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Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (Xbox 360)

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8 Reviews

Manufacturer: D3 / Genre: Action & Shooter / Release Date: 2009

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    8 Reviews
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      07.06.2012 18:10
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      A bit of a turkey of a game that falls flat parodying old games....

      Eat Lead puts you at the helm of fictional Computer Game character, Matt Hazzard, as he attempts to relaunch his gaming career with a new game after decades left languishing in virtual limbo. But a recently appointed Top Executive at the Game Developers, Marathon Megasoft, has other ideas and intends this latest game installment to be Matts last and, to this end, starts pitting him up against all his old enemies spanning several generations of game consoles. Soon Matt finds himself up against Zombies, generic Nazi soldiers, Sace Marines and Cowboys as he fights quite literally to survive. Could this be the end of Matt Hazzard or can he face up against his own past and prove he has what it takes to survive on the next generation Xbox 360/ PS3?

      Eat Lead is a game that doesn't really work exactly how it is supposed to. A parody of lots of other games from Castle Wolfenstein through to Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and lots in between, it tries desperately to be funny and take the mick out of those games that take themselves much too seriously. (You know who you are....)

      But the fundamental problem with this is that it is a one-joke game and that joke falls flat unfortunately very, very quickly.....

      The controls are a bit of a mare to use if I am honest and remakably basic compared to other games in todays modern marketplace. This is okay but it can make gameplay very dull and monotonous and actually quite challenging in places as you struggle to make Matt do as you want him to. I get it that it is supposed to make the game more retro, much like the gameplay in the Operation Anchorage Download for Fallout 3, but really it does get very tiring in later levels as the difficulty increases. Also the AI enemies quickly become very repetive in levels, following the same set patterns and making the same mistakes which again gets boring very quickly. It is only in the sheer numbers in which they are thrown at you that ever offers any challenge and the fact that the game saves automatically only at certain checkpoints merely adds to the frustration you slowly begin to feel as you attempt the same bit of game for the umpteenth time.

      I do like the Achievments though, which themselves have their own patrt to play in the humour of the game. Achievments in-game include Gamer Points for pausing the game, watching the credits through to the end and leaping over a barricade for the first time. So if you can put up with the awkwardness of the controls, the intentionally dodgy script and the poor gameplay, it is a good way to rack up Achievment points!

      But overall this game really isn't much good. In trying to parody third-rate shooters as it does, the game itself ends becoming a bit of a joke that sadly lacks a punchline.

      An attempt by Game Designers to give this a bit of credubility by including the voices of Neil Patrick Harris and Will Arnett falls equally flat on its face and there is very little about this game that I can honestly say I like.....

      If you can pick this up cheap enough, and lets face it - that's not going to be difficult - its worth maybe spending a few pounds and racking up the easier Achievments. But don't play this expecting any major breakthroughs in gaming as this is a bog-standard shooter lamely injected with a slice of dated and not that funny humour of the kind the Driver games resorted too back when they were fighting a war with the GTA Franchise and named some of their bad guys "Tommys" after the Vice City character who died when immersed in water!

      One to avoid then unless you are a real Gamer Point Whore and want to rack up some easy Achievments!

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      31.10.2009 22:31
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      Buy it for a laugh/gamerscore - otherwise, leave it well alone!

      Matt Hazard, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

      I recently purchased this game to a recommendation from others claiming that it was funny, and that it certainly is! While the humour is oozing with quality, the actual gameplay and graphics side aren't quite so good...

      While the graphics aren't that bad, they certainly aren't great - bad character design and bland textures riddle this game and make it seem like a budget game (which it is, i might add!)

      The gameplay is very simple and consists of running, shooting, picking up guns, shooting, watching cutscenes, shooting and shooting. There are very few set-pieces and the gameplay gets extremely boring after the first level. The only real motivation to get through the game is the brilliant humour and the gamerscore you receive for completing it!

      If you can find this game for cheap (I'm talking sub £10) then it might be worth a pop if you don't mind sitting through crap games for gamerscore (or a laugh). If you're looking for a decent game - steer well clear!

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      02.08.2009 23:46
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      a good fun game... for the faint hearted

      Eat Lead: The return of matt hazard isn't what I would call a hardcore competitive game, it falls more into the category of have fun and shoot anything that moves, with a water pistol, you think I'm joking, the aim of the game is basically to shoot everything that moves and complete the objectives.

      The graphics are OK but they are a bit more cartoon than 'good' graphics, the scenery is good seeing as you sometimes have to climb through walls, the characters are really funny, the first level you are taking it all in and fighting cartoon enemies, next thing your fighting someone out of SOCOM.

