Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra The Video Game

Reviewed On

Review copy provided by the publisher

August 7, 2009

When it was announced that Hasbro, following the success of Transformers had set their sights on milking yet another one of my favorite childhood cartoons I thought to myself “is nothing sacred?” Apparently not, enter G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Marking the first time the “American Heroes” hit the big screen without a video game tie-in would be blasphemous, so Hasbro and EA decided to not let us down…but they did anyway.

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra isn’t a bad movie game; it’s a bad game all around. Following the events of the movie (without giving away the movie’s plot) you are thrown into an operation against, you guessed it… Cobra. The story is so convoluted and boring that as you play through the game you never really care about the characters or what’s going on.

As you trot around the globe with the Joe team, your main objective is to basically destroy everything and everyone in your path.  You have 3 classes, with all of them having different play styles. Heavy Soldiers are all about guns, Commandos like the action up close as they favor melee attacks, and Combat Soldiers have both firepower and melee abilities. All have secondary attacks, and can turn into G.I. Joe killing machines when wearing their “accelerator suit” (funny I never saw that suit in the cartoons when I was kid).

The gameplay is treacherous, as checkpoints do not exist in this game. Which means if you die at the very end of a level, even after you’ve just grinded out an hour of murder and mayhem, you are brought right back to the beginning to do it all again. There aren’t enough 4-letter words in the English dictionary to describe how frustrating this is. I think it’s incredibly cheap and was done to make this 5-6 hour game feel more like 8. The game has you play through with an AI partner, and there is co-op, just not online. Instead you can play locally with a friend. What is that? Split-screen you say? No sorry definitely not here. When you play with a friend you share the screen, and as player 1 you can basically drag player 2 where ever it is you want to go. This makes 2-player gameplay feel like a chore and even more frustrating than the single player mode.

Graphically the game looks great… that’s of course had it been made in 2001. The graphics and sound in this game are abysmal, doesn’t matter what console you play it on. Sure you get to hear the occasional “Yo Joe” which is nice but still isn’t enough nostalgia to save this title. Seems just like your average, movie tie-in rush job.

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G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra the video game is pretty much a fail all around. There really is no reason to go back and play this one. No one needs trophies and achievements that bad. Some will cry out “hey, at least they have the classic PSA videos to unlock” but that still isn’t enough, as I’d rather watch them in shitty quality on You-Tube. Surprisingly no video game controllers were harmed during the making of this review.

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Joel Taveras

Joel Taveras is one of the founding members of DualShockers. He hails from New York City where he lives with his wife and two sons. During his tenure with the site, he's held every position from news writer to community manager to editor in chief. Currently he manages the behind the scenes and day-to-day operations at the publication.

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