This festering turd of a game leaves me scratching my head with just one gnawing question… HOW CAN YOU MAKE A GAME ABOUT GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING GIANT MONSTERS BORING?! I mean, I could forgive the complete and utter lack of plot, generic character designs, subpar graphics, and repetitive missions, but boring?
Pacific Rim: The Video Game uses the plot of its source material as a backbone for its Story Campaign and that certainly doesn’t amount to much, seeing as how said campaign has no actual story to speak of. It sees you as Jaegers (the film’s giant robots) fighting Kaiju (the film’s giant monsters), Kaiju fighting Jaegers, Jaegers fighting Jaegers. Wait a minute, Jaegers fighting Jaegers? I know, I know, it doesn’t make any sense. And if the game’s combat (which, let’s face it, is the only thing that this game is about) was exceptionally above par and got your adrenaline pumping it would be a bit more excusable. It’s only a cheapie arcade title, after all. But no, the combat is PAINFULLY slow and tedious, to the point where you may as well be playing a turn-based card game. This doesn’t play like Pacific Rim, the movie. It plays much more like the films that inspired that movie, the 60s Japanese man-in-rubber-monster-suit Godzilla flicks, which translates terribly to the faced paced standards set by modern fighting games. And it drags on and on for 25 mind-numbing missions.
Though, to be fair, the single-player campaign is not the main focus of this game. The multi-player is where this title gives its all to shine. The problem is, it doesn’t impress there either. What it does do is put on an impressive dog and pony show. Fighting against another real-live person, as opposed to the ridiculous AI opponent, is at least a bit more fun and challenging, but it can’t change how terrible the combat system is. What does change, and where the ranked online matches get it right and oh-so wrong, is the game’s upgrade system. As you progress and win online matches, you gain gear with which to update your Jaeger, customizing them so you don’t simply look like every other player entering the “ring.” What you also gain are typically completely superficial stat boosts, which are what ultimately determine your rank in said ranked matches. Roughly translated, it doesn’t matter how skillful and adept you actually are at the game’s combat, it only depends on those useless stats who you end up fighting against. Meaning that a lucky noob can easily get bumped up into the veteran ranks, and will have to pick up his robot’s pieces and go home virtually every time.