Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie

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Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
King-kong-cover-pc.jpg
Developer(s) Ubisoft Milan (GBA)
Ubisoft Montpellier
Ubisoft Casablanca (NDS)
Phoenix Games Studios (PSP)
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Director(s) Michel Ancel
Producer(s) Xavier Poix
Artist(s) Florent Sacré
Writer(s) Jacques Exertier
Composer(s) Chance Thomas
Engine Jade
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable
Release date(s) Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS & Xbox 360
EU 20051117November 17, 2005

NA 20051121November 21, 2005
NA November 22, 2005 (X360)
EU December 2, 2005 (NDS & X360)
JP December 15, 2005 (PS2)
AU December 15, 2006 (NDS)
JP December 22, 2005 (X360)
JP May 25, 2006 (NDS)
PlayStation Portable
EU 20051216December 16, 2005
NA 20051220December 20, 2005
AU 20051220December 20, 2005

Genre(s) Action-adventure, first-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player

Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie is an action-adventure video game based on the 2005 film King Kong and created in collaboration between the film's director Peter Jackson and video game designer Michel Ancel. It was released on PC and sixth generation platforms on November 17, 2005, as well as a Game Boy Advance version titled Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World. All film cast members reprise their roles.

Gameplay[edit]

In the game, the player assumes the roles of both New York scriptwriter Jack Driscoll and the giant gorilla, Kong as they struggle to survive the threats of Skull Island in 1933.

This game is exhibitive of an industry trend to de-emphasize the role of a heads-up display: it lacks a life bar, aiming reticule, and ammunition readout (the ammo readout and aiming reticule can be turned on and off at the player's will, but will be disabled by default.), further adding to the challenge and encouraging the player to find alternate weapons and techniques.

Interspersed with Driscoll's adventure are levels in which the player controls Kong himself, traversing Skull Island's unique geography, battling various giant monsters while defending Ann. The Kong levels take place in a third person view, as the player directs Kong to punch, grab and use objects/corpses as weapons. He can also bite, climb, charge, hurl enemies and even pound his chest to go into fury mode. When Kong is sent into fury mode, the sky becomes tinted with a golden hue and Kong becomes more powerful and less vulnerable to attack. Many of the Kong sequences fulfill the role of boss fights, as the giant ape is able to effectively battle the gigantic creatures that Jack's weapons cannot harm.

In the alternate mission of the game where Jack tries to save Kong, the player controls a seaplane. Diving down firing the machine gun at spotlight, warplanes, and even Kong. The flying is limited in movement and action, but players can perform various stunts like a nose dive and a loop to loop.

Plot[edit]

The plot loosely follows the film on which it is based, however, it diverges and is expanded upon in order to extend the gameplay.

In 1933, film director Carl Denham (Jack Black), has gotten hold of a mysterious map, which reveals the secret location of a large island known as Skull Island, a place located in the far reaches of the Indian Ocean (correctly the Pacific Ocean in the game). Carl hires playwright Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) to write his script and plucks a starving, out-of-work actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) to play the part of leading lady and a tramp steamer called the Venture to take them to the island. The ship, controlled by Captain Englehorn (Thomas Kretschmann) arrives at the island on October 12, 1933. But due to the stormy seas and huge rocks, it can't get close enough to land so the crew orders the captain to send three lifeboats containing the cast, crew and a few sailors to the island and he does. However, two lifeboats are pulled away by a current and the lifeboat containing Jack, Carl, Ann, Hayes (Evan Parke), and Briggs gets hit by a chunk of rock which falls from a large stone structure, tossing the party out into the sea.

Jack wakes up on the island with everyone else and is horrified to find out that one of the sailors, Briggs is dead and the lifeboat completely wrecked. Hayes shoots out a distress signal, informing everyone that if Englehorn sees it, he'll come looking for them via the ship's plane. The group head upwards to a cave entrance leading into a dark, flooded cave where Ann lights a torch to help them see. After fighting off several giant crabs with their 9mm Luger P08 pistols, they head towards the exit and move out onto a rocky outcrop, to the left there is a rocky slope leading down to a stony beach where a big wooden door is. While Hayes and Jack turns the handles to open it, Carl suggest shooting some test shots for his movie, he asks Ann to scream and her classic damsel-in-distress style wailing is answered by a loud roar. The director and his men are suddenly attacked by huge crabs that crawl out from the shore, rifles raised, the men shoot the miniature tanks down, but a huge bellow erupts from the water. A 30-foot crab emerges from the murk and knocks over a wooden platform supported by wooden beams which is standing next to the slope. After much man-made commotion the creature is defeated, and they move on through the gigantic wooden door. They then see Eaglehorn flying a seaplane who drops a box of suppies but is unable to land, which forces them to look for a stretch of water for him to land. Jack has the option of swapping his Luger for a Winchester Model 1897 pump-action shotgun.

