Platinum Games are one of the most beloved Japanese developers on the planet. Their blistering speed and uncompromised action has won them fans all over and whenever they release a new game, fans are ready to scoop up whatever they may have ready for them. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Heroes in Manhattan is the third game developed by the studio and published by Activision and following the surprisingly good Transformers Devastation, Mutants in Manhattan is a bit of a disappointment.
The heroes in a half-shell haven’t had the most prolific adaptations to the controller and apart from the excellent arcade game, the opportunity to make a fun action game has always been there. Mutants in Manhattan though swaps out the blistering pace of combat for team-based action in an open-world like environment.
While it may not be important in some games, developers Platinum Games have become famous for the speed featured in their games, something that has always been accompanied by a solid 60 frames a second. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles runs at 30 and even if its consistently solid, it feels so much slower than you would want it to.
Missions are relatively short, taking anywhere from 5-15 missions to complete and every level can either be played with AI buddies which you can take control of on the fly or online with others, it actually doesn’t make a massive difference which is a underwhelming.
The game features an abilities system which is called “ninjutsu” which allows you to choose between four different abilities for each character. This means that if you are switching between them all that you can have 16 available abilities of the 30 or so in the game at any one time in battle. This can become cumbersome as you try to pull off one of these abilities in the battle and you have to remember which character and which button pulls off that ability.
Combat itself though is dull and reparative as each missions follows and very familiar structure of beating up waves of enemies, activate something and then take on more waves of enemies. I could accept this if the enemies were fun to encounter or the combat itself was fluid but sadly neither is true.
The game itself isn’t very long clocking it at anywhere between 4-6 hours and once that’s over with, there’s very little else to actually do. The game is a much better experience though when you go online and play with others. Gone is the micromanagement and you are left to play a mediocre but sometimes enjoyable romp. You get to control just one turtle and only have to worry about your own special attacks but the underlying combat isn’t anything to write home about.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is not by the Platinum we know and love. There seems to be two different types of games that come out of Platinum: The ones like Bayonetta 2 and the ones like Korra, this is very much in the vain of Korra. Honestly though, I didn’t hate it, but it’s not the game it should have been.