rider the game, which like many movie games doesn’t manage to take advantage of its movie license at any level. The character of Ghost Rider is one that would seemingly be great for an action character, as he has that rough and tumble feel that makes for a solid action character. However the limits in which they put on the Ghost Rider character are really only the beginning of the game’s many problematic areas.
The main strategy the developers took with this game was create a simple beat em’ up style action game where you go from room to room taking out hordes of enemies. This was a winning formula about ten maybe fifteen years ago, but this formula proves to be an extremely dated and often annoying tactic that makes the experience in Ghost Rider one of much more dread than joy. For example, I was in one of the opening levels and I literally stood in a room for over minutes clicking two buttons at random taking out enemy after enemy until it would allow me to go to the next room. This sort of monotony may have worked in the past but for a game in the year 2007 it just wasn’t working for me.
The action does heat up a bit later on in the game, but by that time I have a feeling most people are going to be already to bored with this game to really give it that much time. Having gone through some of the later levels I can say that the tried formula still holds true, although the developers do throw in a few tricks once in a while to try and spice it up. However when you have a combat system that is based off of two buttons and borrows a lot from other games like God of War, its just hard to really find yourself engaged in the game. How many times can I see a circle over an enemies head and do the same sort of attack over and over again. This is an obvious rip off from the God of War franchise, only not done as well.
To go on even further with Ghost Rider would be for the most part a complete waste of time. It just feels like the developers ran out of ideas with this game and unfortunately that made the entire experience feel like a rushed and ill conceived attempt at creating a Ghost Rider game. I can guarantee you given the right amount of time a good Ghost Rider game could have been made, but this is unfortunately just not a good game.
With the gameplay being as poor as it was there is no surprise I am sure in many of your minds that the visuals ended up following suit. Once again I had the same sort of comments coming to mind when I played through this game. Words like rushed, lack of interest, no core structure, and even overly repetitive. The whole Ghost Rider look just seems like they didn’t want to bring any of the comic book life into this game and made it more of a bad movie rehash. The visuals I would consider to be extremely grainy and often not very detailed. The entire experience feels extremely limited.
Comic Book characters have been turned into good video games, an example would be the X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance, both of which made great use of their characters. Sadly in the case of Ghost Rider, we just did not get a game that used the license to its advantage, nor did it get even close to doing so. The final product is a very problematic and for the most part uninspired game that did nothing to make you want to keep enjoying the game. Had there been some more variety, a more robust combat system, and a lot more depth than Ghost Rider could have been a much deeper and enjoyable product.
It’s pretty obvious by now my overall feelings of Ghost Rider, it is a game that feels rushed and ultimately leaves you with nothing to remember it by. This is a game that had the potential in all areas of the game, but regrettably the overall experience is just not one I could recommend no matter how big a Ghost Rider fan you may be.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.