|PS3 / XBOX 360||USA|
By Louise Yang . March 22, 2009 . 11:20am
That’s what I asked myself when I started Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard. Through an opening sequence that made me think of Duke Nukem 3D, I learned that Matt Hazard is just a washed up video game hero who reached his peak, plummeted down to spin-offs like cart racers, and is trying to rebuild his fame once again.
Let’s get one thing straight: Eat Lead is definitely for the video game fan. More specifically, it’s for anyone who has followed action games from side-scrolling shareware up the 3D first person shooter revolution. If you only started gaming when the original Xbox came out, prepare to have a few jokes go over your head.
What I first thought of as a generic cover system turned out to be one of the main features I use in the game. In addition to the standard cover system, once behind cover, players can point the reticule at other objects, press Y, and have Matt automatically run and duck under the next object. This even works when he has to vault over boxes or go around counters.
The story breaks the fourth wall with an unknown hacker who hacks into Matt’s latest action game. Eat Lead takes that premise and goes all out. Random enemies appear out of thin air through an animation that looks like it came out of The Matrix, colored grid lines and all. Objects that can be destroyed flicker into their wire-frame when you shoot at them until they’re destroyed. Instead of blood coming out enemies, you see blue pixels when you shoot or hit them.
I’ve only gone through a couple of boss fights so far, but I like that they’re a departure from the run-for-cover and shoot mechanics I use for dealing with regular enemies. The first two boss fights are corny quick time events complete with quips and sarcastic remarks from Matt.
If Eat Lead wasn’t billed as a parody of other games in its genre, I wouldn’t have paid any attention to it. The gameplay alone wouldn’t keep me playing, but I’m actually somewhat curious as to where the story goes and I’m enjoying most of the humor.