The Adventures of Tintin tries to capture the energy and spectacle of Steven Spielberg’s latest cinematic release; but falls short of its goal.
The story of Tintin follows that of the movie, with the well-quaffed boy reporter trying to find the secrets of the Unicorn (a ship) in an adventure that takes him from mainland Europe to Morocco by air and sea. The result is a 2-D Prince of Persia inspired platformer, with puzzles to solve as you switch between Tintin and his canine companion, Snowy.
If the game left it this way, and simply made the puzzles and platforming a little more varied, then Ubisoft may have been on to a winner. Certain elements are nearly brilliant, but still disappoint almost instantly. With car chases and an escape from a capsizing boat, there are times when Tintin shows a certain flair for a adventure title; but as the same themed sequences are also done in the far superior Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception, the sequences in Tintin feel like dire, pale comparisons.
Swapping between Tintin and Snowy (and Captain Haddock among others if you’re playing co-op) as you travel through the 2-D levels show one of the game’s real strengths. Tintin, although small, is able to easily take care of himself, punching, slamming, and throwing enemies, whilst Snowy can dig his way into tiny areas, finding treasure and missing keys and even using his sense of smell to locate trails.The characters have plenty of life, with generally good characterisation and some nice voice work, bringing a lot of charm and personality to the game.
However, it’s the way you’re led on what feels like a series of mini-games that is really quite poor. Captain Haddock‘s flashbacks bring swashbuckling into the fold, which would be a welcome addition if it weren’t for the clunky controls, making the whole ordeal rather painful. Boss fights are equally shallow, and cutting through a wave of bandits feels more like a chore, as there seems to be no swordsmanship involved.
As a 2-D platformer, Tintin is an enjoyable adventure that is easy on the eye and full of charm. But the way Ubisoft has tried to shoehorn in variety makes it feel like they’ve rushed what could have been a fun game.
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The Adventures of Tintin: The Game is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence. This game can also be found on: Windows PC, Wii, and Xbox 360.