How To Train Your Dragon 2 video game review: a return to the bad old days of awful movie tie-ins

£26.99; LittleOrbit; Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, 3DS

Click to follow
The Independent Tech

Based around the second film incarnation of Cressida Cowell's popular series of children's books, How To Train Your Dragon 2 now takes flight in videogame form, but soon brings players crashing down to earth.

In theory, soaring in the open skies astride a winged creature seems a graceful proposition, but here it quickly becomes a hollow experience, with dragon wings clipping crudely through trees, houses and clifftops. Badly-designed scenery judders beneath you, with a disappointingly drab set of landscapes unfolding through a series of tedious fly-through-the-ring challenges.

dragon1.jpg

As well as stuttering around the aptly named island of Jerk in mid-air, there are several mini-games with a vague Viking theme to compete in, mainly involving flying through more rings or shooting wooden targets. With a limited move set, botched controls and constantly repetitive dialogue, none of the mini-games remotely capture the childlike vim or animated spectacle of the films. It's a shame to see a return to the bad old days of awful movie license tie-ins, a reminder that the developers should not rest on their laurels and rely on the attraction of familiar characters to do the work for them.

Snapshot_20140414_145717_1402905258.jpg

There's little mileage in the 'it's aimed at children' defence either, as the dour colours, humdrum story and lack of real fun prevent it captivating young gamers. A high frustration factor with poor control and camera angles ensures that the game soon loses its novelty value. The game does allow some nice customisation of your avatar dragon, but few will find the patience for the grind necessary to unlock a further range of options.

With precious little to recommend to even ardent fans of the books or films, this game ends up more damp squib than fire-breathing dragon.

Read more: How to Train Your Dragon 2, film review

Comments