After fighting more giant crabs and reattaching a handle to open a second door, the party progress forward, meeting up with the second lifeboat containing Preston (Colin Hanks), Jimmy (Jamie Bell) and Lumpy (Andy Serkis), although it cannot land because of the strong current of the sea and it is pulled out of sight. The team continue traversing the island, battling with many vicious creatures. They come across an entrance to a cave and Jack finds a fire and used it to light a spear which is used to burn the bushes blocking the way which also causes the wooden structure above to collapse. They enter the cave and they are attacked by giant centipedes called megapedes and flying reptiles called pterosaurs and a statue is broken apart in the battle, allowing them to go forward. Carl is attacked by a megapede, but Jack saves him and he worries over his camera. Jack crosses a wooden bridge, but after he crosses it, it breaks. Ann insists on going with him and climbs up to the cliff above Jack while he protects her from incoming megapedes and he climbs up the wooden platforms. They were forced to split up at this point to find the seaplane and they discover that all creatures on the island eat each other. Jack burns down some bushes blocking another door and Ann helps opens the door by turning the lever on top of a cliff and there were spiders behind the door. Jack uses a small larva as bait to lure them away and they come across some bushes blocking the path to a creek and Ann climbs up a cliff to use another fire up there to burn the bushes and also sees a strange wall up ahead. Ann protects Jack from strange-looking swampcrawlers while he goes down the creek and helps him out at the end. They again see Hayes and Carl who helps open a door for them and Hayes gives Jack another gun. After a huge battle with megapedes, pterosaurs, and giant scorpions with cobra-like tails called scorpiopedes and burning down bushes through a seemingly abandoned village, Ann climbs up a cliff and moves a lever to open another door to reveal the island Natives behind it and Jack and Ann are captured by them. Jack gets to use a Mauser Gewehr 98 sniper rifle, but loses it.

When Jack wakes up tied to a stake, he can only watch as Ann is lowered to a cliff and is taken by Kong, a huge gorilla during a native sacrifice. Carl, who had been separated from Hayes, eventually rescues Jack and the two give chase after escaping from the natives. The duo reach another door and open it and after defeating some Oviraptors and megapedes and they reach another door in which Jack burns down some bushes to retrieve a missing lever to open it. After they see King Kong with Ann, they press forward and Carl is grabbed by an Ornithocheirus and Jack gives chase and finds him on a hill and they fight and kill the pterosaurs. They again find and open another door. They continue further down the island and fights off Velociraptors who are feasting on a dead Triceratops and some pterosaurs. There was another door with the two handles missing. Jack uses a dragonfly as bait to lure some spiders away from the first lever and burns some bushes to get to the second lever. They eventually find Hayes, who is attacked by a Utahraptor pack and Jack burns some bushes to help Hayes get to them. The trio find another door and they open it after Jack finds the missing lever. While traveling through an underground river, they hear Preston, Jimmy, Lumpy and the others and something big following them and they stop to rest a bit. Soon after, they again meet up with Preston, Lumpy, Jimmy and another sailor, who are crossing a bridge, but they are attacked by a Tyrannosaurus rex. Lumpy is torn apart and eaten, Jimmy and the sailor fall down into the crevasse, but Preston got to the other side. Jack, Hayes, and Carl run from the T-Rex and while Hayes and Carl open a door, Jack distracts the male and shoots some pterosaurs down to get it to stop and eat them. They hide in a ruin and wait until the T-Rex leaves after it hears Ann screaming. The trio find another door and Jack finds the missing lever to open it. Jack crosses a bridge which breaks and is separated from Carl and Hayes, who tells him to continue look for Ann. Jack eventually finds Ann and helps her fight off more creatures, but she is kidnapped by a queen Pteranodon. Kong comes to the rescue, fights the Darwinopterus and Velociraptor, and saves Ann. Jack continues on into the canyon, where he sees a migrating herd of Apatosaurus, and also battles megapedes, pterosaurs, and scorpiopedes. Jack sees Carl and Hayes on the other side and he helps fight off megapedes and pterosaurs while Carl open a nearby door and later sees them again from below and after opening another door, giant crabs crawl through and Jack helps to kill them. He meets up with Carl and Hayes, and they find a way blocked by bushes. Hayes tells Jack to follow the sauropods and he finds some fire that he uses to burn the bushes and the trio continue on their path. They once again find another door and Jack find and puts the missing lever in place before opening it. An Allosaurus appears and kills an Apatosaur and Jack burns some bushes to clear the path to escape from the Jurassic lion. In the valley, they come across Jimmy, who is attacked by some Troodons. They eventually meet up on a raft after defeating the raptors, where Jimmy tells the group that everyone is dead. After escaping the Skull Islanders by driving them off with fire, the team take a ride down the raging river and are pursued by two Albertosaurus who they are unable to kill. They escape into a tunnel and are cornered. Kong comes to the rescue and kills them by ripping apart their jaws while protecting Ann. As the teams continue their journey, they enter a swamp, and fight against swampcrawlers. Meanwhile, Kong and Ann fight more creatures across the island and Hayes fires at Kong who flees with Ann. Carl, Hayes, Jimmy, and Jack attempt to cross over a log, but Kong interrupts their log crossing and tips them into a huge ravine. Jack manages to find the others but Carl's camera is broken and he gives up, heading downstream towards the Venture. Jack, Jimmy and Hayes continue their pursuit of Ann. Jack gets to use the last weapon, a Thompson submachine gun. Meanwhile, Kong fights the island Natives.

