As is often the case with movie tie-ins, Green Lantern Rise of the Manhunters is a third person action game. Hal and his "partner" Sinestro spend most of the time walking or hovering through Oa, Zamaron, and the Manhunter Homeworld. A few flight-themed levels are thrown in here and there, but for the most part, the Green Lanterns are grounded and progression is quite linear. The environments are a bit bland as a whole, though the well-rendered space levels and the surface Oa itself stand out from the rest. It's standard action game fare, really, with a few light puzzles and cool boss fights to mix things up a bit.
Adding to the overall sense of blandness is the lack of variety in enemies. In the first level, you are introduced to the Manhunter robots. Some of them have little flying sleds, but most are grounded shock troops that come in large numbers. Periodically, larger robots, or those with energy shields, show up, but they don't really pose a significant challenge. If you like fighting Manhunters, you'll be very pleased, since they are your primary enemies for the earliest and latest levels, taking up well over half the game. The levels based on the Star Sapphires' homeworld, Zamaron, are in the middle, a welcome change of pace.
Despite the repetition of enemies, the game never really feels like it has been stretched out artificially. Each level feels just about right in length, but the total time for a playthrough is fairly short, in the range of six to eight hours, tops. It seems short for a full priced game, especially one without vs. multiplayer or a survival mode to add replayability. Even achievement or trophy hunting won't take you long; all but a handful of these will likely be earned in your first playthrough. Also of note for cheevie lovers is the unfortunate fact that only Player 1, controlling Hal, earns achievements at all.
Three levels of difficulty can be selected when a new campaign begins. But even on the toughest "Emerald Knight" level the game isn't very challenging. When Hal or Sinestro do manage to fall in battle (which is pretty hard to let happen, honestly), they respawn a few seconds later, as long as the other Green Lantern stays alive. Anyone with much video game experience at all will find little challenge in Rise of the Manhunters. Given the target audience, this is probably a good thing.
Thus far, this review has been pretty bleak. The nuts and bolts of the game are fairly vanilla. But there's one area in which Rise of the Manhunters shines, and that is the sheer joy of combat. Green Lanterns can create constructs from their rings for a huge variety of attacks. As the game progresses, experience is earned, which can be spent on new moves. There are no less than twelve special attacks available, which, when used, drain your ring's power (similar to a mana bar in an RPG). Additionally, standard fast and strong attacks, which also use the constructs, can be upgraded. The ring can also be used to grab enemies to throw them off ledges or pound them into the ground.