Elastic fantastic? Game on!
Right, now we’re all happy with who the Fantastic 4 are, let’s get on with what the game is all about. In essence, the Fantastic 4 is a beat-em-up with a few puzzles and platformy bits thrown in for good measure. Throughout the game, depending on the storyline, you get to control 1 or 2 of the four characters, switching between them to make the best use of their abilities as you work your way through the levels.
The game emulates each characters inherent abilities, so the Human Torch is super fast and able to set enemies aflame, whilst The Thing is immensely strong and just smashes everything in his path. The Invisible Woman, as you’d expect, can turn invisible and also freeze enemies on the spot while Mr Fantastic can stretch to reach platforms and objects from afar, as well as deliver a wallop to bad guys from quite a distance too.
Now while playing this, I couldn’t help but be reminded of The Incredibles game on the PS2. Yes, yes, I know the Incredibles were basically a Fantastic 4 homage, but their game was out first and in playing this one, the similarities are obvious. Although you don’t get any zooming about flaming people in The Incredibles game, you do get zooming about with Dash… and all the other characters do the same things as the Fantastic 4 do…hmmm.
On top of each characters ‘natural’ abilities they each have three cosmic powers which, although they use up a lot of energy, do a load of damage. The energy gradually tops up over time, or can be filled up from smashing certain object or from some fallen foes. You can also team up with your other playable character and perform combo moves to perform more devastating attacks. At the end of each level you’ll be awarded points which can be applied to the whole team, upgrading their abilities as you progress through the game. In some areas characters will have other abilities, such as The Thing being the only one to be able to shift a big pile of rubble or the Human Torch welding a leaky gas pipe shut. You’ll have to make use of these to progress through the levels, but they’re all a bit of a no-brainer and really designed just to make you use that particular character at that point.