What It Is
Brave: The Video Game is based on the Disney/Pixar movie Brave. The game expands the story of the movie and takes us to the rugged and mythical Scottish setting of the movie. The main playable character is Merida, the movie’s heroine, who is voiced by the same actress (Kelly Macdonald) as in the movie.
Why It’s Fun
Playing as Merida, we get to explore a beautiful and unique environment as we run, jump and battle an onslaught of other-worldly creatures. Merida is armed with a sword and bow, and the game features an intuitive control system that allows players to control Merida’s movements and the bow’s aim separately. In other words, you can run forward while firing backwards.
The console editions of the game feature a great two-player, co-op mode that allows two people to play together on one screen (not a split screen). Player two’s character is a Will O’ the Wisp and also has a melee and a projectile weapon. Both players work together to battle through the enemies.
While the game may primarily appeal to girls who are fans of Merida, boys have said that they like the game as well, and while they may not select it as a first choice game for them, if it’s in the house, they may get immersed in the story, adventure and battles.
Who It’s For
As with most movie-based games, this is going to appeal mainly to fans of the movie. However, I haven’t seen the movie but still enjoyed playing the game because it’s a good adventure game with an interesting story and cool battles.
I was surprised at how difficult and slightly advanced the game is to play. There are four difficulty settings: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Brave (“Are you brave enough?”). Even the medium setting was challenging, and some of the movie’s youngest fans might find this game too difficult to enjoy.
What To Be Aware Of
The Xbox and PlayStation versions of Brave include a separate archery game that uses the Kinect (for Xbox) and PlayStation Move (for PS3) for motion-activated mini-games. You need Kinect or Move to play the archery game, however, you do not need Kinect or Move to play the main game.
Brave: The Video Game does not allow the player to control the camera, which remains at a far, overhead distance from the character. This leads to a slightly disconnected feeling to the character and also makes some of the gameplay more difficult than it has to be. For example, when jumping from one platform to the next, the camera distance makes it difficult to accurately judge the depth and distance between the platforms.
There are eight unique and distinct levels with coins, items and weapons hidden throughout. Each level will take the average young gamer a while to play through and they can then return to find any hidden items that may have been missed the first time around. Merida’s weapons can be upgraded by spending the coins found in each level, which adds another reason to play through the level a second time.