One of the most-anticipated films of 2013, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim isn’t just scheduled for epic monster versus robot action on the big screen, the budding franchise is also set to deliver a tie-in video game this summer.
Two months after the project was outed by the Australian Classification Board, Warner Bros. Interactive, along with developer Yuke’s, have released the first trailer for their Pacific Rim brawler. Unfortunately, judging by the footage (above), eager fans of the movie should probably not get their hopes up for a quality Pacific Rim gaming experience – at least not one that features particularly innovative Jaeger and Kaiju action.
Based on the footage, which features robots and poorly rendered environmental destruction (instead of monsters), the Pacific Rim tie-in looks extremely dated – with adequate (but not particularly detailed) recreations of the Jaeger movie robots set in generic and lifeless environments.
Side note: The trailer features Xbox 360 branding but, prior to this video, it was reported the game would be a multi-platform release (meaning PS3 and PC downloads would also be available). As a result, there’s no reason to assume, based solely on this trailer, that the game is actually exclusive to Xbox 360.
Check out images of the game below [from the official Pacific Rim site]:
Very few details are known about the project but given the lack of official in-game footage, press releases, or any other pre-launch buzz, it’s very likely that the Pacific Rim game will follow in the footsteps of Yuke’s Real Steel tie-in from 2010. Real Steel, also an eleventh-hour downloadable title, was dismissed by most players as an uninspired 3D brawler set in empty arenas – a shallow cash grab with little redeeming value for anyone but the biggest fans of the film.
After years of full-priced movie tie-ins failed to generate worthwhile profits, many publishers have turned to smaller studios and the downloadable market to capitalize on big screen movie features – without the pressure of delivering a competent $60 product. Unfortunately, even at a lower price point, few of the games provide worthwhile return on time or money invested by gamers. Recent tie-ins like the aforementioned Real Steel, as well as The Expendables 2 and Battle: Los Angeles, have all been entirely forgettable (and in some cases downright broken) game experiences that rely on brand recognition, not innovative or inspired gameplay, to turn a profit.
Of course, it’s certainly possible that once the title releases, Pacific Rim could surprise gamers. Despite the lack of official information, we know the game will be Rated M, presumably available multi-platform (PS3, XBox 360, as well as PC), and feature online functionality as well as customizable Jaegers. Plenty of giant monster games have, in the past, provided brainless and fun button mashing – especially in multiplayer. Yuke’s hasn’t exactly provided gamers with much reason to be optimistic about the title, but the monsters versus robot setup in Pacific Rim is definitely an intriguing foundation, and if the developer managed to put in a bit more thought and effort this round, the tie-in might provide entertaining (albeit entirely shallow) gameplay for a specific swath of interested players.
That said, don’t count on it, and wait for further official details (and our review) before downloading this one.
Pacific Rim (the game) releases July 12 on Xbox 360 (as well as presumably PSN and PC).
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Pacific Rim as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.