Minority Report Everybody Runs (PS2)
I can’t help but feel like the designers cut off a very crucial part of the game’s title. Minority Report: Everybody Runs feels like a shortened version of Minority Report: Everybody Runs as Far Away From This Stinkfest As Possible, obviously the title wouldn’t fit on the comparatively tiny PS2 DVD-sized cases but you get the idea.
As the namesake implies, the game’s source material stems from the Spielberg directed summer blockbuster of the same name, and while the game utilizes some of the same elements, it’s an entirely different tale that makes poor use of an excellent license.
Forget Tom Cruise because with the exception of the name, the protagonists bear absolutely no resemblance to each other. Instead of the brown-haired Cruise you’re cast as a white-haired quasi-cool, Solid Snake-ish character. As (insert random hero name here) you’ll be framed for a murder that you have yet to commit and thus the game’s plot is set into motion, you’re a marked man and yes, you’ll be on the run. All right, not too bad so far but just wait until you get into the game.
Honestly, I haven’t seen gameplay this archaic since I checked out Rockstar’s borefest, State of Emergency but while SOE actually had a decent idea and premise, MR has neither. Here’s the basic gist of the gameplay, beat up all the baddies in a room, wait for door to become unlocked, move into next room, lather, rinse and repeat. It’s a very simplistic formula that has existed since the Atari 2600 days. Who knows, maybe our society will go through a period of retrogression in the future and will resort to utilizing archaic technology to impress the desensitized masses.
Your enemies consists of a bunch of look alike guards and robots. Since they are mainly PreCrime officers I don’t mind that they all look the same but you’d expect that with their chosen profession that they’d be some highly trained killers right? Then feel free to tell me what type of trained professional would succumb to a simple slide maneuver. That’s right folks, they’ve got guns, fists of steel and feets of fury but it’s no match for your move to end all moves, the devastating SLIDE OF DOOM!
What’s even more puzzling is the sheer number of levels that can be accomplished in mere minutes. In times where you’re not actually forced to fight the enemies you can just simply run right past them en route to the exit. Wow, taking the theme of the game a little too far aren’t we? When you are forced to fight it’s because of some magical lock that has been placed on a door or your entry into a small and confined corridor. Lo and behold the magic of artificial barriers.
It’s a real shame that the combat is so mundane too because the system definitely has some potential. You can beat and toss your opponents through nearly every single object, lending the game a highly cinematic feel. It’s pretty cool to toss my opponent into a shelf and see stuff fall down, it really adds an extra layer of depth to the game. It’s definitely a great foundation for what could be an intuitive engine somewhere down the line but for now, it’s just full of potential and nothing more.
Speaking of nothing more, this brings us to the storyline. Advanced through some crudely rendered engine-rendered sequences, you’ll learn more about the situation via some D-rate voice actors. I wouldn’t mind the poor voice acting so much if the lip synching weren’t so atrocious. It’s just horrible and barely on par with those Shaolin Temple movies that were all the rage in the 80s. How this got past quality control is far beyond me. Oh yea, the storyline vaguely follows the events of the movie, just not as exciting, or entertaining, or appealing, or tolerable.
Tolerable is a great word to describe the game’s visuals, not too appealing, not too unsightly, just tolerable. Some of the early environments are pretty good (the PC HQ is a great recreation of the movie set) but they tend to deteriorate over time. Nothing in the game’s visuals really tends to stand out a being great or ugly, it’s just all kind of there. I guess there are some neat effects that accompany the game’s projectile objects but it’s an effect that quickly becomes overused, cluttering the game’s viewing perspective. The camera is serviceable but it too suffers from the same problems that plagued Spider Man, it just requires far too much babysitting.
What you have in the end is a game that is nothing more than a movie tie-in, designed to coincide with the DVD release of the major motion picture. It’s nothing more than an advertisement but it’s not even that. It doesn’t follow the movie and with the exception of the title character’s name and a few strewn about Lexus ads, it bears absolutely no resemblance. There’s nothing here, for anyone. Treyarch is capable of doing so much more and I’m saddened to see their name attached to this product. Don’t make the mistake of playing this game, if you want a romp through the movie then go ahead and pick up the DVD, you’ll be saving yourself $30 in the process.
From the team that brought you Spider Man: The Movie Game and a whole bunch of ports from the mid 90s (Triple Play for Nintendo 64, Tony Hawk for DC) comes Minority Report, a strictly by the numbers title thatâ€™s not fun nor is it appealing.
Rating: 3.1 Bad
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I can still recall many a lost nights spent playing Gyromite with that stupid robot contraption for the old NES. While I'm not as old as the rest of the crew around these parts, I still have a solid understanding of the heritage and the history of the video gaming industry.
It's funny, when I see other people reference games like Doom as "old-school" I almost begin to cringe. I bet that half of these supposed "old-school" gamers don't even remember classic games like Rise of the Triad and Commander Keen. How about Halloween Harry? Does anyone even remember the term "shareware" anymore? If you want to know "old-school" just talk to John. He'll tell you all about his favorite Atari game, Custer's Revenge.
It's okay though, ignorance is bliss and what the kids don't know won't hurt them. I'll just simply smile and nod the next time someone tells me that the best entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was Final Fantasy VII.
When I'm not playing games I'm usually busy sleeping through classes at a boring college in Southern Oregon. My current hobbies are: writing songs for punk rock bands that never quite make it, and teasing Bart about... well just teasing Bart in general. I swear the material writes itself when you're around this guy. He gives new meaning to the term "moving punching bag."
As for games, I enjoy all types except those long-winded turn-based strategy games. I send those games to my good pal Tyler, I hear he has a thing for those games that none of us actually have the time to play.
When I'm not busy plowing through a massive pile of video games I spend all of my time trying to keep my cute little girl fed. She eats a ton but damn she's so hot. Does anyone understand the Asian girl weight principal? Like they'll clean out your fridge yet still weigh less than 110 pounds.
Currently I'm playing: THUG, True Crime, Prince of Persia, Project Gotham 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. View Profile