I don’t know what I was hoping for out of The Expendables 2 Videogame. For some reason, its role as the second installment in a really fun film series made me believe that the same enjoyment could be found in its video game counterpart. As it turns out, after playing the game for a fair few hours, I can’t really sugarcoat it: The Expendables 2 Videogame sucks. It really sucks.
The Expendables 2 is an isometric shooter, through and through. It’s given surprisingly decent looking setpieces and all of the bullets, explosions, and bad guys you would expect from the license, but with mostly all isometric shooters, there is the same awkwardly fixed camera, the same controls that don’t feel quite right (not to mention the lack of responsiveness in some cases), and shooting that doesn’t feel nearly as meaningful or rewarding as a higher-budget shooter.
To elaborate on the controls, they work by using the left stick to move your character, and the right stick to change firing direction. This isn’t too problematic, but it becomes so when the game implements its lock-on feature, frequently misdirecting ammo (and occasionally valuable explosives) in the wrong direction. It makes the game become extremely frustrating very quickly and stands as a good chunk of the artificial difficulty.
With that said, the game is packed with content. Expendables 2 features 20 levels over four chapters and took me a solid few hours to complete. Unfortunately, the cast is rather limited, as only Stallone, Li, Crews, and Lundgren make appearances. It’s disappointing to some, but it’s difficult to be bothered by it when it is the least troublesome feature in the game.
There are trivial weapon upgrades, but the only other feature of note is the co-op play. It worked well enough when a friend and I played a few levels but we quickly noticed that discussion (and focus) frequently shifted away from the game, as the entire experience remains rather identical throughout, and simply throwing waves of enemies and gunfire gets terribly monotonous after a while.
By the time you read this, you have likely already decided whether The Expendables 2 Videogame was something you wanted to purchase or not. If there is someone still on the fence, I highly implore you to get down from it promptly. There is nothing to love about it and it should just be chalked up as one more title giving a bad name to licensed video games.
Score: 2 out of 10