Skull Island: Rise of Kong – A Mediocre Portrayal of a King
When it comes to King Kong, his defining feature has always been his enormous size. From the 1933 movie that brought him to life to his tragic demise, his larger-than-life stature has captivated audiences. Unfortunately, Skull Island: Rise of Kong fails to capture the essence of this iconic and immense gorilla. Instead, it offers a mundane and lackluster portrayal of the king himself, making the entire game an average and unimpressive experience.
A Bland Gameplay Experience
In Rise of Kong, players get the opportunity to experience the journey of how King Kong became the mighty creature everyone knows. However, this journey is reduced to mindless button mashing and uninspired combat. The game consists of five levels, each as vast as they are uninteresting. There is nothing groundbreaking or innovative here; it’s all been done before in countless other action games.
Kong’s fighting abilities consist of light and heavy attacks, dodge rolls, and blocking. While players can earn special moves as they progress, these moves serve little purpose. The variety of enemy creatures encountered is minimal, with the only differentiation being when to dodge their attacks.
As each level concludes with facing a boss, defeating them unlocks new abilities for Kong. However, these abilities are not particularly engaging or exciting. They provide slight enhancements, like the ability to break rocks or stun enemies. Each new move also comes with a small skill tree, allowing players to choose a set of attributes to power up. While these upgrades offer minimal benefits, they fail to add depth or strategy to the gameplay.
A Repetitive Cycle
Regardless of the upgrades or special moves obtained, every fight in Rise of Kong follows the same monotonous pattern. Players repeatedly tap the light attack button to perform a three-hit combo, occasionally utilizing Kong’s shoulder charge to stun enemies. Once an enemy is weakened, players execute a finishing move to regain lost health. This cycle is mind-numbingly repetitive, offering no sense of challenge or excitement.
An Overabundance of Health
Rise of Kong removes any potential difficulty by generously scattering health-restoring flowers throughout the game. These flowers can be found almost everywhere, including after large-scale fights. This abundance of healing items makes it easy to simply run past most enemies, rendering them a mere time-wasting obstacle. Moreover, the only fights that contribute to Kong’s progression are boss battles and Ascension Events, while the countless other enemies serve no purpose but to fill space.
In addition to combat, Rise of Kong incorporates platforming elements. However, these platforming sections offer nothing more than basic and uninspired jumping and climbing mechanics. Players will encounter simple gaps to jump over and vines to climb, with no surprises or excitement to be found.
Frustrating Level Design
The massive levels in Rise of Kong are convoluted and confusing. Players are tasked with navigating through a maze of winding pathways and branching routes, all while trying to traverse from one side of the biome to the other. The in-game map only adds to the confusion, offering little assistance in finding the right path. The level design fails to provide a sense of exploration or discovery, often leading players in circles and wasting valuable time.
A Forgettable Experience
In the end, Skull Island: Rise of Kong falls short in capturing the essence and excitement of playing as a giant gorilla. The lackluster combat, uninteresting upgrades, repetitive gameplay, and confusing level design make for a forgettable and disappointing gaming experience. Fans of King Kong and action games will find little to enjoy in this mediocre adaptation.