The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn Review (PS3)

It’s that time of the year when we end up with another film videogame tie-in in the form of TinTin. But what exactly does the camp looking lead and his fluffy pooch Snowy have to offer the audience and can the visuals match that of the flashy looking Spielberg animation?

It’s certainly nice to play an easy-going game that offers a bit of fun. Granted it is probably one for the younger generation of gamers, but it is refreshing to play a platformer/adventure game that offers a bit of variety, albeit in small doses.

The water effects really showcase the animation

Primarily you play as TinTin, however during the adventure you will get to take control of Snowy the dog and Captain Haddock in a mixture of game play elements. Snowy can sniff out people and dig out items as well as accessing areas out of reach of TinTin and certainly the highlight of controlling Snowy is the bark which is at the touch of a button.

Captain Haddock wields a sword in his sections which are probably the worst during the game. A sloppy control system which is not explained properly means that it is difficult to understand how to use the sword and attack the enemies on these on-rail sections. Pushing the stick left and right swipes your sword with A to block, not exactly the easiest of systems to use.

While the game begins with a 3D type environment in the market, it quickly switches to a more traditional side-scrolling platformer as you go on the trial of the Secret Unicorn. These sections are arguably the best and offer younger gamers a fun way to navigate the environments including a ship and mansion. At points you will come across enemies which you can take down in a variety of comical ways including throwing an inflatable beach ball or shattering a chandelier on their heads. It is all very light-hearted violence with comedy stars representing a ‘death’ and the same goes with TinTin when he loses his health.

This is about the highlight of a fight in-game

There are also plenty of plane flying and motorbike travelling scenes which don’t really add much to the game and are clearly designed to help the novice gamer by being as simple as possible. These sections are pretty dull and crop up far too often to be entertaining and the game would fare better without them being included. Sometimes it feels Ubisoft weren’t sure what type of game they wanted to create, and threw a few elements into a pot and used those in a mish-mash of shooting, driving and adventure. The key to improving the game would be to offer more of the side-scrolling sections.

As you have probably realised, TinTin is a very straightforward game with frequent checkpoints and easy boss battles which won’t be everyone’s idea of a challenge. But sometimes it is nice to sit down and play something ‘fun’, without stressing out after being killed time and time again. The presentation is good but nowhere near offers the level of animated detail of the film, but I’m sure it didn’t have millions ploughed into it. The water is particularly impressive, however some animations during the cut-scenes can be a little bit stuttery. On a technical note as well the character movement completely stopped at one point, the game wasn’t frozen but I couldn’t move anywhere which resulted in resetting the Xbox.

Nice cardi!

The main campaign is short, around 4 hours or less on a quick run with some hidden crabs in each level to discover, which aren’t the most taxing of hidden objects. You can choose to play in co-op mode alongside Captain Haddock in his dazed state, which features a few interesting platform levels. The purple strip on the 360 version says ‘Better with Kinect’, however the Kinect function is limited to the side-car motorbike challenges and plane missions where you control the plane with your hands. Basic but it works, but as ever to get the best scores you are best sticking with a pad which seems to make the Kinect motto a tad redundant.

TinTin may be basic and one of the easiest games I’ve played in some years, but it's certainly a cracker of a game for children and gives them something to get their teeth into with its cute visuals. That doesn’t stop it being a little too basic for older veterans and cannot stand up to the quality of games such as Toy Story 3 or Cars 2 for film based tie-ins. It’s a fair effort though and is worthy of a rental.

Top Gaming Moment: The parrot carrying section which reminds me of a certain monkeys adventure!



By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Oct 25, 2011
And of course, it's Belgian.

Excuse me while I drown my shrinking patriotism in our finest beer.