Are You G.I. Joe or Cobra, on Facebook?

So are you Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow? Scarlett or The Baroness? It was a red letter day when they first announced the new movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (which came out in theaters during early August) and fans of the original show found themselves either drooling of the premise or fearing its release. Of course, with most big-name movies these days, many big developers (such as Electronic Arts), build games to springboard off the buzz generated by the film. From time to time, movie-driven games appear with the DVD release as well.

A new Facebook title called G.I. Joe Faceoff Game looks to be using this concept in reverse. The app is extremely simple, so the game is intended to promote the release of the DVD next month rather than stand alone.

Players begin the game by creating a customizable version of characters Duke, Snake Eyes, or Scarlett on the G.I. Joe side or Storm Shadow, The Baroness, or Neo-Viper on the Cobra Side. Of course, while each character is customizable, the range of aesthetic variation is rather limited. Players can change their top, weapon, pants, and boots with roughly five different choices amongst each of them. However, many of the outfits begin as locked and require the player to level up before using them.

Once you have customized your character to your liking, you can then begin fighting other players in an automated battle and earn points, if you win, for the purchase of more and greater upgrades. These upgrades consist of the weapons, items, direct stat enhancement, and vehicles (oddly enough, a helicopter costs less than a sword…). Each purchase further improves select character statistics such as endurance, strength, agility and combat training. Obviously, this equates to more wins, which means more points available for upgrades, which leads to more fighting, which… etc. As you can see, the game quickly becomes a near endless cycle of fight, upgrade, fight and quite frankly, it gets old very quickly. Nonetheless, the term “near” is the key word here as there are only four ranks to level through, and with a limited number of purchases to be made, the longevity of this game is extraodinarily short.

At the very least, the artwork is nice to look at, but that doesn’t exactly compensate for the dull game play. Frankly, the only thing that felt like a significant reward was the unlocking of two behind the scenes clips from the movie. However, they are clips from the DVD’s bonus features, so with a little patience (the DVD releases on November, 3), the videos would be available to anyone purchasing the movie.

G.I. Joe Faceoff feels intended to be a promotional tool – a catalyst for the video release, if you will – rather than a stand-alone title. Considering the overbearing popularity of the Facebook social network, this is hardly a bad move. It helps get the word out for a relatively low cost, makes use of the social graph, and well likely help, at least to some degree, improve the sales the DVD and Blu-Ray release.

Publish date: October 21, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT