Whatever Fantastic Four is trying to be, it’s not. If it wants to be a generic beat-em-up, it fails. If it wants to be an RPG, it fails. If it wants to be a multi-player fest in the vein of Gauntlet, it fails. If it wants to be a good game, than rather obviously, it fails.
Set up for four-player action, the entire team of heroes is controlled at once regardless of how many people are playing. A quick flick of the D-pad will switch between the characters if no friends are available locally since Xbox Live support is non-existent. Specific sections of the game require the powers of certain heroes, so the player will need experience with all of the to succeed.
Rise of the Silver Surfer wants to mimic Marvel Ultimate Alliance, ironic since the Fantastic Four were a part of that comic book tie-in. If you want to “flame on,” play that title instead. This is nowhere close in any category.
The initial turn off is a set of pre-rendered cinematics that look like they’ve been lifted from an early release on the PlayStation. The in-game visuals are thankfully slightly more tolerable. That’s still not giving credit, as aside from the character models, there’s nothing here that raises this above an Xbox 360 launch title at best.
Sloppy, loose combat leads the way. Enemies either swarm the team or sit back and fire guns. Against the latter, only the Invisible Woman Sue Storm (without Jessica Alba’s likeness) is effective as her powers can block projectiles. Those that run at the player are dispatched with a few well-placed combos, or by simply smashing the ground with Thing. He’s the only well versed combat character.
A.I. allies are ridiculously stupid, either getting stuck on a small object, standing around while being beaten without counterattacking, or the worst of the bunch, failing to use their super power when the situation would require them. Experience is earned by smashing open destructible items, leading to dull fetch quests to make sure you’ve found everything you need.