G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PS2 | PSP | DS
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Double Helix 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 4, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The controls hamper this even further. On foot control isn't entirely awful but could have used some tuning. However, getting to control a massive tank or a gun-strapped truck is a horrible chore. The control on these things is truly awful, and the game would have been better off having not included them. Piloting a vehicle of death-dealing destruction is supposed to be inherently fun. I'm honestly shocked that someone found a way to make it not fun. It's astounding. These segments are laborious, and not just because of the controls.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra screenshot

The control issues could have been mitigated if the developers understood the problems and designed the levels to be more accessible given the issues. However, some of the levels seem designed specifically to bring those issues to light. They'll make you pull complex maneuvers in order to aim at very specific targets. And sometimes they'll be especially sadistic and make sure that the target is out of the camera's reach so that you can't possibly see it.

As mentioned before, when played in small doses, this isn't something that's too terrible and may go unnoticed for many hours. That said, it's positively maddening when played in sizable chunks.

The audio on the other hand, is equally as horrible, but never affects the gameplay. All of the voice acting from the console versions has been stripped out, and now the actors move around the screen like sock puppets. It turns out to be a pretty critical breach of the fourth wall to see the characters mouthing the words on the bottom of the screen. Not that they really have all that much to say considering the story is pretty much throw away. It revolves around going to assorted enemy bases, killing everyone in sight, and rescuing whichever G.I. Joe that managed to get captured and taken there. It's sub-standard to say the least.


It's one of those things that bizarrely works in the PSP version's favor. Whereas most gamers are looking for an engrossing story and a convincing reason to fight in the console version, on a portable gaming system most gamers are just looking for a fun way to kill half an hour. Reading scrolling text, and listening to back-story is not a good way to deliver fun to a player with limited time. It's an odd compliment to be sure, but the fact that G.I. Joe's story has no impact on gameplay ends up working in its favor. Since the gamer can just enjoy the fun rather than listen to a lame story, the focus stays on the action.

G.I. Joe PSP comes with a myriad of faults and only a small handful of redeeming qualities. Most of the faults are sidestepped and made less frustrating due to being on a portable system. But there's one fault that just has no justification whatsoever: the price tag. Forty dollars is a ridiculous price to ask for this game. The game is over in about six hours, which wouldn't be too bad too bad if this was a thirty dollar game, but a game of this length with zero multiplayer to speak of is far too much to ask. If you're a commuter who is OK with the occasional bug, and isn't bothered by the change in direction the G.I. Joe series took with the new movie, then there is some fun to be had here. Provided you can get it at a discounted price.

By Andrew Groen
CCC Freelance Writer

Just plain bad graphics that often negatively affect gameplay, because you're often unable to distinguish enemies from each other and even allies from enemies.
On foot controls are serviceable, but vehicle controls are genuinely a chore, putting a halt to any amount of fun you might have found previously.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Not entirely awful, but they did strip the game of all of its voice acting. What's there is decent though, and the sound effects do their job.
Play Value
An awful value at $40, especially with no multiplayer or even cooperative gameplay. If you can find it at a discounted price, you might get your money's worth. But at $40, you'll have to be the very biggest fan of the movie to find a good value.
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • More than the movie: All-new storyline developed exclusively for the game.
  • Pick your G.I. JOE team: Choose from your favorite G.I. JOE characters, each with unique weapons and abilities.
  • Venomous COBRAS: Battle COBRA's deadliest bosses as you snake your way through enemy territory.
  • Pedal to the metal: Jump into, steal, or hijack powerful G.I. JOE or COBRA vehicles!

  • Screenshots / Images

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