This article is about the PlayStation 2 version. Were you looking for the Wii version?
Godzilla: Unleashed is the third and final game in the Atari Godzilla Trilogy, produced by Pipeworks Software and released for the Sony PlayStation 2 on November 20, 2007. The game was released on the Nintendo Wii a few weeks later.
The PlayStation 2 version includes the same storyline and arenas but vastly different gameplay and characters.
The story of Unleashed, taking place twenty years after Godzilla: Save the Earth, begins with a meteor shower colliding with the Earth's surface, causing climate shifts and earthquakes. There are also crystals with power surges causing monsters to go berserk with strange powers they absorbed. Four opposing factions arise from the chaos of the scramble for control of the planet; Earth Defenders, Global Defense Force, Aliens and Mutants. Depending on the player's whims, alliances can be forged and enemies made depending on his or her actions during game.
The Vortaak, led by their queen Vorticia, seek revenge on planet Earth and "their mutated monstrosities" by preparing a full-scale invasion, but are stopped cold by the approaching asteroid. After repairing their ship, they assault Earth with their own monsters, eventually arriving in the atmosphere over San Francisco. Fortunately, they are brought down by the Earth Defenders, or the GDF (an Alien can also bring it down).
Admiral Gyozen, captain of the Atoragon is out to destroy any monster in his way. He is considered to be a boss. Gyozen is encountered up to three times. The first time, he is just an obstacle between the player and the foe. The second time he is a boss in New York. He retreats when half his health is gone. In Osaka, he fails after he is defeated.
Like its predecessors, Unleashed plays as a 3D fighting game with the option to play with two to four monsters at a time, with or without teams. The PS2 version involves button pressing for attacks and combos. Rage Mode from the previous games is absent but in its place is "Critical Mass" where through destruction of energy crystals found in arenas monsters temporarily glow red and increase in size, boosting damage and endurance, but decreasing defense.
Monsters can also use one of seven "Power Surges", which are temporary abilities that can be used only once per battle, per monster. Surges increase certain traits, like for example the Fire Surge increases damage dealt and Speed Surge increases speed. They can also decrease abilities like Shield Surge, which increases defense while slowing movement. Others can improve and damage others like Radiation Surge that improves health regeneration while impairing that of nearby monsters. Before the Surge is over, monsters can induce a powerful shockwave attack. In the single player Story Mode, multiple Power Surges can be collected through defeating an enemy monster afflicted with the Surge. In multiplayer mode, the Surges are obtained by destroying Surge Crystals that pop up in the environment.
Along with destructible environments, Earth's Military or the Vortaak's Forces are present, depending on the arena/city. Both will attack certain monsters each time, while others can still get caught in the crossfire. Monsters are attacked on differing circumstances. For example Global Defense Force monsters will be attacked by humans if they go out their way to destroy human buildings and military units being on the same side. The same goes for Alien monsters and the Vortaak. Destruction of crystals and use of Power Surges and Critical Mass can also affect military attitude towards certain monsters. In Story Mode, the Atoragon appears multiple times throughout but due to the personal attitude of its Admiral, it will attack regardless of actions or faction.
- Base Commander Tagaki: The base commander is the man in charge when it comes to evaluating situations and ordering the Global Defense Force mecha forces into action. He's the cool head in chaotic situations — always keeping his emotions in check. Commander Tagaki began his illustrious military career as a young, hotshot G-Force pilot assigned to "Project-M". His mettle was put to the test during the Vortaak invasion of 2004 while piloting the mech into battle against the alien threat. It was then, in the heat of battle, that Tagaki witnessed firsthand how Earth's monsters seemed to join forces against the aliens to protect the planet. The experience changed his personal views on Earth's monsters being a threat to humanity. His name is never said mentioned during the game.
- Specialist Kenji Miku: Miku is one of many Global Defense Force technicians who monitor the global defense grid and all monster activities. She reports directly to her superior, Commander Tagaki. Miku has been fascinated by monsters since childhood and has devoted her life to the study of them. Because of her knowledge and expertise, Miku has become the commander's top consultant and right hand in all monster-related matters. A mutual respect exists between the two. Miku is among those who believe that Earth's monsters are noble defenders of the planet who rage only when their fragile world is threatened by human arrogance or extraterrestrial forces.
