|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
|Release date||May 24, 2016|
|Input method(s)||Control Pad|
Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is a video game developed by PlatinumGames and released by Activision on May 24, 2016 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs. It was written by Tom Waltz, co-writer of the IDW comics, which the game's world and art style are heavily influenced by.
Mutants in Manhattan is less combo based than many of Platinum's previous titles, including simple quick or heavy attacks that can be used in any order. The focus is more on using each individual Turtle's ability in combination with each other to devastate hordes of enemies and rack up a combo counter. Each Turtle can be equipped with four customizable "Ninjutsu" special attacks, including a combo and co-op move unique to them; for example, a Turtle attacking a horde of enemies on their own can simply thrash them with a rapid series of blows from their weapons, but if another Turtle is near by the two can team up to perform a more powerful attack together. Leo spins in place to slash surrounding enemies, Raph slams shells together to create a shockwave that pushes them back, Don leads a super speed blitz that strikes all enemies in different directions and Mikey leads the other Turtle in a disco dance which catches enemies in spotlights that mesmerizes them into dancing and freezes them in place, leaving them vulnerable to attack while they strike a pose.
Each of these special moves requires a cool down period before they can be used again, though a 'Cheerleader' special move or charm effects can speed up or reduce cool down time. Shared abilities among the Turtles include the standard light and heavy attacks, jumping and climbing to navigate levels, gliding from taller vantage points by holding down the jump button, pressing the attack button in the middle of a jump to crash down for an aerial attack, and either throwing shuriken and objects while running or entering an over the shoulder first person style perspective for better accuracy. A lock on feature is also available for better use of this and attacks, particularly recommended during boss battles to ensure most hits reach their mark.
In place of a Batman: Arkham Asylum style counter system such as Out of the Shadows attempted, the Turtles can use a "dodge/guard" technique to avoid damage from enemy attacks, spinning rapidly in place so an attack glances off their shell or used in tandem with the left stick to move them quickly out of harm's way. To discourage spamming this ability a small bar will indicate the Turtle's balance while using it, and if it should enter the red the Turtle will become dizzy (complete with cartoon stars around their head), leaving them vulnerable for a few vital seconds. This means the ability must be used strategically to be useful. If the player should manage a well timed "Perfect guard" however the Turtle will dodge behind the attacking enemy, allowing the player to react to a button prompt (if they're fast enough) that will allow the Turtle to leap onto the enemy's shoulders and attack their head for a brief window before being forced to jump off. Though there's no emphasis on stealth, it is possible to attack an enemy from behind resulting in an instant "Take down" that kills them in a single blow. (Mikey's combo attack is very useful for setting these up). There is only a short window to try these however, as an unsuspecting enemy will feature a question mark above their head while vulnerable, which changes to an exclamation mark should they turn around and see the player.
Items can also be shared across each Turtle, from health restoring pizzas to temporary stats boosting energy drinks to missile launchers and mountable laser turrets, and many other bizarre weapons in the Platinum tradition. These items can only be used once and only by whichever Turtle the player has selected at the time, but replacements can be purchased from Master Splinter's store by entering glowing manholes placed throughout each level. Defeated enemies will also drop random items, which can be stored for later potential use, and Battle Points, the game's currency, which can be used to upgrade Ninjitsu attacks, buy items or stats improving charms. Battle points are also awarded for completing objectives or fulfilling specific roles during a boss battle.
Levels, with the exception of the final one, allow the Turtles to roam around completing missions that are usually randomized. Completing the various objectives available in the level will gather intel on a boss, filling a bar overhead. The closer the bar is to the boss icon, the closer the player is to that boss battle. Once filled, they must reach a specific location to initiate it. Boss fights feature a member of the TMNT's rouges gallery with seven bars of life the Turtles must chip away at until the boss is defeated. On higher difficult settings the boss will become enraged once down to their second health bar, glowing red and becoming faster. Higher difficulty also increases the chances of a Surprise Boss, where the level boss will be joined by one from another level, though thankfully with only two bars of health.
Though the game features online multiplayer, the story mode is single player with no additional player support. The player can switch between each of the four Turtles, even using the switch as an attack if an enemy is close enough while switching, and use a Communications feature to order the A.I Turtles to either "Go All Out","Wait", "Follow Me" or "Protect Me".