Jack eventually saves Ann from a Gorgosaurus and they reunite with Hayes and Jimmy, and the party continue the adventure to find a long stretch of water of which the seaplane can land on. They take shelter in a cave while avoiding Kong. After fighting off some Deinonychus in the cave, burning down some bushes blocking the way, and search for a missing handle in a nearby cave to open a door, they finally come across a long stretch of water through a swamp, but it is blocked by bushes. Jack lures some spiders away with a dragonfly as bait so he can get some fire to clear the way while Hayes fires his gun to get Eaglehorn's attention. They fight some Quetzalcoatlus along the way. Captain Englehorn, in his seaplane, lands on the water. However, he takes flight again as a huge Giganotosaurus chases them into a large area cluttered with ancient stone ruins. The monster breaks through the barricade and begins smashing down their shelter. Ann signals for Kong to come while Jack shoots some Pterodactylus to distract the giant southern lizard. Eventually, Kong comes to save them. As Hayes tries to stop the fight, the Giganotosaur charges at Kong, who steps on Hayes, injuring him. Kong defeats the Giganotosaurus and chases down a pterosaur carrying Ann away. Jack and Jimmy stand over Hayes, who tells Jimmy before he dies to get back to the ship. Jack and Jimmy open a nearby door, fight many raptors and burn the bushes blocking the way to head back to the stretch of water and find the seaplane. Jimmy climbs in (there is only one passenger seat) and Jack climbs up into the mountains to Kong's lair to save Ann.

Jack discovers Kong's lair and kills two juvenile Tarbosaurus and the pterosaurs roosting above the entrance. He rescues Ann while Kong fights several Letalihydruses. After escaping Kong's lair and leaving the jungle, Jack and Ann arrive at The Wall, Ann is captured by the natives until Kong comes to get her. He saves her then heads for the shore where Carl and other sailors are waiting. Kong gets gassed by sailors once he reaches the shore. He eventually passes out and is taken to New York City, where he is put on display on Broadway. Kong isn't held captive for long and wanders New York in search of Ann. He eventually finds her and, after destroying many army trucks and making a tip of Manhattan, he takes her up the Empire State Building. He tries to destroy a swarm of biplanes with some help from Jack but is eventually shot down.

The alternate ending occurs if the player defeats enough biplanes as Kong, and then destroys the army's searchlights, Kong will climb down the Empire State Building and a cut scene will play of Kong roaring on the top of his homeland, having been safely returned while Jack and Ann fly around him on a biplane. To unlock the alternate ending, players must complete the entire game and then go back and play through various maps and earn a total of 250,000 points. It can also be accessed by using the cheat codes.

Release[edit]

Promotion at TGS 2005

The Xbox 360 release featured improved graphics and audio over the sixth generation console releases. The PC version, known as the "Gamer's Edition", (originally only available with select graphics cards and later offered on game download services) also included these improved features.

The "Special Edition" version of the game was available for a limited time. Along with the two standard game discs, included are: A bonus disc, containing concept art and a screensaver; and a making-of disc, containing a featurette with Peter Jackson. There was an error in the printing of the discs and the disc labelled "Making of" was actually the "Bonus" disc and vice-versa. The signature edition also comes with a Topps trading card of King Kong, a code for a downloadable ringtone, and a cover signed by Peter Jackson.