- Admiral Gyozen: The admiral is a semi-retired, hardcore military man who serves as military adviser on the Global Defense Force council. But he is a bitter man, having fought and lost many battles with Godzilla 2000 and having the scars to show for it. The admiral lost command of the battleship Atoragon after a particularly humiliating defeat that resulted in the death of his crew. As a result, he harbors a deep-seated hatred toward all monsters. He is the main human antagonist in the game. Though no longer in active command, the admiral has considerable sway within the council with his bombastic, overbearing nature. He is driven insane by his own hatred, which is amplified by the crystals brought onboard the Atoragon to power a "Crystal Cannon" weapon, he was defeated during the fight in the Atoragon while fighting a the player's selected monster.
- Dr. Shiragami: A Global Defense Force scientist and the world's leading expert on giant monsters, Dr. Shiragami makes some "fascinating" discoveries regarding the properties of the crystal formations and the alien radiation they produce. He accidentally makes a second Biollante while experimenting with combinations of G-cells (Godzilla 2000's DNA), crystal radiation, and a bioagent designed to eat G-cells. Later, he presents his findings on the crystals and "critical mass". Shiragami first appeared in the 1989 film Godzilla vs. Biollante, where he created Biollante almost in the same way, but with the DNA of his deceased daughter, Erika.
- Vorticia: 20 years after being defeated by Earth's monsters and Mecha units, the Queen of the Vortaak returns to Earth to "reclaim her prize". She leads the Alien monsters and commands the Vortaak forces into battle against the GDF, Mutants, and Earth Defenders. She is a secondary antagonist in this game. Her Mothership is damaged early on by a meteor, delaying the invasion, and Vorticia has suspicion about "someone or something is after her prize". Crystals appear, and Vorticia sends her monsters to steal them. Repairs on the Mothership are eventually completed, and the invasion is launched. The Mothership is brought down, however, by one of the monsters (generally, the player). Vorticia then utilizes the crystals to make King Ghidorah enter enhanced Critical Mass, unleashing him in Seattle, but he is eventually defeated. The fights still go on, and in the end, it is discovered that SpaceGodzilla, a former ally to the Vortaak, was also trying to conquer Earth. Her fate is unknown, but she is presumed dead as the mothership was her only way of getting home.
In Story Mode, monsters of particular factions have different goals and so take a different order of missions. Each Faction also has different styles of play and what they consider friend or foe. Some choose to use the crystals while others intend to destroy them and so will reflect this depending on how the player chooses to act throughout. While you gain points with some factions for obtaining Power Surges, obtaining all seven Power Surges will null any allegiances the player has and unlock a secret level called "Tyrant", in which the player's chosen monster is given unlimited Critical Mass but is forced to brawl against several monsters which may or may not have been former allies. The "Tyrant" level is the default ending level for all Mutants, though you do not lose your Mutant alliances if you didn't accumulate every Power Surge.
These are natural monsters that are very instinctive and protective of their territory, Earth. They see the crystals and Vortaak as threats and go out their way to destroy them, even if it means destruction of human cities. Earth Defenders ally themselves with monsters that destroy crystals but because of this, they will attack those who use them to attain Critical Mass. The Earth Defenders are:
Global Defense ForceEdit
Human engineered mechs, built to protect humanity from other monsters and the Vortaak. They usually ally themselves with monsters that don't destroy a sufficient amount of human structures and those who fight Alien forces, and fight those that do the opposite. Due to their autonomous minds, Global Defense Forces mechs can fall victim to and become corrupted by the crystals energy. The Global Defense Force mechs are:
The Alien faction is made up of monsters that have allied themselves with the Vortaak invaders and thus their prime goal is to destroy the humans and conquer Earth. Alien monsters are driven by power surges and so attack monsters that destroy Surge (or regular) crystals or Vortaak forces and buildings. They will on the other hand ally themselves with those who preserve crystals or destroy human forces. The Alien monsters are:
Monsters from the mutant faction are driven by lust for power more than anything else. Because of this they are drawn to crystals and so will destroy all in their path to get such power; monsters, humans and even Vortaak, and so Mutants will ally themselves with others monsters that do just this and attain Critical Mass. They will fight monsters that do not do enough destruction. The Mutant monsters are:
All of the cities have become post-apocalyptic wastelands - Seattle is now volcanic, while Tokyo is underwater, and Sydney is frozen.
