Real Talk By: KJ
Operating in its own separate Turtleverse, Mutants in Manhattan is a four player brawler developed by Platinum Games. This company has made great action titles in the past (Bayonetta 2, Vanquish, Wonderful 101, Transformers Devastation). Having the same crew attached to a property like this, yes my excitement meter was quite high. Do we have a winning combination?
Available for PS3, PS4, X60, XO, and PC. The art direction is unique to this game (no movie representation). The cel shaded look was the best choice for a cross-plat title such as this. Gameplay puts players in bigger areas than ever. Gather your crew and roam NYC. Coop is strictly online, as developers tried for local but the game speed suffered. Online is the only way we recommend playing. Team A.I in single player stumbles during any goals not involving combat. Platinum put mini challenges together to mix up the fighting. Kill enemies without being seen, Get them before time runs out. Nothing unreasonable there. However, some grow tiring fast. How many times will we have to defuse bombs placed in the city. Defusing in single player is brutal since everyone teams up to disable it faster. The foot is still rushing the player to prevent it. Computer friendlies disregard the enemy focusing on helping you defuse. This in-turn makes the process take longer, since you’ll constantly drop everything to wipe out the threat.
Cutscenes have the platinum games anime feel, combined with the turtle flair. Cinematics are one of the few things this game gets right. Voice acting fits, and Mikey has his cheesy one liners. Now for the bad part of the presentation. Music is horrible, it rarely fits what’s going on. TMNT “Out of The Shadows” featured a soundtrack curated by Just Blaze. It was filled with Ninja sounds that reminded us of Wutang jams or Samurai Champloo even. Mutants in Mahattan sounds like an intoxicated DJ put it together at 4am.
Another positive is the standard combat. Putting combos together is still solid, but not as fluid as in other Platinum titles. Special moves that cool down after usage, can be upgraded, but also equipped to anybody. TMNT rules because each turtle has their own distinct vibe. I expected some over-the -op flair that would cater to each exclusively. Not the case. Seeing Leonardo perform a disco dance super is absurd, unfitting to the character.
In coop play, when picking a turtle, the player is stuck with it. Had a hard time connecting to rooms. Finding people wanting to play the exact stage was a chore also. No one wanted to join me fighting Wingnut. He’s such a fan favorite. What’s the deal? Whichever turtle chosen at the start, is the one you must play as the entire time. All this taken into account, the game should have somehow enticed a solid team of players to stay together.
It’s painfully obvious development was rushed to release next to the TMNT 2 movie. Players will backtrack a lot, and there is absolutely zero extra modes. Find comic book covers hidden in areas, and that’s pretty much it for bonuses. Transformers Devastation had a bit of stage replay, but it featured a big Challenge mode. Many times playing Mutants in Mahattan, it felt as they could have swapped out the Turtles with generic characters and it wouldn’t have made a big difference. At least Playing the game on harder difficulties will raise the stakes in boss fights. Instead of just facing bebop, you’ll face Rocksteady as well. Possibly a second play through for trophy hunters is justifiable that way.
The much cheaper TMNT out of the shadows did it better. Though it copied the reactive fighting from Batman Arkham, combat flowed. The move sets for each Turtle fit. Commands seemed to keep unlocking, and they fit snug with each turtle. Short as Mutants in Manhattan is, the Turtles should have had deeper/unique abilities. Even as a rental, it’s tough to recommend such a hollow cash-in.
TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan Gets
1.5 Out of Five
+Some Cool Fighting Moves
-No local coop
-Boring side objectives
-Music doesn’t fit
-To Much Backtracking
-No Extra Modes