In terms of gameplay, while almost every individual mechanic here is executed competently, the collective simply cannot rise above being blatantly run-of-the-mill. The camera rarely fights you, melee combat has satisfying rumble support, aiming is responsive, and you can even snipe pretty well from great distances. The magic is varied and every spell has a solid purpose either in terms of combat effectiveness or simply traversing the environment.
In fact, some of these spells are given more time to shine compared to their brief appearances in the movie. Most of the areas you’ll explore expand greatly on the ones visited by Keanu and co., as well. The remainder are new, insanely logical choices. These two aspects are representative of this game’s biggest strength: world building. I so rarely see expansions and continuations of fictional universes that are worthwhile and not just cash grabs. The movieverse of Constantine is not complete for me with the movie alone. Even if the storyline here is modified and not as tightly wound, everything about the mythos and world itself is ridiculously top-notch.
Constantine must travel through this plane and hell itself in a manner similar to the dark and light world mechanic of A Link to the Past. Instead of a mirror, puddles of water and holy water ampules ferry you between worlds to solve puzzles and generally progress. Some levels even take place entirely in hell and can become unsettling in the best ways. The requisite collection system has you searching for 12 tarot cards in each level. These yield concept art and some cool interview clips with Gaven Rossdale and Max Baker. For me, the main benefit is being given an excuse to explore the world thoroughly.
While a few actors reprise their roles, Keanu does not. I’m not going to say unfortunately, however, because frankly Bill Hope often out-Keanus Keanu.
This was one of the two games I first bought for the PS2 and I’m still playing it all these years later. That says it all.
Buyer’s Guide: It’s on the PS2 and Xbox. It does work on the 360, but that version has a sloppier HUD, if that sort of thing matters to you. Wiki says it’s on PC. Hmm. News to me.
3½ Above-Average Licensed Games out of 5