Reign of Fire
by bam! entertainment
So here we go with another game of a film. Mercifully this time the game's a good one which, after the disaster of a game that was Minority Report, is a big relief. Reign of Fire puts you in both the role of the dragon and the dragon slayer. For those of you who haven't seen the film, the story begins when a twelve year old boy named Quinn and his mother unwittingly awake a dragon. Over the decades that follow the earth is ravaged and the human population count decimated. Quinn, now a good deal older, looks after a desperate group of survivors who have taken refuge in an old castle. All looks lost but fortunately, there is hope.
The game begins with you playing the role of a dragon slayer as part of the Kentucky Irregulars. The Irregulars are a team of US soldiers and are led by Denton Van Zan. Van Zan guides you through the tutorial part of the game and gives you your orders whilst you play as a dragon slayer. In this part of the game you get to drive various vehicles and fire missiles such as machine guns and heat seeking missiles and water cannons. The game plays from a third person perspective and whilst playing as the humans, it is actually quite enjoyable.
The game gives you the feeling that you are actually in a war. Explosions and flames are everywhere. The action seems relentless as you come under attack from the flying dragons and the land based, two legged type dinosaur creatures known as Jakyls. The missions see you basically playing the role of the protector and it's a heck of a job to fend off these enemies who seem to constantly attack you.
Later in the game you get to play as a dragon and it's at this point that the good feelings you get about the game begin to fade away. The dragon's emphasis is on stopping the humans but the control feels so awkward that the enjoyment from attempting to control one of them is non-existent. Surely a more intuitive control scheme could have been worked out to control the dragon.
Rather interestingly the game is a port from the Xbox version. The GameCube manages quite well and only small amounts of slowdown are experienced. If there's any criticisms of the graphics it's probably that the textures could have been more detailed and there is too much clipping. On numerous occasions the Jakyls walked straight through my vehicle and having attempted to drive through the gateways on the first mission, I was knocked by another jeep only to find my vehicle knocked into a wall where I remained stuck for about 10 seconds. You are regularly able to drive through small trees and body's of Jakyls that are lying on the floor.
What is good about Reign of Fire though is the support for deaf gamers. Apart from the FMV, which is unsubtitled, the speech is fully subtitled at the bottom of the screen and because there is always plenty of action going on, the developers put little markers by the person who is talking, which I thought was a nice touch. Deaf gamers should have very few problems with Reign of Fire.
Game Rating: 6.5/10