Ugh, here come the MIBs
The Men In Black have returned this summer, but if you've seen the trailers, you've seen most of the film's best bits. Likewise, if there were a playable demo of the first level of Men In Black II: Alien Escape, then I would be able to tell you the same thing about the game. Infogrames' movie cash-in is just that, and it's a poor, by-the-numbers cash-in, which reminds me of trash like Time Cop from the 16-bit days. Back then you walked along left to right, pasting down the fire button and ducking to avoid being shot. In MIB2, you wander around in circles shooting aliens, upgrade your weapons and then do the same thing again. This practice continues for more than twenty levels, and it's twaddle.
Agents Jay and Kay have been reborn in a digital guise with none of their big-screen charisma, and instead of acting as covert operatives seeking to further interstellar relations, they toil about killing anything which dares to move with their MIB-issue shiny weaponry. Locations are pretty tired, with our heroes trudging through some docks, a nuclear silo of some description (a description I was bored enough to click through), the streets of New York and finally, an alien spaceship. You won't find much change between these 'varied' locations though, and the gameplay dynamic of locking on and using L1 and R1 to strafe around blasting rarely changes. Both men can leap about like wannabe Lara Crofts, rolling and backflipping with ease, and this is handy when it comes to dispatching the game's bosses, but at virtually no point does the experience border on "entertaining".
Graphics are relatively good, although in many respects they could quite happily live on the original PlayStation. The lighting effects are quite special though, with lots of flashing, lasers, plasma and gases rolling around your feet, but much like the rest of the game, it tires very quickly. The aliens all look like their big-screen counterparts, but without their impressive CG detail and the film's high production values they resemble just about every other in-game alien enemy you may have dealt with in the past. They are also identical to one another in design and behaviour, which merely adds to the monotony. What else is bad? Well, don't get me started on the music or the sound effects.
I suppose it doesn't take much to con the cinema-going public out of their precious ticket money these days, and Infogrames must have decided to play the same game with their customers. On the bright side, there are few people likely to come racing out of the film to buy this, and the rest of you can heed my words of warning: don't buy this rubbish.