Constantine was, in my opinion, a pretty good movie. So it was pretty much inevitable that a game based on the movie would be created. So, how does the latest movie based video game come out? Pretty good, actually.
The video game casts you in the role of John Constantine, rouge demon hunter who's on a mission to redeem himself and save the earth from Hell, who wants to come on in and set up Hell 2: Hell on earth. But Hell has one problem. A guy named Constantine, or, you.
The gameplay is pretty standard action-adventure fare. You run around shooting things while collecting things to move on to the next area. Constantine doesn't try to re-invent the wheel on the third person action adventure formula, but it does throw in a few nifty ideas to make it interesting.
Probably the most uniuqe of these ideas is the fact that throughout the game, you warp between traveling on earth, and traveling in Hell. Say for example, that you're in a library. You need to get to the next area, but some rubble is blocking the path. Standing in a puddle of water, you cast a spell, and the next thing you know, the library is now scorched to a dark red, burnt structure. Now you can procced through the blocked area, because the rubble does not exist in Hell.
Hell itself is amazing to behold (not that i'd want to live there, mind you). Some of the areas are breathtakingly beautiful (in a gruesome sort of way). The level "Hell's highway" is one of the most impressive, most awe-inspiring levels i've ever seen in a video game. It must be seen to be believed.
Of course, while traveling through Hell (and on earth for that matter), you'll run into demons, who are trying to kill you so you can join the unhappy residents of the fiery realm (in a gruesome touch, whenever you're in Hell, the screams of the damned are always around you, just out of sight, but sounding horribly authentic).
To counter the multitude of demons out to get you, you have a large arsenal of weapons at your disposal. Witch's curse (dual pistols), the Crucifier (fires rapid shot nails), dragons breath (a flamethrower) holy water bombs (half-breeds hate these), the holy shotgun (cool weapon that fires shotgun shells in a cross shaped pattern), and the awe inspiring Moses Shroud (the spiritual equivilent of the atom bomb), just to name a few.
You also get a nifty variety of spells to help you along the way, such as lighting, exorcism, protection, Gargoyle (which freezes all demons in thier tracks), and a few others. Using spells is pretty easy. Whenever demons are in your path, you press triangle and follow the buttons on the screen. Do it sucsesfully, and the spell will go off withought a hitch. But you have to avoid being hit, otherwise the spells won't work.
You'll also have to use your brain during the game as well, for there are some puzzles you need to solve. While most of them are fairly easy, there are some real brain-busters that will really challenge your brain.
The game is pretty lengthy as well. Playing for about two hours each day, it took me about five days to complete it, so it'll take you about ten hours to complete the game on your first go.
While there are not really any rewards for completing the game, you do get bonus stuff such as interviews, concept artwork, movies, etc., for picking up Tarot cards during the game. Each card you gather unlocks a bonus item in the main menu.
While the story follows the general outline of the movie, it does re-write it to fit the flow of a video game. All the main events are there, but some charachters die earlier then in the movie, some are absent, and some events don't take place. Probably my biggest complaint about the story is the ending. While the movie ended on a good, upbeat note, the ending in the game is...well...flat. *Spoiler alert!* In the movie, Constantine is saved at the end. In the game, he's not saved. He's still in the same state as he is in the beginning of the game. Why did they change the ending? It dosent make sense. He's saved Angela, saved the world, and he dosen't get saved? Kinda makes the whole thing pointless *End Spoiler alert*
Probably the biggest problem with Constantine is with its controls. When you first begin a game, the controls are hard to learn and almost impossible to get the hang of, especially with the camera. You have complete control over it, but the problem is that aiming and the camera are handled with the same analog stick, so you'll be running around (Constantine runs independent of the camera by the way), trying to aim both the camera and your currently equipped weapon. It sounds tough, but as time goes on, it does get easier to master the controls and by the end of the game, it becomes second nature.
So do I recommend Constantine? The answer is "Yes with a "If" or "No". Constantine is really hit and miss. Either you like it or you don't. You'll probably like it if you're a fan of the movie as I am. If you don't like the movie, then don't bother. This is one of those games that you need to rent before you decide about buying, and even then i'd wait until the price drops down to below twenty dollars.