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Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects

EA's Marvel-collaboration beat-'em-up punches onto Xbox but it's not exactly a knockout

Remember those great, clunking preview screens of Marvel Nemesis a few months back? Looked pretty good, didn't it? We drew comparisons with Def Jam at one point. Shame on us. Shame, shame, shame. It's like a beat 'em up with Subbuteo players, so dwarved are the characters by their environments - it's hard to see where you're going at times.

And all that stuff about Nemesis being an environmental one-on-one, using the landscape as a weapon, is only a half-truth. The majority of the game is a weak third-person adventure game, told with such a fractured story we had little idea what we were doing. One minute you play Wolverine, the next a freakish light-bulb woman floating around in a virtual reality simulator. Eh?


Only in two-player mode can you really enjoy the one-on-one fights, but these are weak too, relying on poor combos and repetitive buttonmashing over any kind of skill. We get the sense the developers were halfway through creating a mildly entertaining beat 'em up, only to change directions at the last minute to find themselves at a dead end.

The characters are wasted, despite the more than adequate job done to animate them, and despite EA's roll-out of limited edition comics to whet our appetites, the new characters are poorly realised and immediately forgettable. This game had great potential, and if it had been anything like Def Jam we could be looking at a classic. Sadly, being so far removed from the action just goes to show how imperfect it actually is.

The verdict

A weak beat 'em up that's bogged down with needless adventure and story modes. Could have been a corker. If only...

Electronic Arts