Eat Lead: The Return Of Matt Hazard review (PS3)

Cajun Chicken | 2125d ago | User review
Reviewing: Eat Lead: The Return Of Matt Hazard
Isn't it crazy how all things work out?
Whilst I was waiting for Serious Sam 3, Jak4, MDK3 and Duke Nukem Forever, up returns a gaming legend relic again from no where; 'The Man', Matt Hazard. Eat Lead is the new addition to the franchise and this time is based on your typical Third Person Shooter with duck and cover mechanics and rechargeable health ala Gears of War and Uncharted with a two weapon system with its own unique improvements to the usual fair, such as adding X to rotate around cover such as columns or boxes.
Another additional tweak to most cover systems is the ability to press Triangle when your cursor hovers over a valid piece of cover, also, cover can be destroyed and leaves 'glitches' which you have to walk around.

The game starts first of all in your typical Triad inspired shootout inside of a restaurant, only to kick the ass of a boss inspired by 70's flicks with an afro using timed Quick Time Events. Once kicking ass, (as Matt does best, he has great melee moves, even in the normal TPS gameplay by pressing Square) a new boss appears and tries to shoot you, except the bullet stops. All of a sudden, a female hologram appears called QA and from this point QA gives out objectives and advice from outside of the game.

It turns out that the company Marathon-Megasoft that used to make the old games has been bought up (Nice throwback meta-joke to the old classic Matt Hazard games there.) and the company CEO wants Matt dead because when he was a kid, he couldn't complete Matt's games (Not the only one, mate). So he decides to try to kill Matt and replace him with what he thinks is the 'perfect action hero'. Basically, Matt Hazard plays like a game of the Arnie flick 'Last Action Hero', and has some of the same meta-jokes, but using the Matt Hazard franchise as its background and essentially spoofing the last 20-odd years of gaming and all the previous console generations. It’s all very clever too, because all Matt's old games actually fit in with the context of the game! The cowboys, space marines and even the 2D soldiers from the classic ‘Matt Hazard’ 3D come into it, if you think that’s bad, the SOAKEM unit are back too! And this time their weapons are lethal instead of just water based!

One of the most difficult parts of the Eat Lead gameplay to get used to is that a quarter through the game, shooting enemies dead without headshots causes them to turn into zombies, these zombies can ONLY be killed by a few direct shots in the head or a direct hit with explosive. So you end up playing a game that messes with your head, has pretend glitches warning you of upcoming dangers, locks you in areas with cowboys, SOAKEMS, space Marines and pixelated 2-D soldiers that can actually turn sideways so you can’t see them. Some later enemies even have the same abilities as you, the player!

The plot of Eat Lead is worthy of the play, it’s a very simple concept taken to tremendous levels. Much like the Daffy Duck cartoon ’Duck Amuck’ Matt is very annoyed by the game he’s starring in being manipulated to kill him by the game developers CEO. Eat Lead is a tale of manipulation, betrayal and ass kicking of Non-Fictional antagonists.
The game is not for the easily infuriated, Eat Lead is like the ‘Serious Sam of third person duck and cover with rechargeable health mechanics’.

Eat Lead WANTS YOU DEAD as much as the plot wants Matt dead and this is communicated very well by the numerous varied spawning enemies. It’s not a game for everyone. Luckily, Eat Lead is quite forgiving with checkpoints and has a run button which Matt never runs out of breath with add that with the 'run to cover' command and everythings pretty balanced. Except IN THE DARK with infa-red after you.

Anyway, Eat Lead is a game that stands out, not for its graphics which look somewhat of the Dead Rising quality, nor even its generic core duck and cover gameplay. It’s all wrapped up quite nicely by a large amount of gaming culture based humour and some fantastic nostalgia like the typical player power-up or exploding barrel and littered crates (You even visit a game prop factory! LOL!). Most notable is walking through corridors textured with Wolfenstien 3D sprite artwork.
Of course, if you were waiting for the glorious return of Matt Hazard, you would’ve bought it already, so maybe the new reboot of the Matt Hazard franchise will return in the near future and I for one will be replaying one of his old adventures in Hi-Def on XBLA and PSN again, published by D3 later this very year!

...It’s Hazard Time.

