ReviewEat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard

Developer: Vicious Cycle Software, Inc.
Publisher: D3 Publisher

Release Date: 02/26/2009


Genre: shooter
Setting: modern


Are you hungry for a new game? I have the perfect solution: Open up and Eat Lead. Though I can’t say Eat Lead was the best game I’ve played lately, I can say that it is the most entertaining game I’ve played in a long while. Eat Lead is a shooter game — as if you couldn’t figure that out from the name — and has some very unique aspects to it. Some of those aspects will have you chuckling like mad while blowing the crap out of the bad guys.

Eat Lead is all about Max Hazard, the hero, and his ...

“HEY, that’s MATT Hazard.”

“What?!” Meteor_shower

“You wrote “Max Hazard.” My name is Matt Hazard, and I’m the star of this game.”

“Look, you, this is my review, so get back in the box and stop bugging me.”

Sorry about that, folks. As I was saying, in Eat Lead MATT Hazard is the hero, and the game is all about his run-ins with the games from his past. Though, as I found , Matt is fully aware of the fact that he is a character in a video game and is constantly making offhand comments about the game. Like in the beginning of the game when he goes on about how cool it is to have the ability to dodge from cover to cover with the flick of a button.

Matt Hazard — the hero of classic videogames from yesteryear who starred in titles such as A Fistful of Hazard, Choking Hazard, Matt Hazard 3D and Matt Hazard Land to name a few — is in the fight for his virtual life when it is discovered that the chief executive officer of Marathon Software, the game company that is developing this latest game, is plotting replace him with the newest upcoming ubershootercharacter Sting Sniperscope. After his initial confrontation with things that make no sense, Matt is saved by the mysterious “QA” who ... Soakem_gun

“And she is HOT!”

“Back in the BOX!”

Where was I? Oh yes, the mysterious “QA,” who pulls him out of the game into a hidden part of the server to let him know that his save function has been disabled and that if he were to die that would be it, the end, the big enchilada, the literal pushing up of the virtual daisies. QA also lets him know that some of his friends from previous games have been brought into the game in different levels and are being hunted by the “bad guys.” Though he knows it’s all a trap, Matt throws caution to the wind, and shouting his battle cry, he leaps into the fray to try to save his friends and unravel the mysteries of those who hunt him.

Throughout the game, I got a big kick from the number of enemies that were showing up and their diversity — from brain-eating zombies to gun fighters from the Old West to space marines — each having their own strengths and vulnerabilities. It especially got interesting when they would come at me in mixed waves.

“What’s with this me garbage, you were sitting safe and sound on your couch with a controller in your hands while I was getting mauled, shot, stabbed, bitten, blasted and blown up!” Eatlead_9

“OK, fine, sorrrry!”

Matt was the one that was being chased by the zombies and such.

“And don’t forget about the robot chicks with the machine guns. THEY were tough!”

”And he was being chased by robot chicks with machine guns. Better?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Can I continue with the review now?”

“Sure thing.”

There were also some old 2D Nazis who would turn sideways when Matt shot back and would disappear from site in our 3D gaming experience. Those guys were a real pain in the rear. Well, in Matt’s rear. *grin* Space_marine

I liked the way the environment changed in the middle of a level; one minute your fighting mob bosses in the streets of a modern city, and the next minute, the scene is shifting and you are in an Old West town, and then you walk through a door and your in a nuclear missile facility only to land in the middle of an office building surrounded by the avatars of the employees of Marathon Software decked out in space marine armor. For me, the constantly shifting environments and enemies make Eat Lead a very entertaining game, and I never got bored with having to fight the same bad guys over and over again.

I did get frustrated at times with some of the levels, because it was not clear what needed to be done to clear them — even with the hints that would pop up at the beginning of the levels. Fortunately, there is an automatic save function in the game, so when I died, it would take me back to the last save point.

“When Who died?”

“... When Matt Hazard died ...”

“You know, just because I’m a virtual character in a videogame doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bother me when I die in the game. Sure, I come back to a ‘save’ point, but do you have any idea what its like to live in a constant state of deja vu in which you know that when you go around that next corner you’re dead and there is nothing you can do about it because the loser with the controller can’t figure out a simple button combination to get past the enemies that you know are lying in wait for you?”

“Well, no. I never considered. ..”

“Of course you never considered. I have an idea, why don’t you go get a hammer and hit yourself in the head with it, then repeat that like 30 times in a row. Then maybe you’ll get the idea of what it’s like to ‘just die and return to a save point’ ” Eatlead_16

“Can I get back to the review now please?”

“Sure, go for it.”

See what happens when a game developer gives a character self-awareness and a personality?

Anyway, I found Eat Lead to be a lot of straightforward fun and very entertaining. There is a lot of diversity in the game, and it flows very well. It’s a game that definitely doesn’t take itself seriously, and the goals are simple, shoot everything that moves. The shifting environments keep you from getting bored with the same old scenery level to level, and the collection of enemies and their weapons will teach you that things are not always what they seem.

If you’re looking for some campy entertainment combined with a fast-paced action shooter, I would say that Eat Lead will fill that bill. There is some animated violence in the game, but it is very much in a nonrealistic style like so many other games out there these days, so the game would not be graphically intense for the teen crowd. Besides, maybe you can get Matt through the game more efficiently that I did.

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About the Author, Carl Pabst, Jr. (A.K.A DemiUrgoss)

I've been gaming since the days of the original TSR D&D and have grown up playing just about every PnP RPG created. Eventually with the age of computers, I started getting into RTS and military strategy games. And then came the MMORPG Asherons Call which changed my computer gaming forever. These days when i'm not gaming I'm working with the Los Padre's Council BSA and my son's Cub Pack - when not conquering the virtual world.