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Wall-E - hands-on

With curious binocular-like eyes and a metallically high-pitched voice, Wall-E stars as an adorable trash-compacter in this summer’s Pixar film of the same name. Plot details are scarce, but from what we can discern, Wall-E is the last surviving trash cleaner on a long-since abandoned Earth. One day, a recon spaceship arrives with the sleek iPod-looking Eve, Wall-E’s romantic interest. When she has to leave, Wall-E hops on board her ship and heads to space. We recently got our hands on an unfinished build for the 360 (same as the PS3 version) to tie in with the film’s release and came away confident that it will properly channel the charm of the titular hero.

Wall-E’s world (be it in space or on Earth) consists of puzzles and deadly obstacles to avoid. The first level we saw was aboard the Axiom, Eve’s hulking spaceship. Imagine a static, completely clean environment with enemy robots resembling recycling machines that are roving about. You navigate Wall-E with the thumb stick and jump by hitting A. Jumping compacts Wall-E into a tiny box, which can be used to damage enemy robots, but also assist in platform elements like magnetizing to the ceiling to avoid pitfalls and deadly electrified floors.

Most puzzles are solved by heaving garbage cubes at switches to activate bridges or open doors. To do so, you’ll need to navigate towards a garbage pile or vending machine and hit B to create cubes (of which you can hold up to three). Hitting X throws them at wherever your targeting reticule is positioned. At one point, Wall-E gets a laser which aids in destroying the enemy bots - and was also the only level we sampled.

Because the amount of baddies can get overwhelming, you’re able to enter “strafe” mode, which throws the camera over your shoulder, Gears of War-style. From here you can target with the right stick and shoot. Unfortunately, we couldn’t tell if this actually aided your firing or was more useful for dodging. We suggest mixing both styles of play, as it does become tricky fighting off a legion of baddies.

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