* Seriously, I liked this game, just playing along with the concept, I hope there’s another retail Matt Hazard title on the way from Vicious Cycle and D3. The next one could do with more polishing, but Matt Hazard could be a pretty good quirky franchise put forward and would be suitable for many genres to spoof and could have sequel after sequel. A good laugh, damn the haters. If you're not sure about a full purchase, its worth a rent or wait for the price to go down, but remember, more sales in retail = sequels.
And yes, apparently there is a real XBLA/PSN game coming out this summer apparently, I personally can't wait. For now, I'll play this;
http://www.matthazardextreme.com/
Ups
Some original duck and cover mechanics implemented.{Great humour, clever varied enemy types that fit in with the theme.{They don't make enough games with concepts behind them like these.
Downs
Not what you would consider next gen graphics. Its no Uncharted.{Price of admission...yeah, I bought it at full retail price.{Some of the humour is a little bit too dumb for the concept, AKA Master Chef.
Score
6.0
Graphics The gameplay is average duck and cover affair and repetative, but thats the whole design of the game. If you enjoyed what Serious Sam dealt out, you'll enjoy this. The game also has a steep learning curve as more enemies get 'hacked' into the game.
5.0
Sound The graphics are obviously far more advanced than the previous entries in the franchise, but not up to the quality of the average next-gen game. But Matt looks more like Bruce Willis now than ever. As good as his last 3D effort.
8.0
Gameplay Matt has his own theme all the way through the game, the voice actors are hillarious, especially Matt and Wally. Matt also has a kick ass theme on the XMB and in the credits, I want an MP3 of.
8.0
Fun factor A guilty pleasure, a great concept, a game that lived up to what it intended to do, leaves plenty of gags for future games and has great humourous twists and turns. Very enjoyable, taxing, third person shooter. We need more concepts and risky IPs like this.
-1.0
Online I somehow got a Multiplayer trophy even though the game doesn't have multiplayer, go figure. Still, I'll forgive because of the great 'Alien Assassination Arena' title back in 1999.
7.0
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
creamydingle  +   2125d ago
Nice review after reading this I think i will pick it up. Im a bit of a trophy whore so how hard are the trophies to get? How hard to get the platinum?
akiraburn  +   2125d ago
@creamy, yeah the trophies are preposterously easy. You get a bronzr trophy for starting the game, another bronze for pausing the game, a silver for watching the credits all the way through, and I mean seriously in one play through you can get nearly every trophy without even trying. Wouldn't recommend a buy since you can beat it in 2 days easily, but it's definitely worth a rent.

@Cajun Chicken, I agree completely with your review. This game is definitely a 7. If it wasn't for the comedy factor though, the game would not be worth even a rent and would be deemed a much lower score in my book. The game's antics and one liners are great, and can really save you from getting overly angered at some of the poor mechanics. There are some very frustrating areas and parts, not because it's hard, but because the mechanics are really mediocre at best. Especially late-game, there are some very annoying areas that are just seemingly endless swarms of enemies. But sure enough, the story and it's antics are worth plowing through these areas. I agree that I would like to see a more refined version of this game, with not just a trophy for the multi-player aspect, as well as much better control, handling, graphical improvements, and more.

The only thing I want to comment on is that this is the first Matt Hazard game. I believe your review was still playing on the concept of the fictional history that was made for the game, though not everyone may realize it. The entire history of Matt Hazard is a spoof of other actual gaming characters (most specifically Duke Nukem and his somewhat sporadic history). This was done intentionally by developers D3 for comedy's sake. The PR department really did an amazing job on the hoax, as many real reviewers and game news sites actually approached them asking questions about changes in this game compared to prior ones. Anyway, spot-on review, very well covered, just thought others might want to know that in-case they hadn't already known.
brycespitler  +   2125d ago
im curious
i thought matt hazard was made up and didnt actually have any past games and that it was just a joke.

then again u might be playing with that very idea while writing the review...

damnit im confused.

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Eat Lead: The Return Of Matt Hazard

Average Score 5.6 Reviews(70)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
PS3 Release Dates
AU 05 March 2009
US 26 February 2009
EU 06 March 2009
Xbox 360 Release Dates
US 26 February 2009
AU 05 March 2009
EU 06 March 2009
JP 10 February 2010