Hmmm. The training segment at the start of G-Force has “rushing to meet a deadline” written all over it. Some games will build a level around it all. Not this one: here, you’re told how to accomplish a task, you do it, you move on to the next one. Complete them all – and it ain’t tricky to do – and you can get on with the game. It’s fair to say, though, that it doesn’t get off to a good start.
But that’s a little misleading. For in a summer that’s already seen Wolverine show that you can make a good game out of a summer blockbuster movie, G-Force really isn’t too bad. In fact, it ties together the basic concept from the film into a functional, distracting game in its own right. We might even venture so far as to say that we enjoyed it.
It works by giving you two characters to control. Firstly, there’s Darwin the guinea pig, a multi-talented little critter who comes armed with a rocket pack, the ability to sprint, some run-of-the-mill weapons and a penchant for danger. Darwin can scuttle around unnoticed a lot of the time (handy during the game’s many stealth segments) and he’s, er, the closest you’ll get to a James Bond-esque guinea pig anytime soon.
Darwin, however, can also call on the powers of Mooch. Mooch is – stick with this – a commando housefly, with an ability to slow down time where necessary. This is handy, as, combined with his ability to fly through grates and suchlike, he can get to the places that Darwin can’t, and do useful things like open doors.
And it’s this mechanic that proves crucial for most of the game’s long and fairly uninspiring levels. They seem to have come straight out of a templated level design program sitting on some developer’s shelf, but what lifts them is that the tag teaming of Darwin and Mooch actually works surprisingly well.
The game’s puzzles are easy to solve, not least because of a hint system that basically sticks a lead on you and guides you to what you need to do next. But that doesn’t really matter. It’s simply enjoyable to flip between the two characters, to hunt down upgrades, to acquire new weaponry and work your way through the game.
The flaws are easy to spot. It’s quite unambitious, a bit more spit and polish really wouldn’t have hurt, and the 3D glasses bundled in are a gimmick at best, a one-way trip to a headache at worst. But still, G-Force is decent, solid, chipper family entertainment, and we’ve seen a great deal worse. It’s almost certainly the best game you’ll play with a guinea pig as the lead character in it this year, too.
Company: Disney Interactive