PS4 Review: Monkey King: Hero Is Back

King Kong?

A new chapter in the Chinese legend of Journey to the West is about to unfold! Based on the animated film Monkey King: Hero Is Back, this adaptation pits the Great Sage himself, Sun Wukong, newly freed after 500 years of imprisonment, with Liuer, a young boy who looks up to the Monkey King in a journey that brings them close together.

It’s been a long time since I last played a game that released alongside a film, since there hasn’t been all that many this generation due to most past games being notoriously awful with the only exceptions being the likes of Spider-Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk. I was curious to see if Monkey King could actually restore some faith in movie tie-in games, but what was the end result?

Monkey King is an action adventure game with combat that isn’t for everyone, but it works fairly well overall. The level design itself is fairly basic and the story is a bit of a mixed bag but does enough to push you towards the finish line. Liuer’s voice-actor sounds like Luke from the Professor Layton series, but haven’t been able to confirm this due to no actual listing of the game’s cast on IMDB.

The voice-acting is decent considering the original film was only released in China back in 2015, which is why most won’t have heard of it before. It is curious as to why they would now bring out a game based on it, but it is nice regardless. The animation is superb, and the art style is great to look at, while the game itself isn’t too bad on the eye either.

The Verdict

Monkey King: Hero Is Back isn’t going to win any awards for it’s game design, but it does hold up well considering it’s a movie tie-in from a film that was never released in the West. The only thing that goes against it is its price point, but I’m sure it’ll soon come down in price with the holidays approaching.

Score: 7.0