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September 22 2009
Planet 51 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
Dec. 2009SegaSegaPyro Studios
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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Planet 51 looks, well, childish.
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Planet 51 on PS3 has split-screen gameplay.

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Environments look gorgeous, and vast.
First things first. This game, much like the movie, is aimed at a very young market - our guess is children around 10 years old, so with that in mind we didn't expect Planet 51 to be filled with hardcore game modes, online or offline, nor the most technically accomplished visuals. Still, this does look like a fun movie, and a fun video game tie-in and the best news is that the game developers, and film developers are owned by the same parent company meaning close ties and collaboration between the two during development.

Planet 51, the white picket-fence world reminiscent of 1950s America is happy, safe and predictable... until the unpredictable happens! Out of the blue, Captain Charles ‘Chuck’ Baker’s spaceship comes crashing down. Unaware of his surroundings, Chuck begins to realise that he is not alone. Taking refuge while planning his return home, Chuck meets green-skinned local, Lem, and realises that he may be the real 'alien' after all!

Developed in Spain by Pyro Studios, who are most well known for their Commandos titles on the PC, Planet 51 is a family friendly adventure which includes moments from the movie (around 80% of the game), and then expands on the universe with all new scenarios and locations (the remaining 20%). The game allows you to take control of both the suave Astronaut Charles "Chuck" Baker and his new alien friend 'Lem' – utilising their special abilities and skills as you complete each mission.

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Expect plenty of racing in Planet 51.
The game sees you testing your skills on a series of adventures trying to outwit the police and army from the planet in order to find Chuck's spaceship and help him return to Earth. THe game includes plenty of vehicles including an array of hover vehicles, ranging from cars, pick-up trucks and bicycles through to taxis, police cars, heavy trucks and even lawnmowers!

Besides the main single player storyline Planet 51 will include a series of mini-games which can be used to unlock new vehicles, receive collectables and watch clips from the movie. Indeed as you can see in the bottom image in this preview it looks like there's a Paperboy styled mini-game in this title.

If you have a couple of kids or friends around the good news is that the game will include a split-screen mode to race around Planet 51. Unfortunately it doesn't appear there will be any online gameplay, and as yet we only have confirmation of 2-players in multi-player.

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Taking on a couple of enemies.
Visuals in this game aren't exactly the PS3's best, but the do seem to compliment the movie quite well with a cartoon look and bold colours. Using the Unreal Engine 3 the developers had to tweak the engine to make use of the open-world layout for the game. We don't have confirmation as yet, but would be disappointed if the real actors from the movie, or at least some of them, don't reprise their roles for voiceovers in this game. (In the movie Chuck is voiced by Dwayne Johnson, Lem by Justin Long, Neera by Jessica Biel and General Grawl by Gary Oldman.)

So admittedly Planet 51 isn't really our cup of tea, it's certainly aimed at a younger audience. But wait a tick, so is the movie so this tie-in should keep the kiddies quite happy this Christmas. With the movie expected to hit Australian cinemas on December 10 we expect this game to be released pretty much day and date with the theatrical experience, if not a little before.