Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan – A Review by Jose Vega
Bought my game digitally for this review… and personally regrets it.
This game is available for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.
Since the 1980s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been a phenomenon that has changed the world and our way of life. Whether it is the comics or the cartoons, it is a franchise that many of us grew up on. With video games however, it’s sort of mixed. You have good games such as TMNT 4: Turtles in Time and TMNT Battle Nexus and bad games like Out of the Shadows. Now the reins of the heroes in a half shell are in the hands of Activision and Platinum Games. The question is will they be able to pull it off and deliver a game worth playing or are the four destined to end up in video game obscurity?
Let’s start with the story. The story involves Shredder and General Krang hatching a plot to invade Earth and take over. We never learn how they do it other than a cutscene in the beginning stating that everything’s ready. It’s up to the Turtles to stop the Shredder and Krang from succeeding. The story isn’t much to work with but it’s pretty barebones. You get various cutscenes of the Turtles dealing with many of the bad guys and eventually it all connects to their true plans. It’s straightforward but I wish it could be done better.
Mutants in Manhattan don’t pack much in terms of its content. All you have is a single player and online co-op. Regardless you trek through nine levels battling enemies and eventually a boss fight with a TMNT villain. Within each level, you have to complete objectives in order to fill up a blue gauge. You are graded by how quick you’re able to complete them. They can range from beating up enemies, carrying bombs to a portal, disarming bombs, destroying trucks, etc. Complete them fast and you’ll be rewarded with an S rank. You also get bonuses depending on which characters accomplished what and they can range too. It helps if you get lots of bonuses to boost your score so you can use the points to get supplies. Buying supplies such as pizzas, drinks, weapons cost points so you need to manage what’s best for you. At the end of every level, you take on a different boss. In some cases if you’re skilled in dealing damage, another boss will join in to make the fight difficult. That’s a secret boss and there is one per level. Some bosses can be challenging, requiring your skill to be at your best. There are also multiple difficulty settings that can either make things easier or harder. Beating it in Hard will unlock Very Hard mode and that can be even tougher.
As for the turtles, well they are very straightforward. Each of them is similar in terms of attacks and movement but what set them apart are their abilities. You have the option to customize their loadouts. Each character has access to four special moves as well as up to 3 charms. You start with one but once you beat the game in the harder settings, they’ll be unlocked. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock special attacks that you can purchase with trainer points and afterwards you can level them up with trainer points to make them stronger. The higher the level, the stronger the attack and the less of a cooldown you’ll have to endure. Sometimes if two characters do a similar special move, they can do a co-op attack that can deal a lot of damage. Use it a lot if you want to make things better. Charms can also be enhanced to increase their effects or if you don’t like them, you can destroy them to obtain materials. Materials are needed to improve the effects so you are required to beat down enemies and bosses in order to acquire them. If you’re playing offline, the AI is acceptable with four different orders you can give the other turtles. They follow it to a T and its done very well.
I will say that design wise, many of the TMNT characters bear resemblance to the IDW comics and they did it very well. They were able to capture the feel of the comics brought to life in this game. Very good. The voice acting is strong and at times humorous thanks to Michaelangelo. The other VAs all did great and it was a high point I find to be satisfying. Very satisfying.
Although I see good things about this game, there are some things I didn’t like. For example, the game isn’t that long. You can beat it in roughly 3 ½ hours. I’m legit. The whole game can be beat in under 4 hours on Normal, with another few in the harder settings. It was a bit of a bummer because most other games tend to be longer and provide a lot more. Since it does have replayability in the form of higher difficulties, the leveling up system, who am I to complain? Another fault I find is that it’s repetitive. You basically button mash to beat down bad guys in order to fill up a gauge until its full and then you head for the boss fight. It’s just stale and boring, having to do the same thing over and over, in nine stages. That makes it unsatisfying especially if you have to get all the trophies. The game also doesn’t run at 60fps. It runs on 30. Why? I have little clue. Oh and there’s no offline co-op. That to me is disappointing because every other TMNT game I played has an offline co-op. Co-op is there but it’s online only of up to 4 players. I didn’t try it but I’m not really sure how it works. It is good that there’s online co-op but the fact that there’s no offline co-op really hurts the game. It does.
Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is an all right game. I will say that it’s fun they brought many villains from the show to beat up, good replayability, an interesting leveling system for attacks and online co-op. But its lack of offline co-op, repetitive gameplay and lack of variety kind of hurt the game. Made worse is that it’s short with nine stages, despite the fact that replay value is there for those who want it. Unfortunately I paid $50 for this game hoping that it would be a game that would be satisfying. It didn’t. No disrespect to Platinum Games because I love what they do but I think they kind of flopped it. If it was to tie in to the upcoming TMNT film, Out of the Shadows… well they didn’t do a good job. Better luck next time.
Activision… can I get my money back please? I would rather put it towards something better like Overwatch.
I give TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan a 6 out of 10.