Thor: The Dark World, Not Bad, But It Could Be Better
The most remarkable thing about Thor: The Dark World is that the gameplay is pretty consistent. You are Thor, son of Odin, and gifted with the powers of a god. Your task is to protect the nine realms using your mighty powers and of course, the magical hammer, Mjolnir. The game takes you to various locations in Thor's cinematic storyline, from the forest of the elves, to the realm of the ice giants, to Asgard itself. You do not get to visit all 9 different realms, just 4, but each one is composed of a lot of stages.
Charging into Battle
As Thor, it is not surprising that you get into a lot of fighting. This game is a top-view brawler and getting into engagements with enemies is what you will be doing quite a lot of times. The basic pattern is simple, there's a stage, you need to get to a goal, and on your way to said goal, you will have to beat the living daylights out of everything that stands in your way.
The good news is that Thor is particularly good at beating stuff up like frost giants, armored soldiers, weird magical demon-like things, and more. But the surprising thing is that the real point of the game is not to get into fierce negotiations with your fists and hammer all the time, it is about summoning the Einherjar to effectively take care of your enemies while you keep moving forward.
This is what makes the game so interesting to play. The Einherjar are basically souls handpicked by Valkyries to fight for Asgard. As Thor, it is no surprise that you are able to summon them to help you in battles. One on one, a single Einherjar is no substitute for Thor, but a few of them should be plenty enough to deal with the typical mundane threats that the thundergod faces on a daily basis.
Keeping Your Eyes Open
Battles in the game are not particularly all that difficult, even when alone, Thor is already a powerful force to reckon with. But there are plenty of times when your progress can easily grind to a halt just because of the sheer volume of enemies (as well as strategic positioning of some very annoying targets). This is where the Einherjar become truly effective. With them on the field, enemies are split apart and their troop formations instantly get torn up. You, as Thor, are able to focus your strength and energy into dealing with the larger and more powerful enemies while your own soldiers keep the rest of the enemies at bay.
The inclusion of additional fighters that you summon is very fun and interesting. Instead of just looking at a battle and trying to find a good place for Thor to funnel targets, you are able to take a more dynamic approach by summoning your own forces. They also come in different shapes and sizes. Being able to determine the right class for the task can make things a whole lot easier for players as well.
Summoning random good guys to your side is one thing, but being able to call upon Sif, Fandrall, Volstagg, and Baldur is even more epic. These iconic heroes come into the field and smash up stuff in ways that Thor would be proud of. You can even unlock Loki as summon as well (though with a lot less smarmy and funny quips that the movie incarnation does). Continue Reading
Release Date: 31/10/2013
Thors of All Shapes and Sizes
While the game is a movie tie-in, it is not restricted to the Hemsworth film version of the norse god. Players can also get special skins that will allow the use of comic versions of Thor. There is the old classic version (with the very funny hat and funny talk that includes many use of the word "verily"), there is also the cape-less, sleeve-less, ultimates version, Beta Ray Bill, Odin, and several others. It does not change the gameplay all that much, but the aesthetic change is already more than worth it.
But if you do want to do something that alters the gameplay, then the game also allows players to upgrade Thor's armor, weapons, and skills. These three elements determine your offensive and defensive capabilities, as well as the effectiveness of abilities that you can use in combat. Naturally, increasing any of these will make you so much stronger. For the most part, we found that a bit of focus on defense is a good strategy as using Einherjar can help compensate for offensive strength.
Know Your Goals
Overall, Thor: the Dark World is a pretty decent game. The graphics are nice, and the music is inspired by the film. The stages are plenty, and fights are not too shabby. Sure, it could use a lot of polish on its many rough edges, and there are times when trying to save up enough credits for the unlockables can feel like a terrible grind. Uru and ISO-8 content are naturally the best things you can get in the game, but there is nothing wrong with farming the stages as efficiently as possible. After all, you only really need to finish stages to progress -accomplishing all the side objectives is not necessary (and can be a time sink especially if the rewards are not worth the effort). As a brawler, a battle system with summons is certainly something that changes the typical flow of combat. If you like Thor, or just want to try something new, then you should certainly consider stepping into The Dark World.
Thor The Dark World is developed by Gameloft.