When it comes to video games based on superheroes and superhero movies, Sega has published some of the worst. The two Iron Man games immediately come to mind, but you can now add Thor: God of Thunder to that list. While it certainly improves upon the standard set by Sega’s previous efforts, it still fails to deliver an experience that most people would consider fun.
As the title may suggest, you play as Thor, the all-powerful God of Thunder. The story borrows elements from the movie but doesn’t entirely follow the plot of the film, allowing it to stand on its own. You follow Thor as he attempts to stop the enemy of Asgard, the Frost Giants, from destroying his home world. There really isn’t much more to this story than that.
The combat is functional; you can pull off some cool-looking moves and special attacks, but these attacks are rather worthless as you find your basic attack is all you need to defeat most enemies. There are certain stronger enemy types and bosses you will encounter that will require you to perform certain special attacks, but outside of those rare moments, you will never feel the need to use them.
Here’s where I would make a comment about the enemy variety, but there really isn’t any. You will find yourself fighting the same three or four enemy types, with the exception of an occasional boss fight, throughout the game. The enemies are all really easy to defeat, as the same basic strategy applies to most of them: hit the attack button, occasionally block, and there you go. You can also upgrade Thor with new moves and special abilities, but you will never find a need for them.
The problem with creating a superhero video game stems from not being able to truly use Thor’s abilities as demonstrated in the comics or in the film. He is a god after all, yet he feels like just an ordinary man with a big hammer and some special moves. You never feel you are all-powerful at any point in the game. Sure, the enemies are easy enough to dispose of, but the few moments of actual challenge the game presents make Thor feel puny and insignificant.
Despite all of the flaws, the game does look decent and offers more variety in the visual and level design than I expected. The voice acting, featuring both Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, is forgettable but certainly not terrible. If there is anything this game did surprisingly okay, it’s the presentation.
Thor definitely improves upon Sega’s previous efforts. The game is actually a reasonable length for a full-priced video game, and it offers something that could pass as a somewhat enjoyable rental if you’re a huge fan of Thor (although even that is debatable). You’re better off just seeing the movie again than playing this uninspired God of War clone.
Pros: Decent presentation
Cons: Stiff and shallow combat; lack of enemy variety; extra powers and abilities are pointless