TMNT Hands-On

We come out of our shells to check out a work-in-progress version of Ubisoft Montreal's upcoming movie-inspired action game.

Based on the upcoming animated movie of the same name, TMNT is an action game in which you'll pit the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles against tech-industrialist-gone-bad Max Winters. After being wrongfully fired from his job, Winters has decided to pursue a new career in the world-domination business, and has set about assembling an army of ancient monsters. In the years since their previous adventures Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael have grown apart, but in order to save the world they'll need to work together as a team and put each of their unique skills to good use.

Many of the turtles' acrobatics are reminiscent of those in Prince of Persia games.

Most of the early levels that we've played through thus far have taken the form of flashbacks in which the turtles, along with their sensei, Master Splinter, recall some of their earliest exploits. These levels serve as interactive tutorials, familiarizing you with the controls for the turtles' acrobatic movements, combat, and their unique individual abilities. If you've played any of the recent Prince of Persia offerings, you'll feel right at home with a lot of the turtles' acrobatic skills, which include wall-running, hanging from ledges, swinging on poles, and the like. None of these actions require you to use anything more than the analog stick and the jump button, although a second button is brought into play anytime you need to perform an especially long jump with assistance from one of the other turtles. As you play through the game you'll occasionally find yourself in situations where the turtles' conventional acrobatics just aren't up to the job getting you past certain obstacles. On these occasions you'll invariably need to use one of the turtles' unique skills, such as Michelangelo's ability to hover by using his nunchakus like helicopter blades, or Donatello's being able to pole-vault with his bo staff.

Combat controls are similarly uncomplicated, with two attack buttons, a jump button, and a block button affording you easy access to a number of powerful combo attacks and the like. Later in the game, when you're able to switch between turtles on the fly, you'll learn to perform "team moves" that briefly let two turtles team up to perform a particularly powerful attack, but even these are activated using only a single button. With the exception of boss battles, every fight that we've had in TMNT to date has pitted our currently selected turtle against anywhere between 5 and 20 enemies simultaneously. These enemies aren't particularly challenging or even aggressive at times, but the fact that they invariably outnumber you means you can rarely get away with simply mashing an attack button and hoping for the best.

While the controls for each of the four turtles are mostly identical, their different weapons and combos occasionally mean that your choosing which one to play as can make certain combat situations easier or more challenging. Donatello's bo staff is a great choice when fighting against foot soldiers armed with polearms, for example, while the lengthy backspin that Michelangelo performs at the end of a combo is great for hitting a lot of opponents in a short space of time without getting hit yourself. If you don't like to get hit because you're looking to achieve the best rank of "ninja" for the battle that you're involved in, you'll be happy to know that all of the turtles are able to perform an evade move of sorts that automatically sidesteps incoming attacks, so you can catch enemies on the counter. It's easy and quite satisfying to do, but using it often means standing still and waiting for the enemies to come at you; so it doesn't really pay off at the end of the level, when speed is one of the criteria that your grade is based on.

Each turtle has his own combo attacks and special moves.

After beating any level in the game you'll be able to play through it again at any time if you want to try to improve on your previous score and unlock that level's corresponding "challenge map"--a small training-style level designed to further test your skills. Adding replay value to every level are collectible coins that, can only be picked up after you've already beaten a level--though you can see transparent versions of them on your first play-through. There are five of these coins to find on each level, and they can be spent on unlocking concept art, movies, and humorous game modifiers such as large character heads, cooking-utensil weapons, and Halloween-themed enemies.

TMNT is currently scheduled for release toward the end of March, shortly before the movie. We'll bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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212 comments
dopeghost
dopeghost

it looks alright, i hope it's fun. i want a demo on xbox live but sadly no. i bought crackdown purely based on the demo, and have not bought a few games due to demos, i wish they would release one. guess i'll have to rent it to see perhaps.

willauqs
willauqs

1. I know not to totally base the look of a game on the online screen shots, but they look like early ps2 2. name one quality game that's on 8 systems. I'm not here simply to bash, i just don't see why i would play the turtles on anything besides my genesis

BOSSMAN_2004
BOSSMAN_2004

If anyone has not downloaded the TMNT arcade game on xbox live yet DO IT NOW!!! its soooo much fun!

