WHAT MATT’S PLAYING FOR HALLOWEEN - PART 1
Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
Aside from that ridiculous title, the King Kong game from 2005 is actually one of my all-time favorite games.
In addition to the severely underrated film (seriously, rip about an hour out of it and it’d be pretty amazing), this game fell victim to the hyperbolic (though often deserved) stigma of the “Movie Tie-In Game,” with many assuming it to be nothing more than shovelware.
King Kong the Game is extremely heavy on atmosphere, great sound quality, and wonderfully tense gameplay. In effect, it’s a survival horror game, where supplies are limited, and pretty much anything can kill you. Many sequences will find Jack Driscoll, your character, alone in the jungles of Skull Island, stalked by predators like Venatosaurus and Terapusmordax, not to mention a plethora of unsavory, oversized arthropods.
And few things in my gaming experiences have been more terrifying than desperately scrambling to avoid the snapping jaws of Vastatosaurus Rex.
It’s this powerlessness and tense desperation that make playing as Kong himself an absolute joy and a welcomed relief. Sprinkled throughout the game, you have a handful of sequences that allow you to remind the denizens of this hellhole why KONG is the KING of Skull Island.
The ending sequence in New York, which includes the alternate version where you get to “save Kong” is inherently problematic. On the one hand, a sequence where you rampage through NYC is inevitably going to end in tragedy. On the other hand, saving Kong is kind of a slap-in-the-face to the tragic ending of this timeless fable, and ESPECIALLY unrealistic considering that Jack Driscoll is literally SHOOTING DOWN OTHER PLANES (an idea plucked from Jackson’s original 1996 draft). How the hell is he going to get Kong back to the island now? The freaking ARMY will arrest them by the time they’re back on the ground!
Aside from that, the game hasn’t exactly aged well. I find that my eyes need to adjust to the weird motion-blur happening, but that may be my Gamecube version. Perhaps the PS2 version would be less problematic.
And the Xbox 360 version looks actually WORSE is certain respects.
Still, I highly recommend it if you’re a Kong fan and want to try something that’s tense and atmospheric, but not ESPECIALLY difficult or long.
I never finished this game. It wasn’t too bad, but there was way too much Jack and way too little Kong. It should’ve been called Peter Jackson’s Jack Discroll: The Official Game of the Main Human of the Movie King Kong by Peter Jackson.