Planet 51: The Game Review
Developer: Pyro Studios
European Release Date: 6th Nov 2009
N. American Release Date: 17th Nov 2009
Austrailian Release Date: 26th Nov 2009
Trophies: 23 10 4 1
Planet 51 Trophy Guide / Planet 51 Forum
Planet 51 is a childrens game based on the recent movie of the same name. With sandbox type gameplay and very simple missions from the get go, it makes for a very accessible, simple title. The problem is, it's a movie tie-in, and, unfortunately we all know what that usually means. Bad graphics, bad gameplay, bad everything.
Planet 51's sandbox environment is split into three sections; The Suburbs, The Town and The Desert. Each section has it's own unique look and makes a nice distraction, whilst having to drive mile after boring pixelated mile to the next mission. The control system used in-game is, as expected considering the game is aimed at children very, very simple. Even an un-training gorilla suffering with dementia could learn the controls for this game in less than a minute.
The one difference with this game, compared with most other cartoon movie tie-ins, is the fact that it will take you more than 3 hours to complete. Infact with all the endless driving, side missions, unlockables and tasks you need to complete, the total hours spent on this game will reach way past double figures, especially if you choose not to use a guide for the collectibles.
For some reason, when you first begin the adventure that is Planet 51, you are put through a little training mission, where you learn all 3 controls for the game. This made me realise I was about 25 years too old to be playing this game. But I gave it a chance non the less and decided to go straight into the story missions. Now, if I said the game was full of wonderful twists and turns, with exhilarating gameplay and non-stop action, I would be, well lying. It is, unfortunately the total opposite. After less than an hour of playing the game I could have switched it off and snapped the disk in half, but considering it was a rental its a good job I didn't.
The missions in each section of the game are very similar and repetitive with the majority of missions being races or timed events. Which would be great if the times were even a little bit challenging. In the end the Singleplayer game was dull at best and was made worse, when I realised I had to collect hidden objects scattered around the world for a certain trophy. Playing this game has made me realise that I am wasting my time playing easy games for easy platinums, and for that I thank you Pyro Studios.
The final mission in the whole game was, again, another driving mission, where you have to follow the spaceman through a series of tunnels to escape the alien army. This mission was the only one I had to attempt more than once to complete, It's like Pyro Studios decided to up the difficulty level right at the end just to wind people up. It worked, It took me at least 7 attempts to complete the mission and was very frustrated by the whole ordeal.
This, coupled with a non-existent storyline and poorly designed environments added to a very dissapointing and arduous Singleplayer experience, that I would recommend people to avoid like the plague. Although it's definately not the worst game released on the PS3.
The Multiplayer is 2 player offline only and consists of three sections, Race, Car Crusher and Hot Bombs. They are basically 2 player versions of missions from the Singleplayer storyline. In each section you can choose either a single event or a championship which consists of a certain amount of very similar events, crowning the best player the champion.
All three events are as dull as the Singleplayer although having an edge due to the competitive feeling you get from beating your five year old kid 3 times in a row! I have to say this is probably the best, most fun part of the game, but not by much. The boredom kicks in pretty soon after winning a couple of events.
The graphics are poor at best, but considering the material at hand it was expected by all of us. Even though, not visually pleasing to the eye I have seen much worse. Terminator Salvation anyone? The music in the game follows suit with the rest of Planet 51's style. Boring and repetitive. The 15 hour game has a 10 minute playlist consisting of childish tones and the same dull instrumental every time you take to the streets.
Gameplay: 4/10 Poor
With a very poor control system and tedious, repetitive missions the gameplay fails to interest.
Singleplayer: 4/10 Poor
The best part of this game, and the least dull is when the credits roll. Boring and repetitive is being kind to this mess.
Multiplayer: 5/10 Tolerable
Due to the competitiveness of this section of the game I have to rate it highest. The only fun I had was playing MP.
Technical: 3/10 Tragic
Technically this game is as bad as was probably expected but there is no excuse for something so visual poor.
Overall: 4.5/10 Poor
Planet 51 is, at best worth a rent, but only if you want an easier platinum, as the whole experience was mind-numbingly dull. The game lasted 5 hours longer than it needed to and was hindered by the repetitive feel throughout the whole game. This would be a nice present for your 5 year old kid, but if you have half a brain and are old enough to remember Spandau Ballet then steer clear of this poor excuse for a game.