When it comes to licensed games from popular film or other medium, you can consider most of us gamer types to be a bit skeptical. Most titles can really go either way, giving us everything from gems of the modern gaming world to Watchmen: The End Is Nigh without any prior indication. We recently took a look at the PSN co-op title Kick-Ass (of movie and comic book fame) to decide for ourselves which category this beat 'em up brawler fits in.
As a brawler, the Kick-Ass gameplay is fairly simple. Punch with Square, power attack with Triangle, and specials available when you hold the right trigger and select a type of special. Punching, kicking, shooting, and bludgeoning works well with this game, loading the shared screen with all kinds of sweet gore. The difficulty is surprisingly challenging, on the verge of just being plain brutal in single player. Fortunately I played this one with a co-op buddy, and we rocked the high difficulty with some quality co-op strategy.
If you get a little too close for comfort, your character (Big Daddy, Kick-Ass, or Hit Girl) will very quickly lose health, so it's essential to balance striking distance with speed to get away for close-up power attacks. Our team, Hit Girl and Kick-Ass worked really well together. Hit Girl is a beast with her guns, so she can stay back and take down enemy health, while Kick-Ass moved in close to get a bunch of power-hits and knockdowns to finish the job. (I played as Kick-Ass, by the way).
Oh yea, and there are some finishing moves for bosses that go a little like this.
While your attacks are essential to the gameplay, they're not the only way to defeat the losers of the criminal underworld. Environmental attacks were not only extremely helpful, they were deliciously harsh to execute. For instance, if you see a barrel that looks somewhat flammable, hit it and run away (you're Kick-Ass, not invincible) - the enemies will take quite a hit from the explosion that follows. There are also a lot of sharp edges for impaling your foes, like forklifts and modern art, simply by pushing them backward. Every hit you deal will push most enemies backward, so just keep at it and someone will get impaled. Beware of fires, and electrical boxes though, as they damage both you and the enemies around you.