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Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard is a funny ride through a wonderfully created fictional world. It starts out strong and sprinkles in some hilarious moments and comments now and then to keep you involved in the action. It's a fun and satisfying by-the-numbers shooter that apes nearly every video game convention in the book, makes no apologies for its attitude and even makes fun of itself, which is refreshing.
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The BadUnfortunately, it tries to cover up a bunch of video game sins with humor in the hope gamers won't notice the water-downed shooting gameplay that lacks many aspects which gamers expect to see in modern games. Hazard falls flat on its face with the aim assist that just doesn't seem to work, so you have to make sure your spot on with your shooting, and the reticule also jumps around when you peak out from behind cover, which makes it hard to lock onto a target.
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Hazard's graphical presentation is dull and lackluster and the game engine really shows its age. It seems obvious that developer Vicious Cycle needs to put the boots to their art department.
The character animations aren't as smooth as they should be and they occasionally jerk around or move in an uncoordinated and totally unrealistic way.
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Matt Hazard has an average soundtrack composed of generic music styles, with a mix of rock, electronic and pop tunes. It reminded me of a stock sound track of years ago, but it wasn't too bad.
The voice acting was okay, and I especially loved the William Shatner sound-alike wizard who teleports in from a fantasy game.The characters were all entertaining and had unique-sounding voices that made me laugh so hard, I cried.
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The Story Line
Hazard drops you in the middle of a fictional game world where you'll be thrown into the shoes of Matt Hazard, an over-the-hill action hero who thinks his silly catch phrase still grabs his fans attention. Matt is out of the limelight for a few years and then decides to make a comeback, but not everybody in this world is happy with his choice or his gameography. An unknown character has hacked into the game code to attempt to take Matt out as he's making his comeback; he's altered all of Hazard's levels, creating a mix of weird and funny environments to play in.
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Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard only took me about 12 hours to complete, which is pretty short, and although it starts out fast, it slows down on the entertainment value as you make your way through the levels.
After you get beyond the jokes and cheap thrills, Eat Lead is really just a sub-par, straight-forward shooter with levels that turn into shooting galleries. Many times, the enemies come straight for you or run across the room before looking for cover, making them very easy to pick off.
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The Last Word
Eat Lead has a clever storyline that had great potential, unfortunately, Vicious Cycle didn't take advantage of the contents possibilities as well as they could have. The laughs start out pretty good, but slowly lose their touch as the game progresses. This is unfortunate for such a promising premise and set up, but I still recommend Eat Lead for its unique take on video games and its clever writing.