Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game looks to light it up

June 07, 2011 | 3:41 p.m.

“In brightest day, in blackest night,  no evil shall escape my sight.  Let those who worship evil’s might,  beware my power … Green Lantern’s light!”

So goes the oath of the Green Lantern Corps as recited by Hal Jordan in DC comic books for more than 50 years. The hero reaches the screen next week with the Warner Bros. film starring Ryan Reynolds, but that’s not the only emerald-hued spotlight shining on the character right now —  the new Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment game Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters hit stores Tuesday for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS and DS.

In the comics and in the film, Jordan is given a cosmic weapon, a power ring, by the dying alien Abin Sur, who crash-landed on Earth and with the ring is passing on his membership in the Green Lantern Corps, which is a sort of intergalactic police force. The ring is meant to be worn by individuals with considerable willpower, a trait the Guardians felt would guarantee the rings’ wearers would be incorruptible. They were also designed to convert the wearer’s imagination into reality, making it possible to fly, pick up objects and to create hard-light constructs.

What does this all mean for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters? In the game, which takes place shortly after the events of the film, the player assumes the role of Jordan, who is initially outfitted with two out-of-the-box hard-light constructs: a sword for quick, lighter attacks; and oversized fists, which are not only entertaining but ideal for heavier attacks.

hcffteaser2 Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game looks to light it upThose two constructs can be chained together in a number of ways to create combos. And the more combos a player performs, the faster they can grow their ring’s power, upgrade their current constructs, or attain new constructs. There are a total of 12 upgradeable constructs, including a baseball bat, a jet fighter and, for those who want to kick it Gettysburg style, a Gatling gun.

“The core premise behind the combat is that it’s really easy to pick up and play,” said Jason Garwood, one of the game’s producers. “We wanted to build a combat system that allowed for that initial accessibility but provided enough depth that players could drive down into and find a way to play the game that they want to play.”

The game’s constructs can be mapped to any of the gamepads’ four main buttons.  Additionally, by tapping either the right or left shoulder buttons, the player can cycle through three sets of four different constructs, all of which can be mapped to the player’s tastes.

Ames Kirshen, an executive producer of the game, said being able to map the constructs to buttons allows the player to customize play patterns. “You’re not forced into a subset of mechanics that you must use all the time,” Kirshen said. “If you love the Gatling gun, you don’t have to worry about hitting L2 and then X. You can map it to three different buttons if you want. That way it’s always accessible. It’s all about the way you like to play.”

So does that mean you could go through the whole game using only the Gatling gun?

“You could, but that might not be very fun,” Garwood said. “Certain enemies have certain weaknesses that need to be exploited strategically.”

— Mike Winder

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