Zavvi, the online low price retailer of games, Blu Ray's, DVD's and much more, have sent us a copy of Ben 10: Omniverse from their extensive range of PS3 games. I would have got this review finished much sooner had my partner not become ill, but finally I've had a chance to actually sit down and have a play myself!
The gameplay is fairly standard. If you play 1st person 'action-brawler' platformers then it'll be intuitive and familiar. R1 is the action button, as it often is nowadays, but held along with Circle, Square and Triangle to perform specific 'fighting' moves e.g. to throw your elemental ball or weapon use R1 and Triangle. To use each character's 'special move' you press R2 and Circle.
Ben 10: Omniverse is rated as suitable for young people aged 12 and over, which is because it contains some 'possibly frightening scenes', but if your child is used to watching Ben10 and not easily scared by fictitious alien enemies then you'll probably be okay a little younger.
The game is linear, following a loose storyline whereby 16 year old Ben's companion Rook is accidentally sent back in time to work with an 11 year old Ben to stop the evil villain Malware from destroying the Earth. Along the way you fight countless bad guys in increasingly difficult battles, while you gain abilities and unlock extra characters from the Omnitrix.
During play you basically stroll from area to area, defeating the enemies and then moving on a few yards and doing it again, every now and again you get a more tricky enemy, equivalent to a level boss.
Whenever you die you only have a 3 second respawn, and that lack of punishment makes this game really easy to play without frustration.
As this is Ben 10 you get to transform into Ben's alter-ego's (instantly and at will most of the time), and take advantage of their special powers and abilities. Rather than the original 10 aliens, you can in fact play as any of 13, plus Ben, and of course Rook.
One of the nicest features about this game is the 2 player co-op. One of you plays as Ben and his alter-egos, and the other is Rook with his variety of weapons. Because the game is so familiar and intuitive it's really easy to pick up. I've just spent a few hours playing with both my 15 year old and my 4 year old. Neither frustrated me too much, and nor did I annoy them as far as I know!
In the same way as the Lego games you can drop out and in as the 2nd player instantly, and if you drop out then Rook will continue supporting Ben without your assistance.
There are all the familiar bad guys who hang around waiting for you, or spawn and respawn at certain points and you are led throughout the game by green circles of light which take you to the next area you must study. Sometimes objects are 'hidden' and you need to play as a specific Ben10 alias to find or use them.
One of the other features that makes this game ideal for a younger or less experienced player is that it gives you tips and hints throughout. After you have wandered around an area a little too long you will hear Ben give a clue as to who or what might be useful, and that clue is also written on the screen.
I really love that this game has tongue in cheek comments throughout. It doesn't take itself too seriously and has witty moments and amusing one-liners. It's something for the grown ups....
I think this is a good game, I've enjoyed playing it with two of my boys and one of the girls is playing it now. It's very straightforward, but still requires a little thinking through. It's not going to challenge or excite a very experienced gamer, but it is an excellent distraction. The use of multiple characters who can be accessed instantly is a mechanic that I enjoy, and I know that in my experience it works very well for younger players and offers a lot more than a choice of several 'weapons'.
First released in November 2012, Ben10: Omniverse on PS3 has a recommended retail price of £29.99 and is currently available from Zavvi for £23.98 with free UK delivery.
We were sent a copy of the game to review