Also available on Xbox 360
I'm a sucker for B-movie style games. The "so bad it's good" kind of games. To a certain extent, that's what Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard is. Unfortunately, I found the game to be more "bad" than "so bad it's good." The potential for a fantastically terrible game is, but they missed the execution, leaving off the "fantastically."
Eat Lead is a cover based third person shooter, and unfortunately, that's where its problems start. I absolutely love third person shooters, but the gameplay here is extraordinarily dull and monotonous. Pretty much the entire game consists of "run into a room, take cover, kill everyone, walk through the newly opened door, repeat." That's it. The only variation is the boss battles which are usually just short quick time events. The only boss battle that felt at all interesting to me was the second to last boss that you had to trick into shooting itself. Even the final boss sucked - it was just three or four MASSIVE hordes of enemies with a control panel to activate between them. You don't actually get to fight the boss himself at all; it's just a cutscene.
The game's story is....interesting. It's a giant parody of video games. You have "Nuke Winters" instead of Duke Nukem, the Master Chef instead of Master Chief, the Mace of Mourning instead of the Hammer of Dawn, etc. In that regard, it's actually pretty clever. Unfortunately the game stars a self-aware video game character whom a pissy corporate CEO is trying to kill off my spawning random swarms of enemies into his new game to force the character to die permanently. I'm all for suspending my disbelief with even some outlandish situations, but this one is just a stretch. Just delete the game files. Poof, character gone. Archive the character and stop making games with the IP. Sega is BRILLIANT at doing that. It basically feels like if Hyperdimension Neptunia were a shooter with all the waifus replaced by machismo guys and made by Americans who try waaaaay too hard to be funny.
The music is good, and the voice acting is actually pretty good with a decent cast featuring a few fairly well known actors. Unfortunately the visuals don't match the audio. It looks like any random Wii shooter just upscaled to 720p. That's not a knock on the Wii, but given how much more powerful the PlayStation 3 was than the Wii, you'd expect more of a visual improvement than a 30% resolution boost. It looks fine, but it's not even close to living up to the PS3's graphical capabilities. Normally when a game looks far below what a system is capable of, it's because the developers wanted to go for solid performance. If that were the case here, the visuals would be totally understandable, but the game runs like crap, too. Sometimes it keeps a good 30 fps, but at seemingly random times with little happening on screen, it will start to just churn, dropping to around 10 fps. I get that frame rate drops aren't uncommon especially on consoles, but for a game to look "meh" and still have severe performance issues in even low stress situations, there's not much excuse.
For fans of super cheesy B-movie games like me, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard had a lot of potential. It just LOOKS fantastically terrible, like a Steven Segal movie with more machine guns. Much to my dismay, it lives up to very little of that potential. The script is on point, but the execution overall is a mess. It looks bad, it plays bad, and the one thing that could have redeemed this into a fun experience - co-op play - is nowhere to be seen. So close, yet so far, Vicious Cycle Software. You know the phrase "Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" you often seen on posters in schools? Well, they shot for the moon, but instead of landing among the stars, they're spinning out of control through the void of intergalactic space.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.