November 10, 2008

Disney's Bolt Preview

Early October, I had the opportunity to get a hands-on play through of an early version of Disney’s Bolt. Bolt is a tie-in video game for the movie of the same name coming out on November 21st, 2008. The movie is an animated feature about a regular dog named Bolt who stars as a television super-hero and believes he possesses all the powers that Hollywood magic grants him.

In the past, many video game tie-ins have been near carbon copies of the movie’s storyline. However, the trend now is to build on the story and expand it even further. This is the direction the game has taken, with the players working their way through TV episodes as Penny (Bolt’s TV Owner) and Bolt. The developers at Avalanche Software have plenty of experience with Disney games with releases of Chicken Little, Chicken Little 2 and Meet the Robinsons. They take this experience to create a beautifully done game that children and adults can enjoy.

The basic gameplay is quick and easy to learn, but as you progress through the game the gameplay does becomes a bit more complex through the puzzles that you are required to solve.

Each character comes equipped with some pretty cool special skills. Penny is a technological whiz and has a Wheel-Bar which allows her to slide along ledges, along pipes, ceilings and cables. The Wheel-Bar can also duo as a weapon which Penny can use to perform sneak attacks to knock guards unconscious, or to quickly attack an alert soldier. A few other gadgets at Penny’s disposal are techno-camo allowing her to become invisible for a short time to avoid detection and sleeping gas to put pesky guards to sleep. Penny is quite the computer hacker and she uses this skill to open doors. This action is accomplished by successfully completing a shooter mini-game where you shoot down pods, and eventually open up access points to crack the code.

Bolt on the other hand is one ferocious canine using his super-dog powers adeptly to take down his enemies with a variety of offensive manoeuvres. Bolt at a basic level pounces from enemy to enemy linking his attacks into combos, or he uses his powerful jaws to grab onto an enemy and perform one of his grab moves. His other super-dog powers are Ground Pound, Sonic Bark and Laser Vision. These super powers can also be super charged as Bolt builds up his energy. The super charge comes in handy in defeating some enemies and solving puzzles.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first look at Bolt and look forward to playing the full version when it is released November 18th. This will definitely be a fun game to play with my little one watching on as he really loves dogs and cartoon animations. It will also be a fun way for us to prepare for when the movie comes to theatre November 21st.

-Screenshots and Box Art provided by Disney Interactive Studios

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