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‘Fantastic Four’ Video Game Previewed

by on January 21, 2005

The February print edition of GameInformer.com has an exclusive eight-page preview of the upcoming video game based on the Fantastic Four live-action movie.

Game developer Seven Studios says they want to “give gamers a chance to interact with the legendary foursome like never before….to control and experience these icons’ extraordinary abilities to their full extent.”

In contrast with most conventional games based on comic superheroes, gamers will be able to experience the evolution of the FF characters from their origin, discovering their abilities gradually through combat, offering a “broad range of superhuman skills for each character to explore and develop.” In all, each character will command a total of 40 moves.

“What we did was focus on the experience,” says Seven Studios president Lewis Peterson, “and made it so that the characters and the levels give a good feeling for what it is like to be the Invisible Woman or Thing.” The game also features co-op play, and using strategy in teamwork between the Four will frequently be essential in defeating enemies.

And where so many other games rely on cutscenes and voiceovers to move the story, the FF game levels will regularly include minigames giving gamers a more immersive experience where actual gameplay determines the outcome. Says game designer Jeff Gardiner, “Our design philosophy is that the player should feel like a part of the action. Cutscenes are good for furthering the story, but they shouldn’t show you the big explosions — you should feel those.”

As in the film, Doctor Doom serves as the primary villain, but the game includes other characters sure to please FF comic fans: Annihilus, Diablo, and Puppet Master. And Gardiner teases, “There will be portions where the player is controlling characters who are not members of the Fantastic Four.” One can only hope that might include Doctor Doom.

FF game producer Jamie Bafus says, “We aren’t following [the film’s] storyline exactly, but of course we hit on all the big moments that everyone will recognize.” Zak Penn, who co-wrote the story for X2, was hired to script the story for the expanded gameplay beyond the film.

Also included is an interview with FF film director Tim Story, on which GI says, “His vision for the [FF] universe affects the feel of the environments, the appearance of the enemies, and the general tone of the franchise — all of which are represented…in the game.”

Activision is publishing the game for all platforms, and the anticipated release date is 6.14.05.

An expanded game preview should be available on GameInformer.com within the next two weeks.

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