Thor: God of Thunder, the new action game from Liquid Entertainment (the same studio that brought you Desperate Housewives: The Game) puts you in control of a computer-generated facsimile of Chris Hemsworth. Wielding the mighty, unpronounceable hammer of Mjölnir, it is your mission to fight off wave after wave of mythological monsters with a modest assortment of interchangeable combo and magic attacks.
Your limited supply of Odinforce™ prevents you from endlessly spamming thunder, lightning, and wind attacks, obliging you to weave through swarms of mindless aggressors, pummeling the larger ones until a tell-tale yellow glow on their chests signals they're weak enough for you close in, grapple them, and execute a brutal finishing move.
The game lets you know that you've dispatched the final minion in a particular fight scene by marking his death with some overblown bullet-time camera-panning. This usually proves to be a massive anti-climax, as in the race to rub out the larger, armoured enemies, it's easy to ignore the snivelling little mini-minions.
Progress from one flat featureless micro-arena to the next is occasionally punctuated by instances where you must hurl your hammer at distant, auto-targeted foes; these miniature shooting gallery sequences and other narrative tricks from Loki's Casket of Eternally Stale Middleware Hackery are peppered throughout. A simple upgrade tree adds to the illusion that you are somehow making progress. For instance, if you scoop up enough generic glowing collectibles, you can change the colour of Thor's lightning attacks. Fabulous!
As is the custom with rush-job adaptations, the loading screens are marked by flashes of text; some factoids remind you of combos and tactics, others regurgitate random scraps of trivia from Thor's rich history in the pages of Marvel comics. Naturally, you're seldom given time to read them properly; the last one in the slide show will display for an eighth of a second before you're thrust into the next cut-scene where dead-eyed homunculi voiced by Hollywood's finest explain why you're about to tear through another long goblin-packed corridor.
A game of repetitive, muddled combat in dark and sparse environments, Thor: God of Thunder is oddly reminiscent of its SEGA stable-mate Golden Axe: Beast Rider, though thanks to the compulsory HDD install it manages to escape that pointless remakes persistent audio skipping problem.
Disjointed, numbing, vexing, joyless, and dull, Thor: God of Thunder is the quintessential action movie video game adaptation. If you were expecting something along the lines of God of War 4, you will be sorely disappointed. If you were expecting a passable but utterly, utterly forgettable brawler suitable only for grinding through for the Trophies and/or Gamerscore points, then you'll get exactly what you were looking for.