Video Game Review - Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
Just when we thought the overcrowded shooter genre couldn't possibly accept any more bald space marines, along comes Matt Hazard in Eat Lead. This third-person shooter makes a mockery of past videogames by combining A-list voice talent, toilet humor, and a vast amount of parodies. Can Matt's slapstick, self-referential shootout avoid becoming a stereotype itself?
Funny man Will Arnett voices Hazard, a superstar from the '80s who made it big back in the eight-bit era. After fame, and a few flops, the now defunct action hero has finally been offered a starring role in a new game. It's not without a price. The moment Hazard enters stage one, it becomes apparent that someone is out to kill him. Together with QA, a newfound hologram ally, Hazard must rescue his comrades, and uncover the mysteries behind the game.
Eat Lead's satirical plot is told through well-scripted, hilarious cutscenes. It parodies everything from Master Chief to Mario, and even mocks Final Fantasy's fabled bosses. Not all of the jokes hit, but the concept of a game within a game keeps things mostly unpredictable.
Judging solely on the box-art, you'd think Eat Lead is an over-the-top, gun blazing, action-packed summer blockbuster. In reality it's a highly generic third-person shooter, where you'll spew water streams at cheap enemy A.I., duck behind obstacles to avoid unfair deaths, and most disappointingly, conserve ammo. Poor design choices litter the game from top to bottom.
Armed with the usual repertoire of guns including a shotgun, Uzi, sniper, and assorted handguns, you'll work through eight single-player missions. You'll also earn fire and ice powerups that can be incredibly effective.
Backtracking is far too prevalent, and the reaching each checkpoint becomes a relief. Boss battles manage to help break things up from the endless ducking and shooting.
Without any multi-player or cooperative options, you'll quickly burn through the entire game in under 10 hours. After rolling through the credits you'll earn a higher difficulty setting, but like most comedy, the jokes just aren't as funny a second time through.