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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Treyarch

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

 

- Wicked hand-to-hand combat and collision detection

- Good, mindless fun in 30-minute bursts

- Solid graphics

 

 

- Everything else has the smell of “rush job”

 

 

Review: Minority Report (Playstation 2)

Review: Minority Report (XBox)
Review: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast 2 (Gamecube)

 

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Minority Report

Score: 4.6 / 10

 

The reasons I reckon that Minority Report (MR) is such a mediocre game (at best) is that it was a rush job and Treyarch was burned out from working on another movie license, Spider-Man: The Movie.

 

Spider-Man is a far superior product and Treyarch should be proud of themselves for producing it.  They might be a little red-faced with the way MR turned out, but it just falls into the category of “Rushed to Market for Christmas and the DVD Release.”  The one silver lining is the brilliant collision detection and hand-to-hand combat.

 

minority-report-gamecube-1.jpg (32969 bytes)          minority-report-gamecube-2.jpg (29802 bytes)

 

As John Anderton, you’re out to clear your name for a murder you will commit (as determined by the Precrime organization Anderton helped create).  You do so by beating up, shooting and ramming fellow employees.  If you think this makes no sense, you aren’t the only one.  Things actually start to fall apart from there with a litany of problems that brings MR down faster than someone running out of jetpack fuel.

 

Enemies tend to attack en masse; the targeting system for ranged weapons is pretty hopeless; if you die in the course of a level – trying to complete some pretty tired objectives – you have to restart from the beginning of the level (which flies in the face of traditional side-scrolling punch ‘em ups that MR obviously nods to); the camera is way looser than it needs to be; generic enemies that are brainless enough to shoot their partners in the back; the Black Market should have been done away with (instead, weapons, upgrades and combat maneuvers should have been incorporated into gameplay instead of making gamers search for money icons); and repetition sets in so fast you might find yourself looking for your copy of Spider-Man.

 

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MR’s brilliant moments hinge on its hand-to-hand combat, which is absolutely great – maybe the best I’ve ever seen in a videogame.  And, as mentioned before, the collision detection complements it.  I never really tired of grabbing one of the generic “bad” guys and heaving them through a piece of glass to see how they collided with objects on the other side or hoisting a guy up and flipping him into a crowd.  Fun stuff, but when you have to play a level through many times, it loses its luster after about 30 minutes.

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The presentation department makes MR entirely watchable but the vastness and sparseness of most levels are sure to remind some of Oni (PC, PS2) released a couple of years ago.  And as far as I’m concerned, not having Tom Cruise lend his likeness to the game acts in MR’s favor.  It offers the chance to make the moves larger than life – more arcade-like.

 

minority-report-gamecube-3.jpg (37822 bytes)          minority-report-gamecube-4.jpg (33375 bytes)

 

All signs point to MR being rushed to market. (At least, I hope so; otherwise Treyarch is slipping.)  There's even the valid of question, "Should there have been a game based on the movie?" to consider.  That said, the hand-to-hand combat is enjoyable (and watchable) in short stretches but everything else isn’t.

 

- Omni

(January 12, 2003)

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