• If you were to ask anyone who King Kong was the answer you should receive is a twinkle in the eye and a tale of a huge kick ass Gorilla on a rampage in New York. Ask anyone who Peter Jackson is and well his adaptation of Lord of the Rings, one of the most amazing film trilogy’s in history should be their answer.’ Put the two together and what have you got? Well for starters the most amazing re-make of an oldie film I have seen in a long time.’ But there is more’oh yes, you also get to play one of the best movie-tie-in video games of all time.

    King Kong begins telling the tale with Carl Denham struggling with his filmmaking career, and having been given the news that his next project is about to be canned by the film studio. Denham seems to have secured a ship and a map showing the location to the mysterious Skull Island, Denham then sets about securing his screenwriter Jack and a struggling actress Ann Darrow before setting sail with his motley crew for Skull Island.’ Why Denham has chosen to film his latest project on this island is, never explained in either the film or game’you will just have to use your imagination on that one.

    The game starts with you having reached this rather grim looking island and in control of what will be your human playable character; Jack.’ Set on board a rowing boat your party including a couple of the ships crew along with Denham and Ann set out to land on the island.’ But with choppy waters your boat is soon overturned with you waking up on the beach with the rather lovely Ann Darrow (played by Naomi Watts) standing over you.’ Fairly quickly you realise you are marooned and left wondering what on earth is causing those monstrous shrieks deep within the island.’ The point you should also take note of, is just how beautiful this game looks and you really should spend at least a few minutes admiring the work that has gone into the characters and the environment you are going to have to survive.

    King Kong

    Throughout Jack’s adventure, when you are not battling against creatures that want to eat you, you are occasionally presented with a puzzle to get past.’ None of these puzzles require any serious brainwork, and are quite often finding a missing stake to get past a certain door, or obtaining fire in order to burn through bush that is blocking your path.’ Though nothing strenuous, they do present nice breaks in just fighting for your life all the time.’ Occasionally back to the fighting you are asked to cover your parties’ position and failure to do so will only result in a game over ‘try again’.’ This feature again is a nice to have but nothing to taxing for you to be able to easily cope with.

    And before you scratch your head and wonder when I will ever get to the Kong part, well yes you do get to play as King Kong.’ The reason I have spent a large part of this review so far on Jack is simple in that you don’t actually get to play as the big K a lot, and I would say you spend at least seventy percent if not more of the game as Jack.’ You will however love every moment you do get when you take control of King Kong.’ Kong is controlled in the third person view, which in turns gives you a fantastic look at this mammoth Gorilla you are put in charge of.’ Kong’s sections of the game are also very simple; you will either be swinging through the jungle or kicking monster ass.

    Kong possesses limited moves but all deadly in their execution.’ You can punch, or grab your opponent, pull off a little combo and with some button mashing produce some very sexy killing moves.” Kong also has the ability to go into ‘rage mode’ and by beating your chest gives for a slow down showing Kong’s attacks in all their ferocity.’ Occasionally Kong also has Ann in tow and can put her down to help him in his tasks.’ The fight scenarios between King Kong and the T-Rex’s are awesome, you really feel this is a battle of the giants and seeing the tiny Ann in the background creates that perfect illusion at just how big these beasts are.’ Put it this way its not that often in a game you get to punch a T-Rex in the jaw, so enjoy every single given opportunity to do so in this game, its very cool and makes you want to beat your own chest and roar when you down one.

    For those that fully understand the film you will know that Kong eventually is captured by Denham and his party and transported back to New York.’ Having escaped Kong goes off for a mini rampage in New York looking once again for Ann and well in that’building the lead up to his doom.’ The New York section of the game is small in comparison to the Jungle, and that in itself is not such a bad thing as the New York levels just don’t have the tension that the Jungle/Skull Island environment created.’ Plus the New York section just does not look as good, and only leaves you wishing you were back on the Island battling for your life’but hey ho it is part of the film, therefore part of the game.

    Presentation in the game is pretty much amazing.’ The Skull Island environment was very well done and apart from little dips in quality with the likes of the floor detail, King Kong does look very sexy in HD presentation.’ However when I tested this game on a normal TV I did notice that the game was a lot darker and in that very difficult in parts to actually see what I was doing.’ So I have to state if you want to enjoy King Kong on the 360 in all its graphical glory then you really do need a HD TV.

    Sound quality is also tip-top.’ Audio from the creatures is phenomenal, listen to a T-Rex roaring at you and you will know what I mean ‘ hairs on arms stand up and pay attention.’ The games ambient orchestral mix also builds up the tension and at times of terror picks up the pace perfectly creating an amazing atmospheric feeling within you leaving you on the edge of the seat with your gaming.’ Voice-overs I have to say are also incredibly well done, and the audio in King Kong really is one of the best features.

    Summing up, King Kong is actually a very, very good game to play.’ Problems with it exist in that (a) the game is far to short in duration and can be completed in less than a days play and (b) you don’t get control of Kong as much as you would like.’ That said this is certainly a must play title on the 360, just remember to give it the justice it deserves and play it on a HD TV.

    Score: 8/10

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