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

I grew up on TMNT, and I have tried this game's demo on the PC. I enjoyed it, but not 100% sure on a purchase. It was fun. but I gotta see how the game on a whole is. Your only able to play about 10 mins on the demo, not enough for me to get a good gist of the game. But, we'll see. Most likely a rent for me.

Nicksta101
Nicksta101

I love the show, the first game was quite good, this one...not so sure. We shall see.

1c8d2
1c8d2

i think the whole game look terrible for gameplay and graphics.

GonLee30
GonLee30

I don`t know about you guys but this game looks like and XBox one game.

NND1
NND1

After seeing the video the game doesnt look that bad. Kind of Cool / One player sucks though...

gameslayer420
gameslayer420

How can you make TMNT a one player game? TMNT games were great because of multiplayer. Well back on NES and then SNES anyway. Oh you can't forget the Genesis game either

beckoflight
beckoflight

If you all haven't notices TMNT uses the PoP engine with few improvments .... still i don;t know why you all pay so much attention to graphics ... the game is just ok & the gameplay is fun ... you will not only jump in fight like in PoP but olso use groupe atacks & group jumps & swings .... i know all of this because i'v played the demo for PC ! :P & i will lsure enjoy the game for its fun !!!

GoltanaZerg
GoltanaZerg

Overall I'm looking forward to the game. I don't have a problem with the graphics, and the game play seems enjoyable, if repetitive. When Gamespot reviews the game it'll probably be make or break for me, if it turns out to be really horrible I won't bother.. but from what I've seen it will entertain me. I do have a nostalgic bias to me, but that's what franchises build upon and are all about.

bullhed
bullhed

I have mixed feelings about this game. It is TMNT, and it'll forever have a place in my heart. Although the game doesn't look like crap, as a bunch of people said, I don't know if I'll pay $60 for it. The gameplay doesn't look horrible but more like mediocre. Things we've all seen done before and much better. Repetitive would also be a good word. I dunno. We'll see I guess.

g1vemtheboot
g1vemtheboot

seems like one of those games that has 5 action packed lines from each chracter! "hayah!" "take that!" "ill get you!" "yikes!" "i showed him!" graphics are not up to par, and the game doesnt look fun! looks like a tmnt version of 99 nights (which wasnt fun either!) i hope people dont waste 60 bucks on that, can it come out as a classic hits or something for those unfortunate should who will buy it no matter what because they cant let go of their childhood?

jensen1027
jensen1027

I wish people would be a bit more intelligent about their opinions instead of just saying "It sucks", or "It looks like crap". But I guess that is too much to hope for.

imyourdaddy
imyourdaddy

Wow... it would be nice to have enemies that fight back... I'm basing my comments on the preview and videos. Look like they just stand there... Those are bad videos to advertise TMNT... Graphics look alright but the gaming looks like garbage based on the videos and previews. They should either send better videos to advertise TMNT or fix the gameplay because it looks like a boring game.

omegabyte
omegabyte

I think a lot of people posting here must be blind... mid-90's graphics? Are you ****ing insane? At the very worst these are end-generation XBox quality graphics. My guess is all you people took a look at the first unfortunate screenshot which has some bad textures and decided the whole game looks like crap. Look at the motion blur in the second screenshot, or even watch the damn gameplay videos before passing judgment. This game looks really good - maybe not Gears of War or Oblivion good, but it's certainly better than any PS2 or GC game... And to the idiot who compared it to an N64 game, maybe you should dust off your N64 and actually PLAY one of those games again, because I think your memory is about ten years ahead of itself.

zappa02
zappa02

WTF is this, this game lookes like crap!!!! This looks like it could work on the PS2 that how bad it looks... They need to stop make this TMNT games, it just a crap of a game now..... DO NOT BUY THIS ITS NOT WORTH IT!

buffdaddy500
buffdaddy500

i really look forward to playing this game. i love the direction Ubisoft has gone with the game and am glad to have a great TMNT game to play after the recent crap konami has thrown out.

AliasUK
AliasUK

Graphics look crap. Bring back TMHT on the Mega Drive! [Genesis]

Dav_id83
Dav_id83

Awwwww please that game looks rubbish XBLA it should be on like previous reviewers have said the graphics are really bad even for 360. KInda looks like PS2 but converted with no attempt to get it up there into the 360 zone don't ya just hate when they do that.

mcgauze
mcgauze

Im looking forward to it. I remember when i got my TMHT for the NES. One of the best christmases ever! Nothing beats a trip down memory lane.

