That Godzilla vs Kong Trailer Reminded Me of War of the Monsters
I think I'd rather have Congar back.
Yesterday, social media went abuzz after the trailer for the theatre and HBO release of Godzilla vs Kong went live. An action-packed trailer with a punchy soundtrack to boot showed the giant Godzilla and equally giant Kong going at it like the primal beasts they are. And while everyone online appeared to be showing their support for either beast, I was reminiscing on an old classic that I now want to see come back from the ashes of games long-forgotten.
Incognito Entertainment released a game back in 2003 called War of the Monsters. It was a beat-em-up game that boasted a roster of different monsters and aliens, some looking familiar to some Hollywood classics. The goal was to simply beat the ever-living-heck out of the other monsters. It allowed up to 4 players to roam a small map, of which they could destroy buildings and use the environment to their advantage in combat. I recall spending hours in the demo when physical-disc demos were a thing just fighting against friends during split-screen matches.
There was a story, but I’d be lying if I said I paid any attention to it. Back then, I just wanted to smash everything and lob antennas from rooftops and launch them into a weird praying mantis-inspired alien thing. It was a fantastic destruction-focused game, and it would be fantastic is it came back for current-generation. Sure, Godzilla vs Kong is going to be a fun action flick where a bad-tempered ape fights against the big lizard thing, but imagine if War of the Monsters came back and whatever studio working on it got the rights to bring Godzilla and Kong into the roster!?
War of the Monsters already tried to slot King Kong into the game by calling a giant ape “Congar”, and there were other types of giants that shared similarities to characters such as a Transformer. But with the modern audiences’ love for both the video game and movie mediums, crossover events would be welcomed, and I’ll touch on this a bit later. But essentially we could see different characters enter the games universe in the same way that Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate throws characters from different universes into its own.
As I’ve already gushed about, the destruction was a large part of my enjoyment for War of the Monsters, and in Godzilla vs Kong, it’s looking likely that we’ll see billions of dollars in fictional damages being dealt to the city. And with the capabilities of modern consoles, we could see damage similar to Crackdown 3 being brought down on the game’s world — perhaps to the point sections of the building break away rather than the entire thing collapsing down on the streets below.
The last time I brought up War of the Monsters in a conversation with someone —a few years back now— they started going on about Rampage, an arcade-themed side-scrolling destruction game. And they also brought up King of the Monsters. But while they may be nostalgic titles for some, I only ever remember playing one of the Rampage games and not really caring for it. In fact, after looking on Wikipedia, it seems those two games are listed as games that are similar…maybe the person I spoke to was just reading Wikipedia and acting clever.
War of the Monsters presented its destruction and button-mashing combat in a wonderful 3D environment that felt “big” for its time. And so far we’ve seen a bunch of games keep pushing this open-world formula, bragging about how big the world is to explore. But for this, the environment would be better suited to areas, or stages if you will. Allowing players to make use of everything, from the rubble to vehicles, to maybe even having the destructive power to smash their way into an underground subway system with more obstacles and places to duck for cover from incoming thrown items.
It’d have to keep the third-person perspective with the freedom to move around the environment at will, and maybe the addition of tiny humans trying to shoot everyone down could work against, or for each player. I just remember the evil feeling of squishing tiny human bodies with my giant electrical eyeball feet. Gosh, some of the monster designs were strange.
I think if something similar was to return today, having crossover collaborations with major film releases such as Godzilla vs Kong would help keep the game alive with fresh, recurring content for fans of mainstream media beasts. And yes, I suppose we could include Ghostbusters’ marshmallow man and bring back weird things from cinema’s past. Maybe even having different areas added through post-launch content, like Kong’s jungle, or having Optimus Prime defending Cybertron.
Honestly, I just miss War of the Monsters, and rather than feeling excited about the upcoming blockbuster Godzilla vs Kong I just wanted to go back to sitting on my PS2 Slim and telling my friend to stop spamming my face with rubble. He didn’t. Sure, the game is available on PS4 as well, but it lacks that magic that developer can instil in it today. Especially given how far consoles have come in this day and age, I think it could be a winner. Everyone likes to be big, furry, and break things…don’t they?