Kick-Ass 2 Review

By Darryl Kaye on May 20, 2014

Video games based on film properties have been around longer than many of us care to remember, and not in the good way. They are often the unnecessary by-product of a studio wishing to capitalise on the hype of their property and as a result, tend to lack the certain degree of quality that gamers have come to expect from rival products. They are also often released at almost exactly the same time, to maximise marketing efforts. That's why the release of Kick-Ass 2 is rather strange, because it comes 9 months after the release of the film and is nowhere near good enough to be able to stand on its own two feet.

You take on the role of Kick-Ass, as expected, and follow through a plot that's pretty similar to the theatrical release. This sees you starting off training with Hit Girl to become a real hero, but progresses onto joining Justice Forever and then fighting evil supervillains.

There are five levels in total, with each being used to tackle a different boss at the end. This starts off with some small fry, but you will soon be encountering characters like Mother Russia and the Motherfucker. It's just all told very badly. Dialogue sequences are a real chore and the cutscenes don't help a great deal either. Very little about the whole experience will pull you in or make you care about what's going on. The voice acting really doesn't help here, as characters barely sound American and will even change their pronunciation during dialogue. There is also never really any semblance of conversation happening, even when two people are directly communicating with each other "“ it's all rather strange.

Gameplay does very little to endear itself either. Kick-Ass 2 positions itself as a beat "˜em up, but brings very little to the table in this genre. It can be summed up by this simple gameplay contradiction "“ you can run past most enemies and complete the game with a very low kill-count. For a game that has its sole purpose as beating people up, that's a rather odd feature. Not that it was intended that way of course, but it will save you from severe monotony if you choose to play the game this way.

The game only has two attacks (weapon hit and kick) and it means you can only create a handful of combos. There is also no kind of progression system, so aside from wanting to get out some pent-up rage, beating people up offers next to nothing. When the game is so bare to begin with, it's not asking too much to expect some kind of light levelling system, where you gain experience and can unlock new combos, etc.

You can inflict random status effects on enemies, but all this does is buy a little bit of time. For example, you can stun enemies or break their limbs (even though they recover), but it does seem random when this happens. If an enemy is damaged enough, you can also perform finishers, which are great the first time you see them, but very quickly lose their appeal. You will often find yourself only using them as protection, as enemies can't touch you when performing these moves. Other than that, if you are in no real danger, hitting someone a few more times is much quicker.

In case you hadn't realised by now, this game is very lacklustre. In fact, there is almost nothing positive to say about it other than the fact it functions. You will fight the same two goons (albeit with different outfights), using only a handful of combos, fighting the very unresponsive camera and grinding yourself through alleys and subways towards the end of a level. During this time you will have to listen to the same annoying quips from Kick-Ass every time he climbs a ladder or enters into a fight and you may even enter into cutscenes on the fly which can happen during fights (you still take damage, but can't fight back).

Oh, and Kick-Ass now has a taser that he uses to electrocute himself in order to solve some puzzles and to make him immune to damage in fights.

You can complete the game in around 2-3 hours and that is a chore in itself. It's weird to say, but in many ways you will wish it was shorter, because after about 10-15 minutes of playing you will have seen everything the game has to offer. The only side objective is trying to clean up graffiti, but that has no purpose either. Perhaps the only good thing is that it doesn't look all that bad from a graphical perspective, oh and as was previously stated, the game does function for the most part.

Final Thoughts

Kick-Ass 2 highlights almost everything that's wrong with movie tie-ins. Despite releasing quite some time after its sister product, everything feels rushed and it results in a product that has very few redeeming qualities. The gameplay is very underwhelming and the voice acting is horrible. Perhaps its only saving grace is that you can get through it in a few hours, but most won't even make it that far due to sheer boredom.

It works?
Graphics aren't too bad.
The Shark Tank.
Characters don't even sound American.
Gameplay is very stifled.
Very short and no replay value.
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