Who here could honestly say they’ve never heard of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The ‘heroes in a half-shell’ have been a mainstay in pop culture since their inception in the 1980s; spanning comic books, television shows, movies, and especially video games. With PlatinumGames taking the reins for the latest installment, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan, our beloved team of reptiles (that’s right, they aren’t amphibians) return to the fray for yet another beat-em-up on the streets of New York City.
Shredder, Krang and the notorious Foot clan are wreaking havoc in Manhattan, and once again it falls to the Turtles with the help of April O’Neal and Master Splinter to stop their nefarious plans. With every known ally and villain in the fray, can the Turtles prevent Shredder from taking over New York?
The Turtles have evolved a lot over the years, going through various style changes and looks. Mutants in Manhattan adds a cel-shaded look to the 3D modelling of the most recent TV show, giving it a strange blend between comic book aesthetic and three dimensional gameplay. It works in the end, allowing the game to be bright and interesting.
Less can be said about the sound design though – the music is repetitive and grating, and battle sounds become a flurry of slashes and hits when fighting takes place on screen, accompanied by quite jarring camera angles that could have you on the floor in a dizzy spell by the end of a level. Even the menus are droll and uninspiring, with a looped track over and over that by the third time you hear it becomes annoying. And while we’ve grown up and loved the Turtles’ attitudes and humour, everything within this game feels terribly scripted and forced, and almost sounds like they found some unused scripts from the early 1990s to fill in the dialogue.