      The Gameplay is probably the best bit, because it is a relaxing game it can be played at anytime, however when you get to beating the sea monster and its annoying tentacles I didn't find it so relaxing. All the game is basically about is that you have to kill every enemy to progress OK. But every 10 seconds some computer virus enters about 5 more enemies! Annoying when you can't be bothered.

      The one thing I don't like about this game is the easy achievements but I like to actually do something not just get 10g thrown in my face for pressing 'new game'

      In conclusion I would give this game a rating 7.5/10 because behind all the achievements and rubbishy sound tracks there is some sort of fun game around. And also it isn't a game that you complete once then never play again, it is just endless fun.

      Thanks

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      • More +
        02.08.2009 00:32

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        the game that makes sense by making no sense at all!

        a seriously fun game! if you like wacky shooters then this is perfect i mean you start off going through some kind of business building just shooting people in the face as the shoot you and get 50 headshots and 2 easy achievements come yourway. walk around a corner melee someone to death and another achievement is yours. just startin the campaign gives you 15 gamerpoints and pressing pause gives you 5! also on the main menu watch the credits all the way through(about 7-8mins) and get a whopping 60 gamerpints for it!! if you like a healthy gamerscore then this is definately for you. i got an easy 300 for playing the game not even an hour! first boss just press the buttons as the appear on screen and you get an achievement for killing him. the second boss the game pauses thanks to some outside help. punch the guy once and you get another achievement i mean how easy can it get!! but still the game is really fun. at one oint you trade in your ammo for water! if live ammunition doesnt do the job use a water gun instead because that makes sense doesnt it??!! but still the game is really fun and pointless and is a great laugh and there is some epic music in the background which really helps you!! 10/10 for fun and 10/10 for imagination! but in terms of a game 7/10 is generous (:

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        01.08.2009 17:12
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        Repetitive but funny!

        Matt Hazard was a character Id not heard of until playing this game so I wasn't sure quite to expect,

        You play as the titular character Matt Hazard, he is quite an interesting character who is aware he is in a video game and likes to make humorous comments.

        The game Eat Lead is meant to be Matts return to glory after a slew of cash in titles including his very own brand of kart racing! The twist is the games creator wants to do Matt in by the end of the game..!

        This game is basically a game that pokes fun at video games themselves, you will bump into such characters as the Master Chef, a parody of the Halo Franchises Master Chief, Altos Tratus a spiky haired parody of one of the many Final Fantasy characters who actually talks in text boxes! 2D Nazis from the Wolfenstien games and more.

        It should have been quite an interesting game to play but sadly the actual gameplay itself is not as strong as it should be, it loosely borrows from Gears of War with its cover system but manages to make it bland and uninteresting.

        The levels are massive bland and generic rooms with many points of cover for you to advance through while shooting enemies. This is fun for a while but it's not long before repetition makes it get old. The lack of variety here really hurts the game.

        If you play the game in short bursts it could be quite fun and the way it pokes fun at games is refreshing, the levels really need to be more interesting though and that keeps the game from being great.

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        • More +
          23.07.2009 16:09
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          One for the gaming geeks out there

          Have you ever heard of a website called Metacritic? You may not have, but games publishers certainly have. It is a site that collates all the reviews of a game into one handy number so that publishers can point at it and say - success, or failure. The problem is that not all web sites and magazines follow the same system. One site may give %, another out of 10, another A to E. Therefore, Metacritic take it upon themselves to give a % to all the different scores e.g. C+ is now 70%. This is a deeply flawed system as different people are harsher than others. I respect a 9 out of 10 a lot more from Edge magazine than Official Playstation. It may seem frivolous to you, but developers have lost their jobs or bonuses because of poor scores on Metacritic. It also leads to consumers ignoring a game because it did not get 90% or higher. There are plenty of games that are still playable even with a Metacritic score of 53%!

          Gameplay

          Let's not beat around the bush here - 'Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard' is not the most inspiring game ever made. A 3rd person shooter it is a cross between the cover system of 'Gears of War' and the old fashioned run and gun of 'Duke Nukem'. You play as Matt Hazard a computer game star that rose to fame in the 80s and fell back to Earth in recent years. You are offered a last chance for glory in a new game, but not everything is as it seems. The safety mechanics appear to be off and it looks like someone in the real world wants you dead. You must work your way through a series of your old levels to get to the core of the problem.

