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Eat Lead: the Return of Matt Hazard is looking like being a solid third-person shooter with some excellent ragdoll physics and some carefully balanced shooting. But what might elevate it above the crowd is its unique plot, which features homages to several videogame staples. Obviously they're as close as possible without infringing on copyrights, but there's a fair few chuckles to be had. For instance:
Yes, you read it right. He's a master chef. And he wears space-marine green clothing. Hang on... why are we being as cagey as the PR guy here? This guy is clearly meant to look like Master Chief from Halo. Like that one? Then how about...
This fella popped up at the end of the warehouse level we saw being played. His name is Captain Carpenter. He's a carpenter. He's got a sack full of planks of wood strapped to his back (did we mention he's a carpenter?) and overalls, as all carpenters need. They're blue. Definitely NOT red like plumbers wear.
He needs to make good his escape so he leaps into the air with one fist raised, headbutts a suspended block, then disappears down a massive green pipe that emerges from the ground with a funny sound effect. A little bit like the one at the start of Super Mario 64... hmm.
These guys must be our favourites. In the style of Wolfenstein 3D, these Nazi-like soldiers are flat 2D soldiers with just a few frames of animation. We especially like the name, pronounced with a 'V' sound, much like the Luftwaffer of World War II. But of course it means they're wafer thin. Oh, you got that already? Sorry - we just liked the joke.
Then there's Matt Hazard's holographic sidekick friend called 'Q.A.' in the style of Halo (though she's not as good-looking as Cortana). She's a bit bookish really, and she's wearing a lot more clothes, but she's got the attitude right. Wonder if we'll be seeing any sexy fan art of her any time soon?
Then there is a boss-fight with a blonde, floppy-haired chap with a huge sword who only talks in blue text bubbles. He even selects his attacks from a drop-down menu in the traditional JRPG style. His name is Altos Tratus. Could that be Alto because he's girly and Stratus as in 'cloud'? Now who could that be?
Eat Lead has got some nice ideas, or at least borrowed some nice ideas. We just hope it doesn't rely on the above for its variety instead of providing a fulfilling gameplay experience. It's in its final polishing-up stages now so expect a review soon.
Above: It's goodbye from him...