Published on March 11th, 2011 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
I’m not going to lie, most movie-to-game creations come out looking like a pile of disturbing mess. Upon first view of Rango, it seemed as though it would have fallen into the same kind of category by default. When I go into playing any game it can be tough keeping an open mind. Even when you know there is a pretty heavy underlying tone that must be pushed out of your mind the whole while the game is progressing. Where most games have failed to bring the correlation of ‘movie-to-game’ translation, Rango surprisingly does a fantastic job of connecting the dots and producing a nice image of completion.
Rango is the story of a not-so would-be hero, an iguana, who finds that he supposedly must help Beans, a pretty little lizard-looking thing, find her dad who had discovered some alien-rock-meteorite droppings that landed in his back yard. I say supposedly because the whole time the tall tale is being orally delegated by the squirrely looking Rango himself.
As the game progresses, players collect sheriff coins by smashing boxes and defeating enemies. Enemies can be melee’d, ground stomped, or blasted with your popcorn kernel gun. Although these things might not seem like would be weapons, do not forget that Rango is the size of a small rodent and his enemies the same. With that being said, Behaviour Interactive (Wet, Naughty Bear) did a great job recreating this environment.
The controls of Rango are simple. Of course, the action/adventure scheme of these types of games is often the route taken; it was tweaked a little bit in order to give the game a little depth. The right trigger was used to blast your popcorn kernel gun while the X button was used to melee enemies. The Y button interacted with objects, while the A button did the usual jump and double jump actions. Although crouching was included with the LB, it served little purpose during gameplay. Something that was done a little different here was to place the “iron sight” type button on the LB. With no button customization, this did leave me at times with jumbled fingers tying to gun and direct the reticle in the right direction.
There were really few negatives that can be said about the game. The gameplay ventures through 2D and 3D environments while mixing up gameplay with areas that do not reflect your typical action/adventure platformer that was created from a cartoon movie. At times, it did feel a little repetitive, but it was saved by changing scenery and weaponry. I would however have liked to see some more chances taken on the grinding, but it did turn out fulfilling to say the least.
The graphics are already a plus. Although some areas like the beginning desert scene had some textures planes meeting with sharp edges, the other areas looked great. The fur, scales and general creation of characters is superbly done and really brought this animated film to the console. While I do not want to spoil the game for anyone, the creators must have been off their rocker for at least some parts of the game, which was a creative and genuine experience that was fun to play.
The game does draw out longer than expected. I genuinely thought that the game would take no longer than two hours and would be done with it. There are a lot of achievements to gather. It was almost to the point that there were too many. The games achievement system was spilling over with all kinds of points for menial tasks. Some were represented in the right light, such as beating the game on hard and unlocking all upgrades. There was one sequence where three achievements were rewarded for 60G. Consecutively. If you have ever heard of people boosting their scores with games in the genre, I guess you could say that it’s true.
While many other games out there that are movie remakes are stick to their guns to simply become a waste of time and money, Rango made the effort to stray away from these repetitive styles. Although there might be minimal replay value, the level design and gameplay are surprisingly fun. If you have an in between game on your fly or have the chance to get your hands on this title, at the least, you will have more than a few laughs.
+ Better than most in genre
+ Level Design
– Minimal replay value
– Somewhat repetitive