the writings of a mind

Genre: Action / Adventure
Big Word: Mechanical
Strap: Wicky Waa. Wicky Wicky Waa Waa. Oh, shut up.

Apologies if this appears a little simplistic; but movies are not computer games. There is a clear distinction: movies are played at places called cinemas, but computer games are not. Unless you are that guy with the Gameboy who sits three rows back, and if that is the case, could you please never ever leave your house again. Thanks.

And though this class in Things Are Different 101 may seem as easy to pass as the written driving test, some at Game Producing Towers have been flunking for years. Since home computers were born, these serial failers have been putting out a pixelated version of about every action film to have graced the big screen. Just recently we have enjoyed the wonders of The Fifth Element, Men In Black, Phantom Menace, and now comes Wild Wild West.

The game picks up where the plot of the film left off (fnnarr fnnarr), with Jim West and Artemus Gordon aboard their train The Wanderer, awaiting their next mission. It seems that there is a plot to assassinate President Grant, and controlling the two lead characters separately, you are to investigate the mysterious goings on involved.

While you are Jim, things are slightly more action orientated, allowing you to use your weapons against the variety of guys trying to make you dead. And when Gordon, things are more about using your gadgets, to ‘outsmart’ the baddies. You can choose the order you will play through each character’s missions, but this really makes no difference to gameplay other than to confuse the storyline.

WWW really wants you to like it. Graphically, it is one of the most impressive looking adventure games not to have Lucasarts written on it, and the interface is simple and intelligent. But this is as far as you can get without a "but" sneaking in – look, there’s one at the beginning of this very sentence. It is easily finishable in a day, which is plainly not value for money. The puzzles are very simple, providing little challenge for any level of gamer, until you reach one of the many points where you have to shoot, die, and reload, over and over, until you fluke your way through a fight scene.

So we are left with yet another average adventure game to add to the ever-increasingly depressing pile. There are redeeming features within, especially some really original approaches to fighting letting you outsmart, rather than outshoot. But these are few and far between, and all around is tedious, and simplistic to the point of boring. It is a shame though, because things are close in so many areas. Hey, look on the bright side, it’s better than the film.

Margin Notes:
Making a Bad Impression

Since neither Will Smith nor Kevin Kline showed up for voicing their characters, impressionists were used. Impressionists about as shaky as Rory Bremner’s impersonation of… well, anyone. So instead of listening to what they are saying, you will find yourself thinking, "ooh, that almost sounded like him then".

 So much effort only makes the lack of result hurt more.


Tech Specs:

Publisher: Ubi Soft
Developer: South Peak Interactive
Minimum System: P266, 64Mb RAM, 3D card (4 Mb), 200 Mb HD space
Recommended: P350, 3D card (32 Mb)
Multi-player: No
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