The game features several collectables: Kevin Eastman's variant covers for the IDW series which can be viewed together in a gallery, found in randomized locations throughout all levels (you could honestly collect all 50 by playing a single level over and over again), or scrolls that can be combined to update Charms, items that can be assigned to a slot for each Turtle, allowing players to either increase health or item drops, etc.
At night atop the TCRI building Krang and Shredder meet on the skyscraper's helipad to confirm that everything is in place for their alliance towards an unspecified goal. At a gesture from Shredder, hundreds of Foot Clan soldiers descend upon the city, starting a titanic crime wave that throws the city into chaos. In their Lair deep beneath the streets, the Turtles discuss the crime wave with Splinter and April O'Neil, concluding that they are honor bound to protect the city and head out to do just that though Michelangelo is still in the middle of some pizza he feels similarly 'honor bound' to finish off.
While patrolling the rooftops, the Turtles notice Foot Soldiers sneaking around the Purple Dragons' territory and head to the streets to investigate the anomaly and clear out the rival ninjas. By preventing the Foot's crimes around the area, they gather enough intel for April to deduce Bebop is robbing the local bank and confront the mutant in the vault with devastating ninja moves and even worse piggy bank puns. Defeated, Bebop smashes a hole in the wall and escapes leaving behind his duffel bag full of stolen cash. Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello wonder why Bebop would go to the trouble of robbing the place only to leave his loot behind. Mikey meanwhile is busy trying to take advantage of a stack of bills he sneaked, phoning for an order of a couple of thousand pizzas and bread sticks....an order he has to cancel because the other Turtles are clearly not amused.
Investigating disrupted subway activity the Turtles discover that a ton of damage has been done to the systems switch-boxes, shutting down entire lines and risking future collisions. The amount of rubble indicates possibly mutant based strength instead of simple ninja weapons. They discover a near by station already shut down and infested with not just Foot ninjas but also Rock Soldiers from Dimension X. After completing enough objectives they gain the intel needed to shut down a laser grid and advance into an active line, where they must contend with waves of Mousers as well as larger Rock Soldiers to shut down a series of bombs and a final laser grid before advancing to a confrontation with Rocksteady in an abandoned station. Though defeated, the rhino promises the Turtles that the havoc so far is "only the beginning", using an oncoming subway train to disappear into the shadows.
Don's security systems are tripped by near by Foot activity, forcing the Turtles to clean them out of the surrounding tunnels to avoid the Lair being discovered and straying into the section of sewers the deranged mutant turtle Slash has taken as his territory. When they actually uncover the maintenance chamber he's using as a lair, Slash attacks them for intruding. The Turtles are eventually able to beat back their berserk cousin, Mikey taking advantage of the stand off to explain they didn't mean to trespass on his turf and remind him that the Foot are the bad guys. Though still bestial, Slash agrees with the sentiment and the Turtles are able to press him for more information. The only thing the primitive turtle can show them is that the Foot have been using the sewer tunnels to smuggle "space guns", producing an advanced looking piece of weaponry he presumably picked up after dismembering the ninjas who were smuggling it. Territorial disputes resolved, Slash plods off to "go night night" leaving the Turtles puzzled over what the Foot are doing with laser weapons and just what the heck is even going on.
On surface, the crime wave has gotten so bad the city has practically shut down. The only benefit from the Turtles perspective is that the cops have had to instigate a mandatory curfew, allowing them to investigate above ground in broad daylight without too much risk of exposure. With the authority's stretched to their limits the Turtles take it upon themselves to disarm a series of bombs Don's sensors pick up planted throughout a construction site, moving onto investigating other rooftop crimes and eventually making their way back to the site to be confronted by Karai. Though they literally drive her off the property (the top floor that is), Karai escapes her enemies and a fall to her death with a high tech jet pack, leaving the Turtles confused and Mikey envious.
The brother's return to the sewers to prevent Rock Soldiers from sabotaging them and causing further damage to the city, as well as discovering some strange kind of ooze (not to be confused with that ooze) being produced in an underground sewer junction. Armaggon bursts out of this contaminated sludge, announcing that his alliance with the Foot will make him king of first the sewers, then the oceans of Earth. The Turtles send the shark who would be king packing but not before he inadvertently leaves behind a clue; a high tech piece of machinery Don deduces can only be of alien origin, Raph and Mikey are amused when he announces this news to April by attempting to take a'nerd selfie'.