          The unique storyline allows developers D3 a little wiggle room with the gameplay. As Matt you get a series of weapons you can use and you must use a cover system to kill any enemies in the room. You then move on and repeat. One difference from other similar games is that because someone is piping in enemies from different games you are confronted with many styles. Some are easy to take down, whilst others require special tactics such as melee attacks or laser weapons. Matt also has a couple of power ups he can use including a shield and extreme strength. What is surprising is how solid the whole things feels. Too many games made with a reduced budget have floaty controls that undermine the game. 'Eat Lead' may do the same thing over and over again, but at least its good fun and feels right. (3 out of 5)


          Characters/Story

          As mentioned above the storyline has a direct influence on the gameplay and that is not something you see too often in gaming. 'Eat Lead's main USP is that it is a funny game with an entertaining storyline. It is a game that makes fun of being a game. This post modern story works best if you are someone who loves gaming and all of its eccentricities. Matt Hazard himself is an obnoxious meathead who personifies the stereotypical game hero.

          The game does not stop there and makes fun of things as far and wide as achievements, RPGs, objectives, explosive barrels, generic game design etc. The problem is the balancing act of making fun of generic gaming and being a generic game. It is unfortunate that in most ways 'Eat Lead' is incredibly bland, so making jokes about bland games does feel a lot like people in glass houses. However, I was susceptible to the jokes and found the game one of the funniest I have played in a while thanks to good writing, a geeky knowledge of games and voice talent such as Will Arnett (from Arrested Development). (4 out of 5)

          Longevity

          As usual I will lament the length of modern gaming and 'Eat Lead' is no exception. At around 8-10 hours the game is solid by modern terms without being inspiring. The lack of online play means that extended gaming is left for retrying the levels. Some people may want to do this to gain extra achievements, which are actually pretty fun and varied. (3 out of 5)

          Graphics

          I would not say that 'Eat Lead' is the ugliest game on the 360, but I would not want have its children. The levels themselves are solid enough, just bland. The textures are flat and do not have the quality of look or feel that a highly funded game has. The character model of Matt is not the most fanciful thing to look at either, and the various enemies are all a little meh. However, the game is certainly easy enough on the eye to play and the various elements of the level are clear making progress easy. (2 out of 5)

          Level Design

          Possibly the weakest element of the game and another indication of the funding restraints that a game of this size has. In an interesting world like Matt Hazard's you could pretty much do anything and go anywhere. He has fought space marines, cowboys, Russians and many others. So how come in this game we fight mostly inside bland buildings? Each level sees you walk down a linear path into some sort of area. This then triggers the release of a set number of enemies. Level 1 is hardly different from the last level, with only a few token textures making it obvious you have moved. I know that 'Eat Lead' is meant to be a sideways look at the generic nature of gaming, but were these bland levels part of the laughs? The level structure was just enough to keep me playing as the exit was always obvious. If a sequel is ever made D3 seriously need to improve in this area more than any other. (2 out of 5)

          Sound

          A complete mixed bag in terms of music and sound. The sound effects are very repetitive, but this is nothing compared to the music. You hear the same interlude over and over again. It has been a long time since I have played a game that did this so often. However, the voice acting is actually top notch with Will Arnett doing a great job as Matt Hazard. If only they had spent as much time on the rest of the ambiance as they did the voices. (3 out of 5)

          Summary

          Is 'Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard' worthy of a paltry 53% handed to it by Metacritic? It depends on what you view 50% as. In real terms it should mean average, the middle. However, in the world of games journalism 70% is more like the average and anything less is not so good. Therefore, with 53% 'Eat Lead' is more of a 2 star game than a 3 star game in terms of Dooyoo. Personally, I think that this is harsh as it is a game that should be used to quantify what average is.

          'Eat Lead' is a flawed game with uninteresting graphics, poor sound, lacklustre level design and repetitive play. However, it is also amusing and actually fun to play. Therefore, its positives and negatives weigh up to make it about average. If you are someone with who does not buy many games then there is no point getting this - buy 'Gears of War 2' instead. However, if you are someone who plays a lot of games and knows the industry well then 'Eat Lead' is a fun deviation for £10 or less. (3 out of 5)



          Maker: D3 Publishing RRP £50
          Amazon uk £7.75
          Play.com £9.99

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          • More +
            08.06.2009 15:04

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            Not the best game out there, but it's one of the funniest.

            Many reviews for game that I read have really slated it for being unfunny and poorly realised. I say those people must have had a sense of humour bypass because I found Eat Lead a hilarious game to play through. Sure, the actual game itself is unpolished, and there's a lot that could be done to improve it, but if you've been playing games for a decent length of time, you should be able to look past that and appreciate the comedy within.

            So let's get this out of the way. The controls are a little weird - it seems to want to be Gears of War, but it just isn't, the weapons are standard and uninspired, the levels are completely as you would expect from a low budget FPS, and the AI isn't up to much. But listen, this isn't Gears of War. It isn't Call of Duty. It isn't Resistance or anything like that. It's a reasonably low budget parody of the above, and dear lord, it does it so well that it's marvellous.

            Everything about this game is a riot. From the outstanding boss battles (a Final Fantasy style boss communicates only through text boxes and menu systems), to the enemies (such as the flat sprites of Wolfenstein 3D), right down to the crazy achievements (Multiplayer Master! - "What? No multiplayer? Sigh. Well...not like we can take the achievement back NOW....").

            In short, this is not the best game you'll ever play. Not by a long shot. But it's sure to be one of the funniest.

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            21.04.2009 16:34
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            Only good humour saves this game from complete mediocrity

            Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard-More fun than eating lead?

            Parodies can be a hit or miss affair in games. Sure, it's funny when you find jokes involving 'Master Chef', but when it comes to games, sometimes humour is the only thing satirical games have. Recently, though, EA games gave us The Simpsons game, which was qutie a sucess because of its great humour and the fact that it was a platformer, meaning it stood out among the crowds of shooters, sports games and other genres typical nowadays. So maybe that's why publisher D3 and developer Vicious Cycle decided to go with Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard where todays gaming is thoroughly beaten and insulted by Matt Hazard. There are plenty of jokes here, but does it actually have gameplay as good as the game it parodies?

            You take the role of Matt Hazard, an action hero who started getting big in the 80s, then let the sucess and caused his own downfall with terrible spin-offs. But with a new owner at the helm of his company, Marathon Megasoft, he is wanted in a new game. However, it's clear at the end of level 1 that he is wanted dead, though thankfully he's saved by QA, a hologram who can help Hazard. Now he must help comrades from his old games and find out why he's wanted dead all while completing the game. The game's story is one of the highlights, as the concept of a game within a game keeps the plot unpredictable, and you never know what enemies you'll face next when the game is being hacked. The humour can sometimes be a miss, but for the most part, Eat Lead is very funny with some hilarious spoofs and jokes. Play it for yourself to find out what they are...

            Eat Lead is an eight level gauntlet through highly varied locations, from a Chinese restraunt to a yacht to another warehouse level. This sense of unpredicability-the fact you'll never know where you'll be next, gives Eat Lead a chance of sucess as it makes for some great fun. This also goes for the enemies you'll fight. One minute you'll be fighting workhouse enemies, and the next space marines will spawn in the level and after that you'll fight lady robots which can only be killed with melee. There are so many different enemy types-cowboys, zombies, 2D nazi soldiers and much more. These combined elements mean Eat Lead has some varied charm-you never know what happens next, putting you on the edge of your seat. Though the gameplay doesn't really change throughout the game, the different enemies and levels keep the game fresh.

            The game is quite similar to other third-person shooters like Gears of War or D3's other shooter Dark Sector. The game is third-person as you go through each level killing enemies and then moving on to kill more. It doesn't get much different than that though thankfully there's a large variety of enemies and weapons to keep you from getting bored. The cover system, however, isn't the best in the buisness. It works well enough, as you can blind fire and aim with mostly good sucession, though some spotty collision detection can ruin the fun. Unfortunately, the cover system can be awkward, sometimes sticking to the wall next to the piece of cover you want to stick to, or sometimes not sticking to cover at all. It's a shame because for the most part, Eat Lead's controls and cover system work as well as you'd expect them to.

            The main problem with Eat Lead's gameplay is the misleading title. Eat Lead isn't really a good name because you have to conserve ammo in Eat Lead. You can only carry two weapons at a time and the ammo for that probably won't last the level. This means you have to constantly search for weapons from the corpses of the enemies you've killed, or you'll run out of ammo at the worst time-if you're like me and just go in to kill, you could run out of ammo on one of the many boss fights. It's a shame really, as the only weapons which don't runout of ammo quickly are the bog standard pistols, which aren't as good as the other weapons. Whether it's the AK-47, the water pistol/sub-machine gun or the grenade launcher-the chances are that you'll have to switch to your pistol as they run out of ammo. This is probably due to the fact that enemies are so varied that you rarely come across the same guns twice, but still more ammo would be appreciated.

            As you defeat enemies you will absorb this blue haze stuff, which will go into a meter which will power one of two abilities-ice and fire. Both of these are very useful, especially the ice which freezes enemies quickly which stops them shooting at you and puts them in a position for a melee kill. Speaking of which, melee combat is very clunky as it requires three hits to take an undamaged enemy down. Thankfully, there are a couple of power-ups which make this easier to do. Hazard pickups mean Matt can take down enemies with one melee hit, and master shield makes Hazard invincible for a brief period of time. Both of these pick ups come rarely, meaning their unstopabble power can't be taken advantage of.

            Eat Lead can be quite frustrating at times. Couple the ammo sparcity problem, the enemies sometimes spawn behind you and the sometimes spotty cover system and the game can be brutal, even on the medium difficulty, which shouldn't be as hard as some game's hard difficulties. You could be pinned down by an evil space marine, and suddenly a zombie will smack you from behind, and then the marines will gun you down. The game can be cheap, which significantly dampens the fun of the game. The checkpoint system is also quite spotty at times, where you could be playing for ten minutes and have to do it ALL again because there was no checkpoint. The weird thing is that while the game is challenging and cheap, this is one of the easiest games ever to get headshots in because the A.I. blatantly sticks their head out of cover like waving a red bull to a flag.

            The boss fights in the game are both a highlight and sometimes a bother. The many boss fights usually spoof another game, whether it's the Japanese RPG cliche, or the Russian leader who will launch off rockets, each boss fight is funny at the start. However, defeating them can be frustrating, whether it's the one-hit-one death nature of them or the spawning of grunt enemies, the boss fights can go on for too long and become quite lame after a while. Still, the change in how to defeat them definately breaks up the game a bit and the jokes are quite funny. Unfortunately the jokes can grate as every time you die during the boss fights, you must watch the cutscenes again, which aren't funny after the fifteenth time. However, the fights where you must press the buttons in quick succesion are fun and don't drag on like the bigger boss fights.

            The biggest problem with Eat Lead is the poor value for money. The main story is only about 7 hours long meaning you could brush through it in a weekend. There's no multiplayer or co-op, and the only thing to do after completing the game once is to play it on the hardest difficulty, but to be honest the medium difficulty is a pain in the ass so why would you want it harder? The achievements, though quite easy to obtain, are very funny. There's an achievement for the interrogation mode which was apparently cut, an achievement for being the multiplayer champ when there is none and more each of which come with their own amusing one liners. Plus, in perhaps the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, you can unlock 60 gamerscore for simply watching the credits. Perhaps the easiest achievement ever considering you can just leave your Xbox on while it finishes.

            Visually, the game is okay but far from a stone cold stunner. Textures are flat and bland, environments are cramped with objects and the character models look a bit rough around the edges. However the great animation in cutscenes really sells the humour as they're expressive and quite funny. The nice touches during gameplay, like the switching of weapons, really add a distinct style to Eat Lead. The environments are varied as are the enemies meaning the game doesn't get too repetitive visually. The frame rate never chops up and there aren't any other visual glitches or issues like that. The weapon models are great too, like the cheap looking water guns and the chunky grenade launchers. This doesn't make up for the bland overall look of the game though.

            The sound is very good. With Will Arnett and Neil Patrick Harris giving voice-overs the voice acting is strong and as you expect, the writing is funny and easy on the ears. There are many funny moments to be had in Eat Lead, and it's thankfully got good sound to back it up. Unfortunately, during gameplay the guns pack little punch meaning gunplay isn't quite as satisfying as games like Gears of War which packed a metal punch in the groin. The music however is quite funny, which an awesome guitar rift solo which sadly is repeated a bit too much for it's own good. Still, certain music comes in at perfect moments, like an epic orcehstral score during the Soak'em soldiers or the Relaxed Cowboy theme when the cowboys spawn in the game.

            Is Eat Lead good, bad or ugly?

            Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard is a funny game that sadly only carries its average shooting and under average replay value so far. It's a game of highs and lows, as one minute you'll be laughing yourself silly at a cutscene and the next you'll be screaming in anger over a cheap death. The graphics are bland, while the sound is above average. If these flaws don't bother you and all you're looking for is a good laugh, then you probably should find a cheap comedy on DVD, but this will be servicable too. If you're bored of high-tier games like Call of Duty 4 or Gears of War 2, then Eat Lead will keep you busy for a bit but for a game that takes the mick out of games, it sure picked the games which were critically well recieved, meaning that it actually has quite a cheek as it spoofs Mario and World of Warcraft, when really Eat Lead is a game that should be spoofed itself. At least their gameplay was ten times better.

            Controls: 8
            Gameplay: 5
            Graphics: 7
            Sound: 8
            Value: 4
            Overall: 6.4

            Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard was released on March 6th, 2009 for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It is rated 16+ for violence and can be bought for around £40.

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          • Product Details

            Get ready for a fictional account of the world's most popular video game hero... of the 1980s. Matt Hazard is coming out of retirement and making his next-gen "comeback" against all his old enemies.