StumpyTrash
StumpyTrash

anabiosis is it just me, or this game really looks like something from the late 90-s?.. -------- That's too funny! I thought the same thing when I saw the top picture on the page- it looked like a screenshot from Duke Nukem 3D! lol

DominusSabathan
DominusSabathan

graphics = garbage , they should take this game to the xbox live arcade paying 59.99 or 49.99 will be a crime

andresruiz91
andresruiz91

anyone who had the chance to watch those four awsome turtles during their childhood is very lucky. i remember the arcade version of the ninja turtles. it would entertain me for hours. hopefully, it will be just as fun as the arcade version.

captainwonton
captainwonton

surely very different from the last konami entries, but will it achieve the great multiplayer game the originals were, besides new gameplay? we'll have to wait and see

xinmotion
xinmotion

Okay, you guys need to calm yourself down. The game is not even out and you are ripping on it. Personally the game looks really good from the pictures. So, as long as the game play is good then what the heck try it out. The 90's version was excellent, so all of you can kiss my a--.

NND1
NND1

TotallyRediculousAndSuckingHorribly -T.R.A.S.H.

NND1
NND1

I am going to stick to the MAME TMNT. This looks like HELL

itisa87
itisa87

this TMNT get so much attention because it was place only under xbox360 in the today's first fanboysm shroud everything..from the bad quality of a game this this TMNT ..seriously,why the hell this game would be the today's first game?

twistedfusion
twistedfusion

To all those who said graphics arent everything, wait until you try to find a wife...remember looks aren't everything ;)

Ibitmyeyeoff
Ibitmyeyeoff

This seems like it's gunna be a bust when it comes out. They can't establish a name for games if the earlier 200 sucked and it's based on a tv show...It just doesn't work for gamers who aren't retarded. If it doesn't end up as a bust, I'll love to see it in the end. I'd also like to know the ages of people buying these things and how many +20 are buying it for their kids.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

The arcade version in the 90's was the best eva.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

It's obviously not finished, and they can always add bells and whistles later on, but as long as the gameplay is fun, and not ultra boring like the last few turtle games, then mabye it iwll be ok.

reckeweg
reckeweg

Sweet, looks kinda fun. I'll wait to see what kind of reviews it gets first. Maybe it'll be better than everyone is expecting.

SevenSorrows
SevenSorrows

Ubisoft Montreal has made some great games for the 360, I have faith that they'll actually make a good TMNT game.

anabiosis
anabiosis

is it just me, or this game really looks like something from the late 90-s?..

elmontzillest
elmontzillest

It just looks like more garbage.. The developers are trying so hard to squeeze the life out of the tmnt license, but they just about fail in every way. And raziellch, dude, graphics on a game can mean a game can sell like hotcakes around the world, or customers not even passing it with a glance as they shop. Look at civilization 4, jampacked gameplay design, but it only managed to sell a million, after 2 years.

thestrateger
thestrateger

it has a super cool high graphic, and i love this game :P

diablo1000000
diablo1000000

Sure, graphics aren't everything... but these are particularly ugly!

raziellich
raziellich

Blah blah blah. Graphics are the least important thing to look for in a game. this appears to be the first turtles game in a long time to be worth playing.

007ybse04
007ybse04

They are working hard to make the graphics uglier than ever. Prince of persia SOT looks 100000x better than these shots.

Crunchy12489
Crunchy12489

man they better do something with the graphics cuz it looks like a n64 game... and if its N64 im gettin, its N64 im paying, which would be like 10 dollars for the game... The game looks fun, but it looks like SH!T on 360...

DominusSabathan
DominusSabathan

hey im not paying more than 29.99 the graphics sucks

Zonelezz
Zonelezz

im giving faith that ubisoft will do a good job on this game.. jsut a matter of ime before it comes out..

dafeldman
dafeldman

CGI sucks giant mutated reptile balls. The cartoon was a classic, and the original movies kicked ass. That being said, if the game is good, I can't wait to feel six again. Of course, it could never be as good as the 2D arcade game. I'd sell a kidney to get that thing in my dorm.