Like the title says, I blatantly ripped this idea off from Mike Bracken, so props to him for coming up with it. Imitation is the sincerest… blah blah, you know how it goes.
Anyway, Aeon Flux.
I like it. Although I'm a very familiar with the series of animated shorts that ran on MTV, I haven't seen the actual film starring Charlize Theron and I was a little hesitant to try another licensed game since we all know how those usually turn out. However, I did see an early build at E3 and it looked like it had enough promise even back then, so to pick up a copy for five dollars wasn't too much of a leap.
True to the original series, the main character is insanely acrobatic and has a pretty healthy selection of jumps and aerial maneuvers at her disposal. From the little bit I've seen so far, these elements are heavily integrated into the level design and it works well. Also true to the original series, the level of mortal danger it seems just as high, and I'm not embarrassed to say that I died several times (okay, maybe more than several) from a combination of missed jumps and enemy attackers.
The developers, Terminal Reality, are some talented people although there are certain "signature" elements to their games that make them look sketchier than they actually are. I actually just played through two of their other notables (BloodRayne 1 & 2) just a few months ago, and there are a lot of similarities between those and Aeon Flux.
I'm not quite sure what it is, but the main characters in both games seem to be too "light" and the way they move through the environments just seems a little bit off. At first glance, it comes off as being really cheap and poor programming, but I'm not convinced that's the case. In fact, once I got past my initial reaction, I found that both BR2 and AF have some really clever and tight design going on, specifically in reference to the way the character interacts with the environments.
Their animation department to use a little work too. Things aren't as fluid and natural-looking as they could be, and I feel that if Terminal could maybe pump a few more dollars into that department or hire a few more people who knew what they were doing that it would add a greater sense of quality to their games, which is rightfully deserved.
I'll have more on this later, but at this point it's looking like Aeon Flux is a pretty good game on its own, let alone being one of the better licensed games to come down the pike.