Peter Jackson’s King Kong (Xbox 360) Game Review



Title Peter Jackson’s King Kong (PC)
ESRB Rating Teen (animated blood and violence)
Developer Ubisoft
Publisher Ubisoft
Release Date Nov 21, 2005
Platform PC (reviewed), Xbox, Xbox 360, Playstation 2
Genre Action – First Person Shooter / Third Person Platformer

My neck ached when the credits started to roll. Of course, it had been hurting already for a while. More than three hours after it started, the new King Kong movie was over and despite its monstrous length, at no point had I wished it would hurry up and finish. I was having too much fun with the thrilling action and engaging story.

With that in mind I have to ask how the video game version, while having such a short length, manages to become boring? Although Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (insert your own lengthy-title joke) innovates in many ways and offers a fair share of thrills, it ultimately grows stale and leaves much to be desired.

The game begins with video right from the film that introduces the reason our heroes have for going to Skull Island in the depressed 1930s. However, after the game starts the action and events never match up to what happens in the film in more than the most general of ways. From Anne’s capture by the natives to a major character’s death, the same events occur, but in different ways that are not explained by any gameplay considerations. Obviously, adaptations must add sequences not seen in the source material, but failing to recreate set pieces from the film defeats the purpose of a tie-in.

A tie-in it remains, though, and you therefore play as the reluctant script-writer-turned-hero Jack Driscoll, and, less often, as the gigantic ape that prefers blondes. Your progress is saved at closely placed checkpoints that reload quickly if you die or fail an objective, allowing quick access to any part of the game. Altogether, there are 40 episodes, the majority of which are first-person shooter sequences starring Jack.