Damn you Wall-E, and damn whoever decided to come up with that way our trash-compacting, lonely-hearts-surfing robo-friend constantly repeats his own name in gurgling, quasi-’endearing’ fashion. It’s not cute, it’s not appealing, it’s... oh, the movie’s set to rake in $250 million? Ah. Shows how much we know. Still, at least the blatantly nicked premise shows promise. Take sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf and ‘classic’ 80’s Steve Guttenberg vehicle Short Circuit, stick ‘em in a blender and what do you get? No, not Red Circuit smartarse – this. It’s certainly more of an easily-adapted concept for a videogame than Ratatouille anyway, but – once again – the resulting tie-in ends up being a masterclass in tedious game design.
Not that Wall-E doesn’t start brightly enough, with our mateless, caterpillar-tracked ‘lil pal roaming about the barren remains of Planet Earth which, far into the future, has been transformed into little more than an intergalactic garbage dump. Sob. Luckily for Wall-E, that’s how you’ll solve the majority of the game’s simple puzzles – trash. Light trash, heavy trash, radioactive trash: all will light your route in different ways as you meander through some staple platformy bits, occasionally spiced up by rotate-able level segments that can be re-tried to mop up every last bonus in sight.
Every few levels, you’ll get to play as Wall-E’s futuristic beau – EVE. A more advanced robot, she can take to the skies, as well as zap foes with her ‘taser – which signals the old tried-and-tested combo of on-rails racey bits and free-roaming shooty bits. It’s hopelessly, cynically by the numbers. But – hey –this is a tie-in, so it’s allowed. Right?
Wall-E’s not an absolute stinker. For the first few levels, at least, it looks pretty enough, with some snazzy camera angles that highlight our hero’s diminutive size, decent physics and a gritty filter that transforms levels into desolate, windswept wastelands. It’s also certainly not bereft on the bonuses front, packing collectibles and secret missions chock full of movie content. The kiddies will probably fall hard for this loveable roboplod, but unfortunately us emotionless cyborg adults have seen it all billions and billions of times before – and conveyed with infinitely more panache too.
Jul 2, 2008