E3 2010: Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction (Impressions)
6/20/2010 10:00:00 PM
What’s special about the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien series is Ben’s previously secret ability to transform into various aliens with special fighting tactics. Modeled after the Cartoon Network animated series, D3 Publishers have been continuing the line of video games covering the storyline of the show. Given the progression in the series, D3 and Papaya Studio are pursuing the new additions to incorporate them into gameplay.
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction follows the story of Ben’s trek across real world locations such as Rome, Paris, and Tokyo as a 16-year old version of himself. Now that his secret of being able to transform into alien beings has been exposed, Ben is able to embrace his hero status and help the Earth from destruction by locating ancient Galvan artifacts before a group of miscreants gets to them first. A cosmic storm is letting enemies into the world, and Ben has to get his hands on the artifacts to stop them.
The first noticeable difference is definitely the ability to transform between all 16 characters (including the ultimate aliens) at your will. The spectacular quality of this addition is being able to combine combo moves to grant you a higher DNA score. These DNA points can be allocated to your liking to increase a specific alien’s speed, defense, attacks and specials that will create a larger force as you play through. Changing between characters is as easy as pulling up a dial radius to cycle through your options, or using one of the customizable hotkeys you have available.
The controls are definitely suited to the game’s target audience: namely, boys ranging from 8-10 years old. The most obvious of this is using the special abilties which requires a combination of the trigger button with one of the four mapped buttons on the controller. Hint icons are also strewn about the game to indicate where the player must go next. I’ve been told, however, that the game is designed in a way that makes it amusing for anyone who plays. Papaya Studio attempted to create a balance between ease and challenge in Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction. This became a proven theory when I transformed into my brute ARG to deal with the massive enemies surrounding me, and then quickly to my Spidermonkey form to leap across gaps along the path.
Another new addition is that of the quick time events. What’s interesting about QTEs in this game is that you are given multiple queues that let you choose a reaction from one of multiple of your alien forms. So if you choose NRG when a billboard falls on your head, he will smash through it. If you decide to go with Spidermonkey, however, he opts for the agile movements and dashes across the debris.
Bosses are promised to be versatile and challenging. While you will see a return of many of Ben’s former enemies, most of the boss levels will be low level fighters compared to the final ultimate boss you will have to face. One of the lower level bosses of the game was shown in the demo at E3, named Bozo for his obvious clown facade. He requires a lot of chasing and QTE fights. I’m told one competitor is an enormous robot with a giant arm that you will have to take down.
As for your alien forms themselves, there are plenty that are recognizable from the previous iterations in the series. New characters, however, are also plentiful. One such new character is Waterhazard who is a boxer fighter. Other characters have interesting abilities like Terraspin who has a wind-power turbine in his chest that he can use to knock enemies over. There are also unlockable characters that are exclusive o the 360 and PS3. The 360 will have Rath, described to me as an “over the top” character, while the PS3 gains Fourarms.
The game is currently only single player mode, reasoned by our D3 representative as a need to optimize the gameplay before delving into any ideas of co-operative play or the like.