Shorty after his spy Uncle is killed in action, 14 year old Alex Rider is recruited by the MI6 intelligence agency to gather information on a computer system named Stormbreaker that will be placed in school across the U.K.. Alex is sent as an undercover competition winner to investigate billionaire Darrius Sayle, the man behind the Stormbreaker computer system. While at the Stormbreaker facility, Alex also hopes to uncover the mystery behind his Uncles murder.
(Not from the game manual)
--From the GBA Alex Rider: Stormbreaker instruction manual.
"Alex Rider: Stormbreaker" is an overhead stealth game based on the movie of the same name, which was adapted from a novel. There is a well known curse in the entertainment industry that states: great movies make terrible games, and great games make terrible movies (Warcraft might be the exception?), but what about a game based off of a terrible movie that was based off of an OK book, what kind of game would that result in? That is a question that "Alex Rider: Stombreaker" seeks to answer, and answer in definitive fashion, which it succeeds in.
The first thing I noticed about "Alex Rider: Stormbreaker" was that it is unintentionally hilarious, like a low budget B horror movie, regardless of intention, the game's intro had me laughing so hard I was tearing up. The scene where an MI6 agent confronts 14 year old Alex, immediately after Alex's murdered Uncle's funeral was nothing short of pure comedy gold. Alex resists the agents attempts to recruit him, compelling the agent to pressure Alex into joining the MI6 agency. The conversation is taking place as a graveyard is displayed in the background, increasing the awkwardness of the conversation, and the shock at the pressure being applied to young Alex. Hilarious.
"Alex Rider: Stormbreaker" moves quite slowly, and I'm not referring to the plot. The game's characters move as if they are wearing shoes made of wet cement, which doesn't necessarily ruin the game because it's a stealth game anyway, but there is quite a bit of fighting, making the movement speed frustrating. The hand-to-hand combat is also very awkward and imprecise, and I had a great deal of trouble hitting opponents. The graphics are rather drab and clunky, and the security guard enemies all look the exact same, which makes the enemies rather monotonous.
The redeeming qualities of this game actually has nothing to do with Alex Rider at all (surprise, surprise), but comes in the form of mini-games that appear throughout the game. Of particular note is Snooker, a pool like game that I thought was a lot of fun to play against the computer. If you're a fan of the book series, this game stays true enough to the original plot that it might keep you interested, or if you're looking for a good game of Snooker, go to Console Classix and give this game a shot.
Alex must utilize his fighting skill and gadgets to progress through levels. More often than not, the player will find themselves searching for a colored key card to progress the game. Along the way Alex disables security guards with punches, kicks, and throws.
Alex also needs to sneak at times, which is made incredibly easy because of how slow everything moves. There are med-kits all over the place that Alex can use to heal himself when damaged. At times, Alex must utilize vehicles such as his quad bike, and a horse, one of the highlights of the actual game play.
Some of Alex's gadgets are pretty cool, they include a yo-yo (to traverse gaps), metal eating cream (for breaking through doors), and a detection device (that lets you look ahead).
|A Button||Punch / Accelerate on vehicle|
|R Button||Use item|
|L Button||Toggle items|