28 Apr, 2006

Aeon Flux Review

Xbox Review | Fluxed Up?
It doesn't really seem to matter what sort of movie comes out these days, as long as it is a semi-popular title then a game is likely to be there for the release.. or at least several months later. Aeon Flux opened in cinemas in February. We’ve finally seen the game released in April, despite the fact it was available last year in America. The movie tells the story of a plague that has wiped out most of humanity. The survivors of the plague live in an ideal society in a walled in area called Bregna. Aeon Flux is an assassin who is determined to find out the truth about the scientists who rule in Bregna. Before the movie Aeon Flux was also an animated series and the game is best described as a blend between the movie and the animated series.

The game’s storyline is supposed to follow that of the movie, but the storyline quickly becomes irrelevant because all of the levels in the game are incredibly independent from each other. Each level has completely different objectives and different scenarios which means that you’re often just playing to get to the next level, rather than to find out how the story pans out. It’s pretty difficult to play through a game and feel just about no connection to the character but unfortunately that is the case with Aeon Flux.

Hmm not bad, for a computer game character...

Hmm not bad, for a computer game character...
For the unaware, the game is a third person title and players assume the role of Aeon throughout the entire game. The controls are pretty basic and just about everything in the game is actually context sensitive. A lot of the time all you need to do is get into the right position and Aeon will execute a move which looks very athletic. Most of the combat in the game is through hand to hand combat. Aeon does have access to a large arsenal of weapons, but finding ammo is sometimes harder than it should be.

The major flaw with the combat comes from the fact that there is no manual targeting system. The game will automatically target the enemy that is closest to you, rather than the greatest threat. This becomes an issue very often in the game because the most dangerous enemy could be shooting at you down the hall. It would have been much easier (and less frustrating) if it was a little easier to choose who you want to target on the fly, and there doesn’t really seem to be a plausible reason why it wasn’t possible to do this.

The majority of the game is played out in a linear fashion but occasionally there are a few puzzle segments. Aside from usual tasks like finding a hidden opening there are also parts of the game that put Aeon into a ball that wouldn’t look out of place in Super monkey Ball. The objective whilst you’re in a ball is to get to places in the level that Aeon normally wouldn’t be able too if she was err.. not in a ball. The transition into the ball is very abrupt though and it seems like the developers just wanted to mix up the combat a little so they thought they would throw Aeon into a ball. The controls can often be a drawback of these orb levels because you really do need to be precise to navigate around the parts of the levels, which means that you’ll actually be repeating these parts of the level quite a few times.

This doesn't look familiar, no really it does.

This doesn't look familiar, no really it does.
Disappointingly the single player campaign just isn’t that enjoyable. It’s a very basic adventure that’s linear and repetitive. The levels are disjointed and the player never really feels immersed in the storyline. Even where there is a bit of variety the result isn’t that impressive. Aeon can actually execute quite a few cool looking moves but most of them are executed by pressing one button (and the game does the rest of the work) which is far less satisfying.

The camera work in the game is pretty good and only got in the way a few times during some of the platforming segments. When things got a little more intense the frame-rate did drop though which is a disappointment. There isn’t that much going on in the game so we’re not sure why the frame-rate would suffer so much. We also encountered a few bugs, such as an enemy getting stuck on an object which gives the game a rushed feel.

Graphically a lot of effort appears to have been put into making Aeon Flux (played by Charlize Theron in the film) look realistic. However, the rest of the citizens in the world of Bregna look pretty ugly and if you look up close to any of the characters there hasn't been much detail put into the other characters. Charlize Theron has lent her voice to the game, but other characters from the film like Johnny Lee Miller and Sophie Okanedo haven't. Charlize’s voice acting is actually very impressive and she sounds very enthusiastic. The sound effects in the game are basic, so you’ll hear the sounds of enemies dying and shots being fired but they aren’t exactly a stand out. The soundtrack mixes in well with the game but isn’t very prominent.

This looks similar to what we've seen done before, except not as good.

This looks similar to what we've seen done before, except not as good.
The single player campaign will take about ten hours to complete and there is just about no reason to come back to the game after the single player has been completed. There is no multiplayer support but if you're really interested in the game you can play through any of the levels again with a different costume, but that's really about all there is. You’re probably going to have to be extremely keen to go back and play through again just with a different costume though.

Aeon Flux is your traditional movie to game title. The combat is average, the story is disjointed and the gameplay is very similar to what we've played before in countless other titles (just not as good). There is nothing overly bad about Aeon Flux, it just lacks originality and tries to copy a lot of it's ideas from other more popular (and more enjoyable) titles.
The Score
Aeon Flux is your standard movie to game adaptation. It's not terrible, it's just extremely average. 5
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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7 years ago
I'd give the movie the same rating.
7 years ago
GTPod wrote
I'd give the movie the same rating.
Surely the fact that Charlize is in the movie would make the score higher?


Well I think so...
7 years ago
NismoR34 wrote
GTPod wrote
I'd give the movie the same rating.
Surely the fact that Charlize is in the movie would make the score higher?
Higher? She's the reason it's 5 in the first place. icon_razz.gif
7 years ago
I'd expect something like that from you, Mr Pod. I mean, it is you after all... icon_razz.gif
7 years ago
i didn't mind the film actually. was quite a bit more coherent than the cartoons in many ways.

it was just different to the cartoons.

the game? well, i wasn't expecting anything brilliant anyway, wasn't like i was going to buy it anyway.
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