As a rainstorm batters the city the Turtles race across the rooftops to investigate reports of UFO sightings, though Raphael isn't prepared to rule out the residents of this particular neighborhood just being nuts. After thwarting several Rock Soldier operations on the rooftops the rumors prove to be true as a glowing UFO materializes over the construction site. Confronting the phenomenon the Turtles find it's simply Wingnut, riding a flying saucer he seems to have received for agreeing to take part in Shredder and Krang's plot. With roof mounted laser turrets and areal ninja moves the Turtles are able to knock the crazed bat out of his vehicle, the resultant crash landing breaking apart the metal sheeting the combatants are standing on and sending them all falling to the floor below. Wingnut attempts to finish the Turtles off with his spin attacks but is inevitably grounded again. He escaped on a bat themed glider stowed in his UFO, promising the Turtles will face "something more fancy" soon enough.
While observing the TCRI building on Don's computers, Don and April discover that the piece of hardware Armaggon dropped is used in creating extra-dimensional portals and the gang swiftly deduces that the real point of the crime wave has been to distract the Turtles from any alien activity until it's too late for them to prevent Krang from launching a full scale invasion. With no time to loose the Turtles infiltrate TCRI and fight their way through rooms full of Rock Soldiers, Mousers and all their previous bosses (including a brainwashed Slash), to finally confront Krang. Thought they're able to defeat his mechanized body Krang is still able to give the order that launches the invasion, escaping through a vent to join his forces as a portal opens in the sky, Rock Soldiers and Krangdroid robots throwing the city even deeper into chaos.
Soon Krang reappears, having retrieved his giant Mega Krang body from Dimension X and preparing to bring the full might of his forces to bare on the city once the portal is large enough. With the police and army hopelessly outmatched the Turtles resolve to stop the alien general once and for all, hijacking several Krangdroids and using them to first stem the tide of enemies flooding the streets then forcing Mega Krang back through the portal, which should close it but doesn't. April, monitoring the portal's output from the Lair, concludes that someone is manipulating TCRI's energy output to turn the portal from a means of transport to a powerful explosion that will devastate the city.
Vowing to each other to either save the city or die trying, the Turtles rush TCRI, riding an elevator full of waves of enemies to the helipad where they find the Shredder waiting at the portal generator. Shredder reveals that, whether or not Krang's invasion succeeded, his plan all along has been to turn the portal into a weapon, destroying New York to send a message to the world that he is not to be trifled with. As the power of the increasingly unstable portal rips the helipad off the TCRI building and into the air towards it, he vows to also settle his score with the Turtles in this final battle.
Though the Turtles are able to overcome him, Shredder remains confident in his victory even as he topples off the platform. The portal is out of control and Raph's sai is jammed into the controls. Don works them rapidly, theorizing that tinkering with them should mean that if the helipad and generator pass through the portal they'll collapse it instead of causing an explosive energy wave. The Turtles seem to have no chance of escape even if it does work, until the shaking platform sends Mikey's shoulder into a latch, unlocking a secret compartment full of those jetpacks he wanted so much. Don elects to remain behind to ensure the portal's danger will be stopped, encouraging his brothers to take off. But no Turtle gets left behind. April and Splinter fear the worst once they lose communications, Don's T-Phone being knocked off the control console but the Turtles' plan works, jetting to safety as the the platform collapses the portal. Don even manages to snag his phone in mid-air.
Touching down, the Turtles are surprised to realize they beat Shredder's falling helmet to the ground. The lack of Shredder himself leads them to wonder if he somehow survived before concluding even he couldn't survive that kind of drop. As the Turtles head off into the sunset and back to the sewers Raph declares it officially "pizza time" and Mikey wonders if Bebop's bag of cash is still around. Behind the brothers a shadow falls across the Shredder's helmet and his hand reaches down to pick it up.
- April O'Neil (Ashly Burch)
- Armaggon (Dave Boat)
- Bebop (Tim Dadabo)
- Donatello (Gavin Hammon)
- Karai (Tammy Nishimura)
- Krang/Mega Krang (Steven Jay Blum)
- Leonardo (Nolan North)
- Michelangelo (Robbie Daymond)
- Raphael (Mick Wingert)
- Rock Soldiers (Fred Tatasciore, Tim Dadabo, Jim Meskimen)
- Rocksteady (Fred Tatasciore)
- Slash (Fred Tatasciore)
- Shredder/Super Shredder (Nolan North)
- Splinter (Nolan North)
- Wingnut (Jim Meskimen)