- Monster Island (The meteor shower has caused the force field barrier to malfunction, allowing the monsters to escape)
- Sydney (The crystals create a huge storm that freezes the ocean and causes the whole city to be buried under ice)
- Osaka (A chemical spill causes the city to become engulfed in a toxic gas)
- Tokyo (The city is underwater after being battered by tsunamis caused by the crystals)
- New York City (The city lies in ruins from the meteor shower)
- San Francisco (The crystals cause huge earthquakes that ripped the ground apart and created waterfalls)
- London (The crystals affect the Earth's gravitational flow, causing London to be ripped from the Earth and starting to float in an anti-gravity vortex)
- Seattle (The city has gone through a lava flow)
- Mothership (Crashed on to earth's surface after being brought down by one of earth's monsters or mechas.)
Although initially announced as a Wii exclusive title on consoles, with distinct PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS versions, in July 2007 it was first suggested that a PlayStation 2 version was slated for release by Atari. This was initially believed to be an error reference to the PlayStation Portable version.
On September 12th, 2007, the game was more formally announced by Atari, with references to exclusive characters and a roster of at least twenty monsters. The press release was distributed in multiple outlets, but in Destructoid was accompanied by an image that was misreported as a screenshot from the title, but but was revealed to be edited from screenshots of Unleashed and Godzilla: Save the Earth.
Two days after the formal announcement, on September 14, 2007, two screenshots from an early build of the PS2 version of the game were released on the Official Atari Community Forums message board, revealing Godzilla 2000 and Anguirus with similar models to their Save the Earth designs, with improved textures, as well as a Monster Island area featuring crystals and resembling the Wii version. It was immediately speculated that the gameplay would be a rebuild of the Save the Earth mechanics, though many details remained unknown.
On September 27, 2007, IGN posted a new PS2 trailer video showing Godzilla 2000, Destoroyah, Orga, Anguirus, SpaceGodzilla, MOGUERA, Fire Rodan, Megalon, King Ghidorah, Baragon, Jet Jaguar, MechaGodzilla 2, Mecha-King Ghidorah, Megagurius and Gigan (Showa). The mechanics displayed confirmed that it was based on the Save the Earth control scheme and assets, as several characters contain minimal changes from the previous game, including King Ghidorah and Gigan, who were revamped for the Wii version. The arenas, however, closely but not exactly resembled their Wii counterparts, due to the limitations of the previous gen system.
When the game was finally released, it did successfully feature the same story and gameplay mechanics, as well as arenas, as the main version of the title, including the faction system, but as expected contained a much smaller character roster. Godzilla 1990's, Mothra and Kiryu also returned from Godzilla: Save the Earth, with Obsidius and Battra as new characters, built off Orga and Mothra respectively, with new breath weapons, skins and models. Though some speculated the version of Biollante created for Godzilla: Save the Earth would be completed, she did not appear.
According to lead character designer Simon Strange at the Sunstone Games forum, the entire port was developed in around four months, and that as the title was intended as a Wii exclusive and required developing new assets, that version was given priority by the team. He expressed that he personally felt the time would have been better spent on improving the Wii version.
The PlayStation 2 version, sometimes jokingly referred to as "Save the Earth 1.5" in the fandom, received a largely negative response from fans, however. It has often been cited as a relatively minor update to the previous game, almost solely due to the lack of new monsters. It has also received negative attention, however, due to persistent framerate issues compared to Pipeworks' other Godzilla titles, including Godzilla: Save the Earth.
Comparisons with the Wii version are a recurring topic, particularly as the PS2 version retains the more familiar control scheme and battle mechanics of previous editions, in contrast to frequent criticism of the Wii version's control scheme. There is also discussion about the varying monster rosters. The graphics of the Wii version are generally agreed to be superior, with occasional disagreement over certain character designs.