Really has the movie Thor's voice.
Dated visuals, unremarkable cut scenes
Thor is a Norse God, and has appeared in multiple works of fiction, comic books, cartoons, movies, and yes, even several video games. Most recently, of course, Thor enjoyed a stint of box office success in his theatrical debut this spring, and SEGA brings us the electronically interactive software associated with this cinematic debut for the ancient Norse god.
Now, despite being timed for release with the movie, the Wii version of Thor is only mildly based on the plot of the movie, which, to be fair, wouldn’t really translate that well into game format. The story starts out with Thor and friends fending off an invasion of Frost Giants into Asgard, after which Thor gives chase and does violence upon them.
Combat in Thor: God of Thunder primarily revolves, unsurprisingly, around using Thor’s hammer Mjolnir to smite badguys. The A button is used for quick strikes while swinging the remote for harder attacks. This is not a one-to-one motion, more akin to swinging the sword in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, although the game can tell the difference between a lateral or vertical swing. The B Button is used for jumping, which might be off-putting for those used to jumping with the A button in games like Super Mario Galaxy. Combat seems rather repetitive at first, but there are different moves and abilities Thor gains as the game progresses, such as reflecting attacks or throwing the hammer, so it gets a bit more interesting over time.
In addition to the regular on-foot combat, there are also flying sequences where Thor lays the hammer down, so to speak, on his foes from above. Pointing at the screen aims Thor’s thunderbolts, and he can be moved independently with the Control Stick a la Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, although this mode is clearly not the focus of the game and mostly serves to break up the action. After earning certain rewards throughout the story, Thor’s moves can be unlocked and upgraded via the in-game menus.
While it does seem that Chris Hemsworth is playing Thor in the cut scenes, this is not the case for the entire cast of the theatrical film, and unfortunately Sir Anthony Hopkins does not reprise his role of Odin in the Wii game. Overall, however, the voice acting and sound effects are more than capable. The same, however, cannot be said of the game’s visual appeal. Looking at the game, it seems that it would not even be pushing the PlayStation 2 to its upper limits, let alone a more modern system. The Wii, simply put, is much more capable than this game is showing.
The cut scenes themselves also are not much more than animated motion-comics with voice acting. It’s kind of a tough divide to call because while it might seem lazy to avoid fully animated scenes, and was certainly cheaper), it technically is also authentic to Thor’s comic book roots to show the story in this method. On the whole, Thor: God of Thunder is probably only going to be for people who are seriously hardcore about their Thor, as it’s clear the Wii version did not get the lion’s share of the development resources.
Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.