Yay another movie licensed game for kids.
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 14th October 2008
- Developer: THQ
- Publisher: THQ
- Release Date: 8th July 2008
Whenever I see a game named after a movie I automatically assume it will be bad. That’s because nine times out of ten, they are. You can more or less guarantee that whenever a big movie hits the screens, a sub par video game will follow and it will usually be a rushed, half arsed attempt to cash in on the little kids who just ‘have to’ have everything resembling their latest hero. The games are never really up to much, but they keep the kids happy for a while, or until the next movie is released.
So this time it’s Wall-E. Set around 800 years into the future, the movie and game focuses on a sweet natured robot which has been built specifically for cleaning up the mess that we humans have inflicted upon planet Earth. When we leave to set up home on cleaner pastures however, we forget to turn it off and Wall-E has been wandering around collecting and compacting rubbish on his own ever since. Thankfully, his lonely days come to an end when he forms an unlikely friendship with EVE, an Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator who the humans have sent back to earth to keep an eye on everything.
Naturally, you get to play as the robot (and occasionally as EVE) and everything from here on is basically your average platform game. Wall-E travels around the some what derelict landscape on tank-like treads compacting piles of rubbish into cubes. He can carry up to three cubes at a time (and these range from normal, heavy and charge) these can then be used against various switches, targets and levers in order to open up new path ways such as a bridge or a moving platform.
EVE offers a different kind of Gameplay altogether and rather than scurrying around the ground, this more modern seeming robot flies gracefully through the air and shoots with a laser rather than throwing big lumps of metal around. The ability to control EVE offers the player a break from the heavily platform themed Wall-E and occasionally, the two characters will work together to solve puzzles and reach certain areas where one could not reach on his or her own.
The game’s controls are set out in a non-complicated manner which is a good thing considering its main audience will probably be young children and the majority of the game is easy to figure out and work through. Obviously, hardened gamers will not find much here to challenge them but it should keep the kids busy for a couple of weeks at least.
Graphically, Wall-E is not great which is a shame considering how Pixar are known for their stunning graphical movies and characters. On three separate occasions I was forced to restart the game due to glitches that caused my character to get stuck in the floors and walls and this was before I’d even got out of the first level. There are some nice touches, like when Wall-E flips into a cube when he’s rolling down hill to avoid damage but it’s nothing spectacular and nothing that makes the game stand out from any other.
On the audio side, it features everything you would and could expect from a game like this. Wall-E often recites his name which is something that has become a bit of a catchphrase for him from the movie and other touches, like the sound of sand storms are decent. Worth a mention however is the annoying advertisements that sound out as you play through the game, the same things are said over and over again in a billboard type advertisement and when you think there are supposed to be no humans here could they have not turned that thing off before they left??
I think it’s fair to say that Wall-E does what it is meant to do and that is offer young fans of the movie a chance to interact with their favourite characters and the world around them. It’s certainly not the best game in the world and I personally found it rather boring but I expect if a 7 year old was to review the game, it would rank much higher than it would with me. And to add a bit of extra value, collectable items can be found all over the game which open up multiplayer levels and various other goodies. So, if the kids like it, it’s done its job. Now, where do I buy one of these rubbish collecting robots??
Review Score: 6.2/10
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