The Ben 10 series of cartoons is a very popular one, the plethora of merchandise to come out of this series is immense. Video games in the past have been pretty bad to average. The newest offering in the series is called Ben 10 Omniverse and the video game shares this name. This is a hack and slash game with puzzle elements that offers two player action with players either choosing to play as Ben or his new side kick from the new series Rook. You explore different areas using 13 playable characters/ aliens that Ben can transform into using his Omnitrix watch. In this game you play as both young Ben and Teen Ben with all the associated aliens as well.
We join our heroes as Ben and Rook join grandpa Max as the little aliens have made a solution for Ben’s issue with the Omnitrix. The problem is that Ben wants to transform to a particular alien and the Omnitrix always gives him a different one. The fix the little aliens have will solve this and we start the game going through a 30 minute tutorial that teaches us the basic movements. Including the various attacks and dodging ability, we also are introduced to the D-pad and the way you can switch to different aliens. You can assign up to four aliens to the D-pad for fast transformations and then keep changing from the full list of aliens from the menu section and load them in. This is a good way to handle this but can get annoying when you want a different alien and have to keep pausing and assigning them, perhaps a wheel system like LEGO LOTR would have fixed this. Another issue is that you have to stay still when you swap aliens you can change on the fly. This is not a major issue but it slows down the flow of the game somewhat. So back to the story, as soon as the little aliens trigger the fix event for Ben’s Omnitrix we are sent back in time as we play as young Ben with Rook. We play through the levels and find out that Malware absorbs Rook’s Proto-tool (gun that changes to anything) and this leads to a terrible future. Then it’s up to teen Ben and Rook to stop him. It’s a nice story and well done, fans of the show will like this and other gamers will go along with it as well.
The gameplay is very much a hack and slash title, with puzzle elements solved by using various aliens and their special abilities. An example of this being that Four- arms can grapple and climb fences, Cannonbolt can interact with ball shaped holes and speed up Sonic style and hit targets, and Shocksquatch can overload security systems and so on. This is a nice use of the various aliens and their differing powers. The control system is pretty easy, there are light and heavy attacks when in Ben form and the same for the different aliens. The heavy attacks for most of the aliens are some kind of projectile and the light is just punches or whatever the alien has. You interact with objects and can also dodge. Once in Ben form you just switch characters and you’re an alien but be warned the Omnitrix runs out of juice and you’re transformed back to Ben as it recharges. Fortunately it’s quite quick. You can also get more green orbs from beating enemies which recharges you as you play. You also get red health and yellow orbs as well which you use for experience points. These are used to level up your aliens to learn new combos and attacks. So there is a level progression system as well which is pretty cool. Rook is an interesting player to use as well; he has the Proto-Tool that can change into a Blaster, Power sword, Quantum staff or Grappler. Each are used for various times and situations. He plays well and is easy to use. The co-op aspect of this game is done well and it’s very easy to drop in and out. The AI is also pretty decent for both your sidekick and the enemies.
The graphics are sort of cell shaded and sort of cartoon-y. It’s a nice way to do it without taxing the CPU a lot but a pretty way to bring over the Ben 10 universe in a way that fans are familiar with. The various aliens are perfectly animated and look great whilst in movement or attack. One problem is that once a combo has been pressed you can’t cancel it and if the enemy dodges you are still attacking thin air. I also found the checkpoints to be too far apart and if you died you would have to do it all again. The various levels are done well and all 11 feel different with different bosses and enemies thrown at you. These worlds vary from an alien city to Max’s shop to the past and more. The audio is pretty cool with the cast of the series used for dialogue and sound effects. The various aliens are also present with a few catchphrases.
This is a decent effort to bring the new Ben 10 series to fans in video game form. D3 Publishers and Monkey Bar have done a nice job with this. It accurately depicts the Ben 10 universe and gives us some nice gameplay. The drop in and out co-op play is fine and works well. The various aliens are recreated very well as are their powers. The story is not amazing but is something that fans and casual gamers will like. There are a few issues with not being able to move the camera, linear attack patterns and checkpoint distances. Overall these don’t take away from the fun of the game and whilst this may be something that younger gamers or fans of the series will enjoy the most, casual gamers should give it a try. Who know, Ben might be for you as well.
- 13 playable aliens in 11 levels of hack and slash fun.
- The story and characters are all here, accurate and play well.
- Fixed camera, linear attack patterns and not being able to switch aliens on the fly.
Summary: The best Ben 10 game so far. It is a nice little hack and slash title with good co-op and nice graphics.
- Format: PS3
- Developer: Monkey Bar
- Publisher: D3 Publisher
- Release Date: November 13, 2012