Recently, we had the chance to check out Battle: Los Angeles, the new DLC game for the PSN based on the movie of the same name. After speaking with Michelle Rodriguez, who called the movie “pretty damn narly,” we were anxious to see how the video game adaptation measured up.
Developed by Saber Interactive and produced by Konami, Battle: LA is a first-person shooter in the vein of Call of Duty. However, instead of paying $60 for an adapted game, Saber decided to make a more condensed shooter at standard DLC price levels.
Visually, when you check out the game it immediately impresses. The cut scenes supplant cinematics with comic book panels, featuring sharp black outlines (think Borderlands) and dialogue bubbles. The characters are drawn fairly close to their movie counterparts even though different actors voice the marines. During actual gameplay, the facial characteristics are harder to recognize on most of the individual characters, save TSgt. Elena Santos (Rodriguez). Also, if you couldn’t quite figure out what the aliens looked like in the movie, the video game gives you a better feel for their exterior anatomy.
Gamers have all of the standard military weapons that you would expect in a shooter. Your default weapon is an automatic rifle. However, if you’re like me, you will go right for the sniper rifle for one-hit kills. In the demo, I was able to kill an alien with one sniper shot as long as I hit it anywhere from the pelvis up. However, using the automatic rifle required several clip loads of bullets. But, that could just be my style of play. Rocket launchers come into play later in the game as you engage in boss battles against enemy ships. If you saw the movie, it’s a nice modification to the bus scene where SSgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) goes up against an alien ship targeting his squad.
Although the gameplay is short, clocking a modest 2 hours of play, for DLC price I would prefer this over a full-blown licensed game that dragged on too long. I found the action to be modestly engaging and comparable with your average shooter. I also got a kick out of laughing at some in game animations, like a teammate getting gunned down, with the Saber team.
The Saber development team told me that there would be several unlockable modes inside the game, including a Big Head mode.
Kudos to the Saber team for this new step in adapted game development. If the future of licensed gaming is DLC, I’m all for it. I’d rather pay for a few hours of condensed enjoyment than several hours of monotonous play that wears thin. Don’t get me started on the Avatar, Ice Age or Monsters Vs. Aliens games. If you’re a game reviewer, you have to play them and it’s always a pain.