In the wake of Uncharted, DOOM and other big games in May, it would be easy to miss next week’s release of TMNT: Mutants In Manhattan, the newest title from Japanese action powerhouse PlatinumGames. You shouldn’t.
While hardly a household name, Platinum typically works in the vein of Devil May Cry — it probably doesn’t hurt that creator Hideki Kamiya is one of the studio’s founding members — producing furious, breakneck creations that combine technical gameplay (i.e., where characters are given a ton of different attacks, not to mention other design hooks) with incredible artistic flourish.
There are few better development houses on the planet that produce more intense offerings in the genre (and if you haven’t played Vanquish or Metal Gear Rising, I highly recommend you do immediately). Still, sentiment was a little uneasy when, around this time last year Activision quietly announced that Platinum had apparently made a Transformers title based on the Generation 1 cartoon series.
Licensed games, of course, have had a long history of poor quality, usually due to publishers simply wanting to push something out just to profit. Before Transformers Devastation — which incidentally ended up being far better than it should be expected that a game based on transforming robots could be — their only foray into licensed games was the poorly-received Legend of Korra.
Now having utterly proven their geeky adoration of Optimus Prime and company, theres no reason why we shouldn’t think that Platinum’s TMNT will be any different. Much like Devastation, Mutants in Manhattan looks like a lovingly-crafted tribute from a visual standpoint, like the kind of Turtles game a lot of us have dreamed of since we were kids. The quarter also actually look like turtles — unlike Michael Bay’s humanoid CG goblins — and the few trailers released seem to have a cast with a lot of fan favorite characters, too (Krang!). Oh, and there’s four-player co-op.
Though I never would’ve thought Platinum would do something like TMNT game, given their pedigree for this kind of thing — and their apparent nostalgia for the glory days of ‘80s cartoons — this seems like a pretty sure bet.
It is possible that, considering they already have their hands full with the more development-intensive Scalebound and Nier: Automata due for release sometime in the next year or two, Mutants In Manhattan may take after Devastation’s relatively short length. If the developers can make four players using the same camera a viable prospect, co-op would also really benefit from being able to play on the couch with friends; currently it’s online only, so here’s hoping that’s a solution that can be added later with an update. (Seriously, guys).
But even so, the last good TMNT game was probably back in the arcade days — this should be a better experience for fans than whatever Bay’s team is responsible for at the summer box office.