Ben Tennyson has been on many adventures over the past 15 years and he's back in a brand new 3D platformer so let's jump to it.
I love 3D platformers and Ben 10: Power Trip seemed like a pretty cool one to try out and I'm glad that I did. When I first started playing it, I was put off by its subpar visuals and generic gameplay for about the first hour yet I pushed myself to keep playing and what I found was a surprisingly enjoyable journey that gets more fun as you play. I even beat the game a handful of hours later and can gladly say that my bad first impression of it was simply incorrect. Anyway, you play as Ben who's on a camping trip with his grandpa Max and cousin Gwen yet the dastardly magician Hex shows up so Ben goes on a quest to destroy 4 crystals that are making monsters appear. It's a simple premise yet the open-world campaign structure allows you to experience the adventure however you wish which is excellent.
Ben 10: Power Trip can either be played solo or cooperatively where a pal controls Ben's friend Kevin Levin in split-screen multiplayer. I played by myself as I'm sure most folks will. The basic gameplay is what you'd expect from a 3D platformer as you run and jump around and Ben even has a scooter that makes him go faster. Where the gameplay gets interesting is in its use of aliens that Ben can transform into with each one offering its own unique gameplay style. For example, Shockrock uses an electric grappling attack, XLR8 can run super-fast, Diamondhead can erect shields, Four Arms can pick up and throw rocks, HeatBlast can double-jump, and Rath can follow scent trails to find buried treasures. Consistently swapping who you're playing as makes for an impressively varied formula when it comes to platforming, exploration, and combat. For the record, I preferred Shockrock in battle and loved zipping around the world as XLR8.
Although you have main missions to tackle within Ben 10: Power Trip's open world, there are plenty of optional tasks that offer rewards such as coins that can be exchanged at shops, items that grant temporary boosts, and upgrades that increase your Toughness, Power, and Luck. Of course, you'll find plenty of collectibles as well such as golden monkey heads, bratwursts, and mountain gems and you can also collect records and trinkets as well as destroy Decibel's noisy concerts by mastering short platforming segments. On top of this, there are scooter challenges, side quests, and bonus activities to master including a rather tough wave-based combat arena. Needless to say, even after you complete the campaign which admittedly doesn't take all that long, you'll have plenty of fun things left to do.
One aspect of Ben 10: Power Trip that I enjoyed is its cast of characters. You'll meet many folks throughout the world's distinct and expansive areas and getting to know them by completing missions and simply chatting with them is a reward in itself. I personally don't know much about Ben 10 but the fact that the little fellow seems to get along with everyone is kind of inspirational.
As I mentioned, Ben 10: Power Trip's graphics aren't the best; I put them on par with a late PS2 or early PS3 game. Additionally, there are occasional visual glitches that make the experience feel a bit shoddy from time to time such as when you see a jumble of polygons as the camera shifts to a new scene. Another issue is the fact that there isn't much challenge at all and even when you run out of health, you simply respawn where you left off most of the time with very little punishment. On the other end of the spectrum, some optional missions can be downright maddening such as ones where you have to find a certain number of things scattered about. Sometimes, you'll have 1 thing left to collect and won't be able to find it no matter how much ground you cover. Throw me a bone, please!
It definitely doesn't give a good first impression but as you progress in Ben 10: Power Trip, you'll be impressed by its wide variety of abilities that make playing it a blast. I recommend it to Ben 10 fans and 3D platformer enthusiasts alike.
- + Gameplay becomes a blast once you unlock all of the nifty transformations
- + World contains many memorable characters
- + Varied campaign full of fun things to do
- - Graphics are subpar and a little glitchy
- - General lack of challenge throughout
- - A few particularly maddening missions