Thursday, February 09, 2012

What I'm Playing Now: The Thing (for Playstation 2)

"In the frozen wastelands of Antarctica, a mysterious shape-shifting life form has wiped out an American scientific outpost..."

Okay, so I'm only about ten years behind the curve here...

I remember buying a GameCube back in the day, instead of a Playstation, and then regretting that decision almost instantly when all the cool games came out for GameCube's competitor. 

Still, The Simpsons: Road Rage for GameCube is pretty awesome... 

That's beside the point.  Recently, my parents -- yard sale explorers extraordinaire -- found me a working Playstation 2 for five dollars, and I decided to make up for lost time.

And yes, I realize everyone else has moved on to XBox360 and other more up-to-date platforms.  Anyway, I purchased the Playstation 2 The Thing game (for four dollars...) in honor of my The Thing day on the blog this week, and began playing the game from Black Label/Computer Artwork this morning.

I generally don't have a lot of free time for adult-oriented video games these days, primarily because my game time  is allotted on Angry Birds with Joel, but I stole an hour this morning when he was at pre-school and devoted the time to The Thing. 

It opens with security camera footage and P.O.V. shots of scientists being attacked by the Thing, much as it appeared during the final confronation of the Carpenter 1982 film. The monster kills two men...bloodily...and then we move on.  As the cut-scene ends and we start the game, we are notified that "assimilation is complete," meaning loading has begun.  A little Thing cell absorbs a human cell...

Next, there's a flyby of Outpost 31 by helicopter, and a soldier reports the base "is gone," ravaged by explosives damage.  Then the helicopter lands, and your rescue team heads out into the cold, where it is 40 degrees below freezing...

I haven't gotten very far yet...I'm still figuring out how to drop flares and earn "trust" from my team colleagues, but, for the 2000 - 2005 era, the game seems pretty cool so far.  I hope I have time to get back to it...


  1. I love stuff like this. The problem for me is it can be very distracting and make you very unproductive. : ) Still, fun as hell though.

  2. I have this game for the Xbox and I love it. It definitely maintains the same mood of dread and atmosphere of Carpenter's film and has some genuine spooky moments when the Thing jumps out at your characters suddenly. I also like the idea that you control a group of guys and you have to keep them calm, make sure they trust each other. A nice, novel concept. I've gotten fairly far to the point where all the investigating, finding clues, etc. merges into a shoot 'em up scenario where numerous small incarnations of the Thing are attacking my guys.

    John, have you ever read the comics? Dark Horse did a series (several I think) and I know Carpenter has said that if he ever did a sequel, he'd base it off the first 3-issue mini-series that came out. I thought they were pretty good myself. Even this video game felt like a pretty decent sequel and you can tell whoever made it obviously studied the film extensively.

    THE WARRIORS game is also incredible. You get to play all the Warriors in the film and basically play through the events in the film. Very cool.

  3. I do own The Thing but didn't play it, I found the controls awkward to say the least. I wanted to control and aim like they did in Hitman series, the controller has two sticks to use. I will probably play it at some point.

    I agree, The Warriors is a fantastic game, only marred by the final levels when it plays closely to the film, I loved the history of the gang and seeing other gangs. Also, kick-ass music, Rockstar nailed the look and feel of the film. And I played the game, to some extend, before seeing the film. Recommended, I had a blast playing through this game.

  4. Hello folks!

    SFF: I totally agree with you that video games like The Thing are time-eaters, and productivity eaters. I limited my time to an hour because of this, because I knew I could get sucked into a black hole. The game looks fun, however.

    J.D.: A good review of the game! Excellent! It looks good so far, and the designs of the set and monsters look very good, and very faithful to the Carpenter film.

    I don't know why, but I never read the comics. That's a mistake I should correct, and soon, especially based on your positive criticism.

    I would LOVE to play The Warriors game. Did they make it for Playstation 2?!!!

    Josef: I only played for an hour, but I do think I have a taste of what you're talking about. The controls aren't quite intuitive, and I am still getting used to them.

    Another positive review for The Warriors game. I definitely HAVE to get that (if it is available for Playstation 2).

    Great comments!


  5. Yes, it's available on the Playstation 2. I'm a Sony man when it comes to consoles, don't get the controllers for the other consoles.

    The Warriors is an example you can make a good game out of film licenses. And that rarely happens.

  6. While we're on the topic of games based on films, I also heartily recommend the GHOSTBUSTERS one that came out a little while ago. All these people that are griping about a sequel happening or not happening should just play this game which reunited all of the core cast back (yes, even Bill Murray) to do the voices of their respective characters. Best of all, you get to go on ghostbusting jobs with the guys from the film! How cool is that? Not to mention you get to do battle with many of the characters from the film(s) including Slimer and good ol' Stay Puft. For someone who is a die hard fan of the first film, this game was a lot of fun.

    Also, even though it's not based on a movie per se, L.A. NOIRE feels, looks and sounds like L.A. CONFIDENTIAL: THE VIDEO GAME. The game play is fairly rigid but it is such a great looking game and really feels like you've stepped into a film noir movie.

  7. Hi Josef and J.D.

    Josef: All right then, I'm going to have to purchase The Warriors. Thanks for letting me know the availability.

    and J.D. -- I have only vague recollections of hearing about the Ghostbusters game, but now I'm eager to play it. I wonder if it is a game I could play with Joel, or if it is too scary? I've shown him clips from Ghostbusters but not the whole film. So he knows the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Slimer, but not the scary Zool dog...

    I very much want to buy the Warriors game both you and Josef have been telling me about here...

    Thank you both for helping me get educated on video games!



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