What an absolute nightmare. I should have listened to the warning signs, like how this game was published by the now-defunct THQ: a company that cheaply based many of their lazy games off of popular kids’ movies and television shows. Thankfully, they deservedly went bankrupt in 2013 and The Incredibles is unsurprisingly no different than their other works. They couldn’t even bother titling it The Incredibles: The Video Game to avoid confusion. So yes, this is a review of the 2004 video game for the GameCube and not the actually great, 2004 Pixar film (I solely review video games on this site anyway).
First off, let me declare that I have no earthly clue how this game ended up in my library. I usually remember when I had wanted certain games as a young child but I seriously have no recollection of why or how The Incredibles found its way onto my shelf. Also, don’t ask me what compelled me to play this; I don’t regret it but I also didn’t remotely enjoy it.
The Incredibles has some solid controls and a decent camera, but these aspects unfortunately cannot compensate for an entire game when its gameplay is exceptionally dry and linear. This game is nothing more than a glorified point-and-click adventure with a horde of unthreatening enemies thrown in between. The most fun I legitimately had with this game was when I actually departed from the obvious, intended pathway.
So why exactly is this game lousy? There’s too many reasons to name. The combat is sloppy and can be button-mashed through, plenty of the obstacles are poorly designed and presented, and most of all, the linearity of the missions is virtually unbearable.
That final point is the greatest problem with The Incredibles: linearity kills. There’s no sense of wonder offered to the player in the slightest. The game is merely an empty tunnel with occasional, paper-thin roadblocks. The player is demanded nothing more than to do what they’re supposed to. It lacks genuine care and creativity, and should be ashamed of having a familiar face as its main selling point. Any movie or television show could have been plastered over this cynical pile of crap and it would still be the same pathetic excuse for the game that it is.
The four boss battles are terribly repetitive and tedious. You are prompted to fight the giant robot from the movie thrice, the third time finally mixing something up. To conquer any of the bosses, simply perform the same action again and again until their health is exhausted. Stakes are rarely raised and the animations are often more dangerous than the enemies themselves, which is especially laughable. The worst aspect of the two middle boss battles specifically is failing: you must restart the entire battle. As for the final boss, I verbatim spoke to myself out loud, “That’s it?!” because it only took me ten minutes to beat, which was nothing compared to the previous, overlong 45-minute mission. Speaking of the final few missions, instructions would still insultingly appear on screen as if you had never played before.
Fortunately, there was only one mission starring Violet — the daughter of the family who can turn invisible. Violet is apparently too fragile to attack foes, so in her mission, the player is asked to sneak past the guards. The “stealth” aspect isn’t stealth at all. It is a race to reach a safe point before the invisibility meter runs out. Her singular mission was designed so horridly, I could have mangled my controller into pieces. Researchers should consider using it in studies to test sanity.
There are also a few comical notes to mention. This game’s “cutscenes” are clips taken right out of the film, the game crashed for one mission and forced me to replay it which did not help, and worst of all: you don’t even get to play as Frozone. I don’t know what I expected from a game that ripped a couple of its sound effects straight from Star Wars. There are plenty of topics I could still touch up on but I’ll abstain.
Edit: I have decided to change the score from a 1/10 to a 2/10 because there were admittedly a few decent design aspects (specifically the first Dash level). A 2/10 is still an awful score but it is no 1/10 (the lowest score I’ll give).