There was no doubt that there would be a gaming tie-in to the Steven Spielberg directed movie adaptation of Hergé’s beloved Belgian journalist, given both the nature of the story and the rich visual style to the film. Movie tie-ins are renowned for being a load of hogwash – a product of definite deadlines and constricting narrative – so getting the opportunity to see Tintin in action wasn’t exactly on my must-see list of the show.
Spielberg and Peter Jackson introduced the demo via the medium of pre-recorded video and ushered the small room to put their 3D glasses on for a special demo. The story follows the exact events of the movie. A strategy that is fairly rare in tie-ins these days (most find themselves in a weird prequel limbo that often contradict the film with extra villains and such), so this came as something of a welcome surprise.
There’s a lot of charm to the game. It’s not traditional by any sense, flipping between 2D and 3D platforming, featuring race sequences and gun battles. The visual style not only translates well from the film but developers Ubisoft has seen fit to expand its cartoonish nature, reducing the tone down to a very playful level. For instance, knocking an enemy out produces circling stars and all guns are made cartoonish, firing oversized bullets.
Appropriately, Tintin involves plenty of puzzle-solving across both its single and co-op modes and crams a huge amount of humour into each scenario. Six characters are playable in the game, including Tintin, Captain Haddock, Thomson and Thompson (who act as one character), Professor Cuthbert Calculus, Bianca Castafiore and the loveable Snowy – all who have their own specific powers (Captain Haddock has super strength; snowy can access small passageways), so there’s a little diversity to the gameplay.
Important questions time. Will the voice cast be reprising their roles in the game? Unfortunately no. Can we hear John William’s score as we play? Again, no. Nevertheless, it’s a cutesy looking title that features some old-school gameplay and enough playful fun to hopefully make this as joyful to play as any of the LEGO games.