(legendoftheguardians.warnerbros.com) Rated E for Everyone by ESRB. Along with Warner Bros. most recent animated 3d film comes the inevitable video game based on the movie. Most gamers out there are probably rolling their eyes at the thought of yet another failed attempt to make a game out of a film, but Krome Studios has done an amazing job adapting the video game to overcome the challenges most movie-based games face. Deciding to completely ditch the plot of the motion picture and follow the story of a completely new character and his story was a bold move, but it paid off. The video game version of The Owls of Ga’Hoole instead follows the adventure of a Guardian in training, Shard, and his perspective of the events that occurred during the movie.

(legendoftheguardians.warnerbros.com) Rated E for Everyone by ESRB. Along with Warner Bros. most recent animated 3d film comes the inevitable video game based on the movie. Most gamers out there are probably rolling their eyes at the thought of yet another failed attempt to make a game out of a film, but Krome Studios has done an amazing job adapting the video game to overcome the challenges most movie-based games face. Deciding to completely ditch the plot of the motion picture and follow the story of a completely new character and his story was a bold move, but it paid off. The video game version of The Owls of Ga’Hoole instead follows the adventure of a Guardian in training, Shard, and his perspective of the events that occurred during the movie.

Presentation:
Your journey begins with Shard’s training to become a full fledged Guardian. His training is cut short however, when he must go forth and find out what’s happening to the owlets being kidnapped and taken to St. Aegolious. Your journey will take you across five unique and expansive regions: a lush forest, a barren desert, an icy mountain, the Beaks (the home of the treacherous “Pure Ones”), and the legendary Island of Ga’Hoole. The plot is just as engrossing as its film counterpart and the voice acting is on the same level as well. Throughout your quest, you will pair up with a team of friends including one of your pals from the island, a strange hermit owl, and even a magnificent eagle.

       

Graphics:
The graphics are of the same style as the movie, however they aren’t on the same level of definition and resolution. But the interactivity makes up for the quality of graphics. In addition, you get to choose what type of owl your character is, and your appearance changes accordingly in the cutscenes. You have to play several levels in each expansive region, so you get to explore each one quite thoroughly and they are quite a joy to behold. Flying up as high as you can will award you with quite the splendid view.

Sounds:
The musical score of the game is quite comparable to its movie counterpart. Expect theatrical compositions and emotional melodies that will really pull you into the action. And the sound effects are of similar quality. The entire game is filled with the sounds of battle, explosions, and even a few hoots.

       

Gameplay:
Gameplay revolves around entirely aerial melee combat. Altitude plays a large part in combat, because diving increases your speed drastically as well as adds to a meter which you can use to do special moves such as speed boosts and using your wing-mates to do attacks. Once you have an enemy in sight and within range to do an attack, you choose one of your three attacks: basic attack, ram, or throw, and you will swoop at your opponent and execute the attack. If you time it right, you can then continue attacking them in a combo in order to deal maximum damage. Certain enemies are resistant to different attacks and some will counter repetitive tactics, encouraging you to mix up your attacks. In addition, some levels offer the abilities to pick up hot coals, which you can use to throw at your enemies to light them on fire, or to burn buildings such as defensive towers to the ground.

Throughout your adventure, you are given a variety of missions that will test your skill in aerial combat. Some missions consist of simply taking out enemies, or are a series of locations to visit and destroy enemy structures; there are missions to guard allies and some to free them; almost no two missions are the same. The straightforward gameplay, combined with the variety of situations they put you in is a wonderful combination, making for hours of good clean fun.

       

Longevity:
While the missions are entertaining, they are limited in number and eventually run out. Luckily, when you complete all the missions in an area, you unlock a free roam gameplay that lets you search the region for collectible scrolls (that unlock concept art) and complete bonus minigames for fun. And if that’s not your thing, each mission is graded gold, silver, or bronze based on your performance; you can retry each mission to go for gold on every mission. While Legend of the Guardians provides quite a few hours of gameplay, it leaves you wishing that there was more to do.

Conclusion:
The Owls of Ga’hoole is a great game. Judging it like all the other games out there, it’s not the best, but it’s pretty great. But if you were to judge it solely on the fact that it’s a game based on a film, I’d say that it’s amazing. It incorporates some interesting gameplay elements that I didn’t think would ever be executed properly and its sheer fun from start to finish. After you come home from the theater, I highly recommend you go out and rent the game to finish the experience.

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