PS3/Xbox 360 Review: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Tintin makes his 360 debut, but is it worth exploring?

Well here we are again…yet another game to tie into a film, but it’s Tintin! Everyone’s favourite reporter/adventurer, nothing can go wrong surely? Well while quite a few things about the game are somewhat frustrating which I will explain in a bit, there is a lot to enjoy with this game adaptation of the film. Now I haven’t actually seen it the film, but the game has plenty of spoilers regarding the story (or so I assume from what I saw).

Tintin’s main focus is a 2.5D platformer where you collect objects and make your way through the level, while adding in a bit of stealth and combat in for good measure. You’ll come across enemies that you have to deal with in different ways, for example you’ll want some to chase you so they slip on the wet floor and go straight into the wall or you can drop a sandbag on their heads, it’s all done in a typical comic-style and it actually works quite well…although it does become second nature quite quickly.

Other elements include sword fighting, flying a plane through the desert and through storms, not to mention driving/shooting sections where you switch between them. These are the parts that let the game down as the controls for these areas are far from perfect. Sword fighting uses only the left analog stick to slash your blade and A to defend, while flying is simple…but it’s a nightmare during the storm sections as it can be very difficult to tell where to go. I must have died a great number of times as a result of no clear indication. The driving/shooting sections are ok, but the accuracy of your weapon is poor at crucial moments.

The main game will take you 6 hours or so to do, plus more if you go back for any missing collectables. Another mode included is called Tintin and Haddock where you are in a dream, going through different doors for each level and these mostly resemble the platforming sections, but there are some boss battles thrown in and there’s a replay factor of the Lego games variety where you unlock characters along the way that can only reach past areas where the remaining collectables are.

Besides those modes, there are challenges which follow the other sections as you try and get a high score and platinum medals in each, which is damn tricky. 360 owners with Kinect can make it a bit easier for themselves and it’s not bad, but hardly a compelling reason to just get Kinect if you don’t have one already. PS3 owners also get Move support added on for the same mode and is just as fun to play.

If there’s one thing that really annoys me, it’s how the game almost ignores the potential to be a puzzle game like Professor Layton. There are only about 2 or 3 puzzles where you either rotate the sails of a model ship to show a unicorn or lining up 3 different bits of paper to show co-ordinates. I enjoyed these and would have loved to see even more of them, but instead the game chooses to follow the same repetitive path.

It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my time with Tintin and Snowy (who is also playable in some areas) but it does become a bit samey after a few hours. You’ll follow the same pattern of going through an area, dealing with the enemies in the same ways and it just becomes so predictable, which is a shame since I actually like the game and think it’s one of the better tie-ins of 2011, but it misses it’s chance to shine. Visuals aren’t the greatest, but they do maintain the comic-book style of Tintin’s world. Voice-acting is a mixed bag and dialogue is repeated quite frequently, which can become annoying after a while.

The Verdict

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is quite a good game with quite a bit to do, optional motion controls and plenty of collectables to find. It’s just a shame that some sections let down the experience and that it doesn’t hold any surprises after a few hours.