Ghost Rider (English)
Ghost Rider purportedly features a storyline penned by Marvel writers Garth Ennis and Jimmy Palmiotti, but the story feels less like a fully fleshed-out piece of comic fiction and more like leftover table scraps. The story doesn’t even do a good job of tying in to the movie. It’s told through some comic-paned cutscenes that feature just-different-enough-to-not- quite-look-like-real-actors drawings of all the major characters from the movie. A soundalike of Sam Elliott (apparently channeling his Big Lebowski character, with a spookier edge) narrates a few opening sequences just to get you up to speed, and eventually you figure out that the demon Mephisto needs Ghost Rider to head up to earth to stop his son, Blackheart, and his army of demons from getting their apocalypse on. It’s a middling tale that’s disjointed in its delivery and does a weak job of shoving in some familiar Marvel personalities (like Blade) just because it can. It also doesn’t help that the audio mix on the cutscenes is so awful that you’ll have to turn the volume on your TV way, way up just to hear what’s going on, only to be brutally assaulted with the screechy in-game sound effects and soundtrack at much-too-high volume seconds later. Once you settle into the gameplay, you’ll find an unholy combination of God of War’s whip-heavy combat and Devil May Cry’s ranking system. The game is all about you killing Blackheart’s demonic forces with as much style and variety as possible, and to its credit, it does provide a decent number of combos to work with. You start out with almost none, but then, through a direct rip of God of War’s upgrade system (right down to the sound effect it uses to fill up your various upgradeable meters), you can use souls you’ve collected to buy new combos and up your abilities.