Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard

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My latest adventures have lead me to a surprising little gem floating out in the swamps of bad games.  Eat Lead: the Return of Matt Hazard is a third-person-shooer about the story of fictional action game hero, Matt Hazard, and his tale of failure and rise back to the top.  Its one big parody of the last 25 years of video game history from Halo to Goldeneye.

I want to be brief about the story even though that’s really what the game revolves around.  Matt Hazard is a ex video game hero who starred in every type of genre imaginable including some that brought his fame crashing down.  He’s given a second chance to star in a new shooter, but is nearly killed by his replacement that is was meant to replace him for the rest of the game.  Thanks to a hack named QA, Matt must now beat the rest of the game while the programmers begin sending his enemies from Matt’s old games to take him out.

That is as far as I want to go before I really start giving away the whole story, but that’s really all this game has going for.  If you have ever played Gears of War then you’ll have a good idea on how the cover-based combat works.  For those who don’t know, game works as you can press a button and hid behind cover, utilizing blind fire and quick cover use to avoid damage.  Its also possible to shoot cover until it “de-rezzes” and dissappers from game, but enemies can do the same to your cover.  Health does recover over time meaning that even at the hardest level is less challenging as long as you find decent cover.  However, the controls can be stiff and despite the large variety of weapons you only need to use the basic Hazard Pistol as its the most effective and most enemies carry it for additional ammo.  Later in the game when Space Marines are introduced, you will only need the energy pistol.  Also the three combo melee attacks can be a massive pain as a majority of the levels are filled with so many cannon fodder enemies and you still take damage even when using melee.

To be honest, this game really has little going for it beyond its original humor and excellent voice acting which included the talents of Will Arnett (best known for Gob from Arrested Development) and Neal Patrick Harris (Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog).  The game play can be a real pain as you often find yourself covering to walls while still facing enemy fire and the lack of decent melee can really place you into bad situations.  The game does have a large amount of achievements you can earn but some of them are pointless like one for sitting through the credits and another for pausing the game.  This is funny and all, but I completed over half of them in one run through and I found no reason to play the game again.  There is also no multiplayer, which is unfortunate as they had a lot of potential for character choices considering how many enemies there were in the game.

But despite my complaints I highly recomend this game, if only for a rental.  I picked it up for about $20 and beat the thing in close to 6 hours.  The lack of multiplayer and little replay value does keep me from saying a lot but I was glad I got to play it and definitely recommend for an afternoon of good laughs.

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~ by cabboge on September 7, 2009.

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