Saturday 2 May 2009

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (and me, I guess)

As I now have a maximum of about three people even aware that I do stuff on the internet, I feel obliged to keep them entertained and/or informed. Actually, those few people should be quite aware of what I’ve been up to anyway – which is frankly a bit scary. Anyway, my point is that I kind of gave up writing my reviews quite suddenly when I realised it was a stupid idea and I should just go back to university if I ever want to be successful. Or at least make enough money to live on my own. Fuck it, enough money to run a car.

Well, one of the reasons I stopped was because I was trying to get my life in order and shit, and the other, more important one was that every game making its way through production was either a pile of wank or ANOTHER third person shooter using the Unreal Engine, or both. So I tried making a statement along the lines of: “look, you clinically retarded developers, we’ve played Gears of War, now give us something else”.

No one listened, and we still ended up with shit like an Onechanbara remake, a racing game that looked exactly like Forza 2 but cost about four times as much, and Wheelman. Nuff said. As I said earlier, I was planning on playing Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts, but realised that it wouldn’t stop the trickle of [shit] games coming out this year and could no longer be arsed to do anything short of breathing.

Eventually I got my hands on Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard and thought it a fitting game to bother showing my virtual face on the internet again (presumably for people to ignore me and just have sex on said virtual face). I’d already had both the people in my hometown who’d played it repeatedly jumping on my love spuds calling it just another third person shooter and about as long as a wank on a train (maybe that last bit is just me). Before getting the chance to unravel from the foetal position and ask if it was at least funny, the discussion had quickly dwindled towards Call of Duty’s online awesomeness. So, my beloved audience, I cried. I cried long and hard.

Right, enough of that bollocks, back to business.

Indeed, Eat Lead is another third person shooter that holds your hand as you hide behind a wall and occasionally pop out to clean the arena of a few retards before moving on. There’s also the odd quick time event. But hell, it’s a parody of gaming, so setting it up as a third person shooter like every other bastard game in the last year or so is the right starting point, isn’t it? Isn’t it?! You know, being painfully aware of what’s wrong with the gaming industry and using it as a platform for taking the piss out of it? All that shit? Yeah?

Fuck it, let’s be honest, it could’ve been a bit more experimental and edgy. Nevermind, at least it had some decent gags.

Dammit. Because of those decent gags, I can’t really take the piss out of them, they did it for me. And they ripped on Red Steel, which earned masses of respect in my opinion (worthless piece of shit left me spinning around like a dog that’d just swallowed it’s bodyweight in caffeine), then went on to taking the piss out of unnecessarily complicated mission objectives in games aimed at people who think opening a tin of beans is mentally challenging.

What can I say against it? Anything I can think of gets thrown back in my face along with a message wrapped around a brick saying “it was a joke, dipshit”. I wont dare say it was brilliantly designed, but at least they had the common sense to veil shit design with a self-degrading gag.


Seriously, there’s a really shit checkpoint towards the end of the game that forces you to kill one of eight tentacles, then shows a pretty long cutscene telling you that you’re doing well and have seven left; and let’s face it, sod’s law says you’re going to die at some point between that cutscene and killing the last tentacle. So you’ll have to kill the first tentacle and watch the annoying cutscene again. Just as I think I’ve found something to get good and wound up about, it sticks some deja-vu into the repeated cutscene and makes me giggle. I also deliberately repeated "cutscene" for rhetoric effect or some cleverbollocks thing like that.

Let’s face it, Eat Lead knows it’s target audience annoyingly well and only dicks itself over on two things: it is shorter than something inappropriate on public transport, and no one thought to actually make the back catalogue of Matt Hazard games. All they had to do was leave some of the writers with some computing students for a few weeks and promise them free pizza while they worked. I know the point was that Matt Hazard isn’t an existing gaming franchise, but they could’ve at least re-skinned the games they were taking the piss out of.

Can’t really mock the controls for anything other than lack of imagination, but as we all know, third person shooters don’t need original controls. Too Human proved this quite well by taking away camera control and making melee combat about as vague as a mouse farting in a dark room flooded by a high powered fog machine. There’s also a complete lack of unlockable extras and fetch quests, but I don’t actually care because in my experience you need to have precisely no life to get all of a game’s unlockables. Key example; find me someone who unlocked the Spartan in Dead or Alive 4, then show me them doing something normal human beings do (like physically conversing with another human being or something). The same goes for all you freaks with the Security Helmet in Halo 3. Yeah, I went there.

Seeing as you’ll almost certainly finish Eat Lead over lunch, I can’t recommend you buy it, but seeing as the games industry is currently resembling the average American citizen (i.e., uninformed, retarded and slowly dying from a massive build up of shite in it’s veins), I definitely recommend you play through it in some way, shape or form. I mean, come on; it mellowed me out enough to remember that Star Trek Online is supposed to be out this year and got me to start writing again.

Well, kind of. If there’s still shit all worth playing, you wont hear much from me for a while.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

Who the fuck is Max Hazard? I've never heard of him before in my life.