Technical issues[edit]

Symptomatic of early seventh generation console games, the Xbox 360 version was only correctly set up for HDTV, leaving the image on standard-definition TVs very dark and unsatisfactory for gameplay. As a result, Ubisoft recommended fans buy the Xbox version until a fix for the problem was produced.[1] The patch was eventually released. The Xbox version is not backwards compatible with the Xbox 360.

The PC version is also known to utilize the StarForce copy protection system, which may cause unforeseen difficulties for players, especially those using Microsoft Windows 7. No patch has been released by the publisher to remedy this problem. The digitally distributed version is DRM Free[2]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS2) 82%[3]
(Xbox) 81.56%[4]
(GC) 80.63%[5]
(X360) 79.99%[6]
(PC) 78%[7]
(GBA) 61.82%[8]
(PSP) 56.21%[9]
(DS) 25.14%[10]
Metacritic (PS2 & Xbox) 82 out of 100[11][12]
(GC) 81 out of 100[13]
(X360) 80 out of 100[14]
(PC) 77 out of 100[15]
(GBA) 59 out of 100[16]
(PSP) 56 out of 100[17]
(DS) 28 out of 100[18]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8.67 out of 10[19]
Eurogamer (Xbox) 9 out of 10[20]
(X360) 8 out of 10[21]
Game Informer 8.5 out of 10[22]
GamePro 4/5 stars[23]
Game Revolution B[24]
GameSpot 8.2 out of 10[25]
(PC) 8.1 out of 10[26]
(GBA) 6.9 out of 10[27]
(PSP) 6.2 out of 10[28]
(DS) 2.8 out of 10[29]
GameSpy 3.5/5 stars[30]
(GBA & PSP) 2.5/5 stars[31][32]
GameTrailers 8.3 out of 10[33]
GameZone 8.5 out of 10[34][35]
(Xbox) 8.4 out of 10[36]
(PC) 8.1 out of 10[37]
(PS2) 7.9 out of 10[38]
(PSP) 7.5 out of 10[39]
(GBA) 5.7 out of 10[40]
IGN 8 out of 10[41]
(PSP) 6.9 out of 10[42]
(DS) 3 out of 10[43]
Nintendo Power (GC) 9 out of 10[44]
(GBA) 6 out of 10[45]
(DS) 3.5 out of 10[46]
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 4.5/5 stars[47]
Official Xbox Magazine 9 out of 10[48][49]
PC Gamer US 77%[50]

The PC and console versions generally received very positive or average reviews. However, the Nintendo DS version was widely panned by reviewers because of bugs and glitches, poor level design and enemy AI.[10][43] The DS version was listed in the 'Flat-Out Worst Game' list of GameSpot's Best & Worst of 2005.[51] The PSP version received mixed reception, mainly for a shorter length, as well as cut down features from the main console versions.

Non-video game publications gave the game generally positive reviews as well. The New York Times gave it a favorable review and stated, "The sense of immersion is increased by the game's first-person perspective and an absence of on-screen clutter. There is no health gauge blocking your view; if a dinosaur bites you, your vision blurs, indicating that one more bite will kill you."[52] The A.V. Club gave it a B+ and called it "an instant classic."[53] The Sydney Morning Herald gave it three-and-a-half stars out of five and said of the game, "With a rather abrupt final sequence it does seem to rush to its climax, but despite its brevity, this is an unforgettable trip through the realm of Kong."[54] Detroit Free Press gave the Xbox 360 version three stars out of four and called it "A decent effort. And if you're a gamer who likes movies, this one's got all the cinematic feel and production value of a big-budget film."[55] Maxim, however, gave the PSP version a score of four out of ten and stated that "while the PSP version adds a two-player Co-op mode, it also has wonkier controls than its console cousin, which weren't great to begin with."[56]

Awards[edit]

King Kong received Spike TV Awards for Best Action Game,[citation needed] Best Video Game Based on a Movie,[citation needed] and Best Leading Male Performance (Jack Black as Carl Denham).[citation needed] The game was humorously awarded the 'Most Long-Winded Game Title' in the "Dubious Honors" category of GameSpot's 'Best of 2005'.[citation needed] It was included on Game Informer's "Top 50 Games of 2005" list[citation needed] and it was placed #10 on the "Top 10 Heroes of 2005" list.[citation needed]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]