the movie wages a one man war against Hell. Constantine
on the PS2 wages a one player war against mediocre
you will encounter in this movie tie in is as generic
as the Constantine T-shirts, action figures and beach
towels that no doubt would have been taking up an
aisle in Wal-Mart had the Hellblazer series been more
person shooters dealing with demons and Hell has been
done before and better than this. Even Devil May Cry
2 comes off as the winner in a side by side comparison
and DMC2 tanked. Had Constantine been a budget priced
$19.99 it would have been much easier to recommend.
As it stands, there are just too many flaws apparent
in the final product to overlook the $39.99 price
of you who literally know nothing of Hellblazer, John
Constantine or the movie will be hard pressed to figure
out why you're shooting all of these demons and how
it's possible the lead character can stand in a puddle
of water, say a magic latin incantation and go immediately
to Hell without passing Go. Think of Constantine as
a companion to the movie which sets up the entire
backstory and provides the character with impetus
to carry out his fate, because the game just throws
you right into the thick of things with nary a morsel
of motivation aside from "I have a gun. I have
ammo and there are demons coming at me." Deep.
gameplay isn't half bad if you're looking for a mindless
shooter that throws in some relatively easy puzzles
to figure out. Most of the puzzles require you to
move from one plane of existence to the next and/or
move boxes around. Generally when you reach a dead
end, look for the puddle of water and you'll be on
your way. Not too taxing overall. Like most repetitive
games that rely more on the "Wow, I'm playing
as 'insert character here' " eventually the whole
game collapses under the weight of not being able
to sustain the excitement past the 6th level. The
game is lengthy I'll give it that much, but it's too
much of a not great thing. The formulaic design pits
Constantine against hordes of demons and then mixes
it up with a boss battle, where you're only a cerebral
synapse away from figuring out the weakspot and pattern
so you can get back to shooting the hordes again.
I'm certain some of these game designers learned their
craft from the back of a shampoo bottle. You know
"Lather. Rinse. Repeat."
spells to defeat enemies adds some variety to the
genre but the interface is a tad clunky. You will
need to select your spell with the D-Pad, open the
casting screen to see what buttons to press to actually
execute it and then enter those buttons. It's not
something you'll want to be doing when you're surrounded,
but if you have some space to work with, the spells
can be a lifesaver.
the game looks decent at times. Hell is represented
well and some of the bosses are kind of cool, but
the framerate bogs down so much on the PS2 version
that it renders the game unplayable in certain spots.
The Xbox version handled the onscreen graphic multitasking
much more competently.
a matter of weeks Constantine the game will be reduced
in price to where it should have been retailed at
originally. For $19.99 I can see fans of the original
source material or the movie losing themselves in
that reality for awhile. Until then you're ordered
to either rent it or ignore it altogether. Your call.