Battle Los Angeles is a movie where aliens come and take over the world. When I saw the trailer I thought to myself this is going to be a great movie and was really excited. I have yet to see the movie but during the time before the movie came out there was also an announcement from Konami saying that they will publish a game tie in with the movie Battle LA. Boy did I get real excited, the trailer blew me away and there’s going to be a game tie in boy this is gonna be great. Boy was I seriously, seriously wrong about this one. Not the movie but the game which isn’t available as a physical copy but through DLC. Let me give you this warning that once you play this game, there is no going back.
At the start of the game you are given a narration of how strong people thought the human race was voiced by William Shatner. At least that’s what the narration sounds like. Either that or the narrator took voice acting lessons from William Shatner. We are then introduced to a broadcast that explains the phenomenon and the places that are currently being attacked. You are then given an introduction to you Staff SGT Nantz who will lead you through this mission and bring you back alive. Then of course we realize that we are taken the role of the William Shatner impersonator who is in fact a marine.
Your mission while roaming through the streets of Los Angeles is to kill as many aliens as you can. Of course there is no way of telling if you are in fact in Los Angeles as the streets don’t have names. Your weapon of choice is what appears’ to be an M-16 or an M-4 and a Sniper Rifle which you will need to pick up. You will also use a Bazooka which you will use to take down enemy space ships and from time to time you will use a Gun Turret. You are extremely limited in weapons as those mentioned are the only ones that are available. You can also throw grenades but at times they are so ineffective you might as well not use them.
Moving your character is also a pain. You are limited when sprinting and if you get tired then you are unable to move. This is very annoying when trying to run across the field while aliens are trying to kill you. The aliens no matter who they are shooting will always hone in on your position every time you are in the picture. Your fellow marines could help you but their AI is so dumb down you’d actually wish they get taken out. It wasn’t until I started using a game controller that I started to enjoy this game a bit but figuring out which key’s work is difficult as the game will still show you keyboard commands.
You are also limited to the amount of enemies you will fight. You will either fight an alien who is multiplied times a million as well as the same alien with a turret and of course a spaceship whose operator must have discovered Rum while on earth. Actually Rum wouldn’t hurt when you are playing this game. As a matter of fact any alcoholic beverage is necessary when playing this game. As a matter of fact I think these aliens have spent too much time in LA as they will shoot you gangster style or even shoot you while doing the moon walk.
I don’t know how closely the game relates to the movie since I’ve yet to see it. Michelle Rodriguez’s character, Santo’s is in the game. She is voiced by a confused voice actor who doesn’t know whether to play her as a Brit or American as her voice will change while playing the game. Seriously did anyone made any suggestions while writing the script for this game. The dialog sounds very cheesy and you can’t help but to turn off your speakers. In one part of the game your Shatner impersonator said if anyone was great for the job and would get them out alive it would be his staff sergeant Nantz. In one scene he is informed that if they use radio communications, the aliens will track them down and kill them instantly. This is said twice to him and he himself says who cares and tries to communicate with the chopper that is flying over them. The chopper is shot down instantly. There are also times when the SGT yells out if anyone is hit and then a soldier will say I’m hit. Seriously this wouldn’t be bad but they are saying it every 2 minutes. Sound effects aren’t also the best. Your gun sounds like a paintball gun and the music is barely audible. That’s not to say that the music is bad though but it is overshadowed by bad dialog and sound effects.
The story is told comic book style where the characters are drawn out and voice bubbles pop out every time they say something. This isn’t actually bad and I would say it’s a passable way to tell a story since the characters move. There are however a few times when the art was questionable and you couldn’t make out what they were doing. One example is when Santo’s saves the civilians and calls in a helicopter you can see within the chopper 2 soldiers playing patty cake. I don’t know if that is what they are really doing but it looks like they are playing patty cake but hey in times like these I’m pretty sure fighting aliens can turn anyone into a 4 year old girl. Visually the game looks amazing. It’s probably the only great feature in the game. If the developers would have spent more time on this game, then it would have been a great game. There are a few effects though that could use some work but overall if I were to show you some screenshots of this game, no doubt about it you will want to find out more information on it.
Battle LA is very limited on what it has to offer even in game time. At the most it takes 1 hour to beat the game and there aren’t very many unlockables. You can unlock Movie Mode, Double Physics and Tough Guy when you beat the game in each category of Easy, Medium or Hard. Beating the game in hard mode in the beginning does not unlock Movie Mode or Double Physics as you must beat the game in each difficulty. You can also unlock some dev videos and art work although playing this game more than once is asking for too much. There is no multiplayer although as stiff as the characters are and play, you might not even touch it.
Verdict: Wait for a price drop.
Currently Battle LA sells on Steam and Xbox Live for $9.99 for that price I think what you are getting is still too expensive. I would say skip this game in general but it is kind of fun to play if you have a game controller. However because of all the negatives it’s better to wait for a price drop of $1.99 or less and since steam is always having sales, it shouldn’t take too long for this game to have a price cut.
GamePlay: The most generic shooter you will ever play coupled with stiff animation and you have a bad combination. 3/10
Graphics: I was shocked at the graphics because they are truly amazing. If only the developers would have made the rest of the game better. 9/10
Sound: Very painful bad dialog will keep you from taking this game seriously. 2/10
Story: Game is suppose to follow the movie’s plot and if it does it might put off anyone willing to watch the movie if they haven’t. 4/10
LifeSpan: 1 hour of gameplay max unless you want to go back and unlock all extras which is not recommended. 1/10
Total Score: 38/100