Even with some amazing iPhone movie tie-ins out there like James Cameron’s Avatar, these types of games are often put out just to make a quick buck. True to form, Kick-Ass: The Game stands out as one of the worst movie-based games on the platform. In other words, it’s Suck-Ass.
Disappointingly, the game follows no real story. Each level is preceded by a comic book cutscene that has no relevance to the missions. For some reason you are after a group of thugs who attack by bumping into you. Why? Who knows, you just are.
There are 12 levels in total, each of which has you playing as gun-toting superheroes Kick-Ass, Hit Girl, or Big Daddy. All three characters are practically the same, offering up the same special attack that kills every thug nearby. The only difference is their main weapon, and that some shoot faster than others.
Same bat time, same bat channel.
Where Kick-Ass: The Game really takes a beating is in the production values. For starters, the game is nearly impossible to control. The characters seem to slide quickly across the floor when you slightly move the left stick. This also applies to shooting with the right stick. Kick-Ass’ movement seems to be a little tighter than the other two, which is odd since he is hovering above the ground on a jetpack and Hit Girl and Big Daddy must move in on foot.
Kick-Ass: The Game is aesthetically unimpressive as well. Even though the graphics have a low-polygon count, textures are low-res, and animations are basic, there still tends to be slowdown on our 3GS. Enemies pop in on the screen and randomly disappear once you kill them. The sound effects are equally poor, with uneven quality and poor editing. It all feels like a bad cut-and-paste job.
If you’ve got a jetpack, why not fly above the thugs?
One of the major issues with the gameplay is that the camera angle is top-down and zoomed way in, meaning you often don’t see enemies until they are right in front of you. Oddly enough, the first level of the game actually has a slightly behind-the-shoulder view. This should have been consistent throughout the entire game, as it is currently impossible to see what’s going on most of the time.
Between levels you are bumped back to the menu. You can then use money to upgrade your weapons and armor. Also, along the way you collect points that can be put towards extra special attacks per level or more health.
Terrible as it is, the game is also lacking content in a big way. The 12-level campaign can be beaten in about half an hour, and after that there are four survival areas that are rehashes from the campaign. Only your top local score is saved, and there are no online high scores.
Want your Kick-Ass fill? You’re not going to find it here. Instead, we recommend checking out the eight-issue comic book series on your iPhone using the Comics app from Comixology. Don’t waste your money here, or prepare to give yourself an ass kicking for it.