Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
As a tongue-in-cheek spoof of action video games, Matt Hazard fails. There are some genuinely funny self-referential bits but the developers just didn't take it far enough.
- Solid action, great cover system, interesting variety of enemies and weapons
- Not enough polish, humour falls flat, uneven difficulty and wonky AI
I'll be brutally honest: Matt Hazard is not a great game. It falls victim to a lot of the cliches that it pokes fun at and Matt Hazard doesn't have the star appeal of a Duke Nukem or a Marchs Fenix. It doesn't take the spoof thing far enough-they totally waste the voice over talents of the awesome Will Arnett-and the action needs three more coats of polish but it definitely has its moments. Despite its faults, I more or less enjoyed it.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
As a tongue-in-cheek spoof of action video games, Matt Hazard fails. There are some genuinely funny self-referential bits but the developers just didn't take it far enough. It also suffers from some design issues, chief among them pathetic AI, boring boss fights, and a general lack of polish. It's ironic then that Eat Lead actually ends up being a half decent action game, even if it does fall victim to some of the same cliches that it tries so very hard to make fun of.
The Story Thus Far
Let me get the generic info-dump out of the way now: Matt Hazard is a third-person action title in the vein of Gears of War that features a cover system as its main game concept. You play as Matt Hazard, a video game action star, who falls victim to the shenanigans of a crooked CEO of a game company; you're "cast" in a video game but things quickly go awry as enemies from your past are hacked in. The game offers about eight hours of gameplay (ten or so if you die a lot, like I did) and there's a good variety of enemies, from Western gunshooters to futuristic space soldiers to shoot at. You're also given access to a nice set of weapons that range from pistols and shotguns to plasma rifles.
The cover system is the game's greatest strength and it's handled really well. Hug against a wall and press A to stick to it; lean out over a corner and you're given various contextual options like the ability to run to the next available piece of cover or slide around the corner. Some cover is destructible so you have to be nimble but dispatching enemies is fairly easy thanks to the slick controls (though camera issues can make life difficult when the heat is on). The graphics are also fairly decent but they won't make you forget about Gears of War anytime soon.
But while it's a solid enough effort, the game shoots itself in the foot with a tremendous lack of polish. The level designs are boring, the difficulty is uneven and the enemy AI is atrocious. The only time I took note of the level architecture was when the textures suddenly went old school in an homage to Wolfenstein 3D-the rest of it was plain-jane office buildings and warehouses. The game is also ridiculously easy for the most part-enemies make good use of cover but conveniently expose their heads for long stretches, making them easy snipe targets-but there are sections that are brutally hard in the 'too many enemies, not enough ammo/cover' way. I didn't beat these sections so much as I endured them, which is always a bad feeling.
The game also fails miserably in its attempts to spoof the action game genre. Except for a few jokes that caused me to chuckle, the game doesn't do enough to poke fun at the established cliches, which is a shame. Will Arnett's comedic talent also goes to waste thanks to uninteresting dialogue, though he does make the most of his lines.
What Could've Been
I came very close to hating Matt Hazard for the reasons I just listed but at the end of the day, I had to admit that I enjoyed playing through it. It's not a triple-A blockbuster and Matt Hazard is definitely not the second coming of Duke Nukem but it's a solid action title that delivers its fair share of thrills. With some better writing and more polish, it could have been something more; maybe that's something the developers will take to heart for the inevitable sequel.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- 3 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 4 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Saints Row II is free on GOG, but not for long
- The original StarCraft and its beloved Brood War expansion are now free
- Xbox One Insiders get first crack at player-organized tournaments
- Meet the new Microsoft Edge: 5 key improvements with the Creators Update
- Microsoft will unveil Project Scorpio, the next Xbox, at E3
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior System EngineerNSW
- FTJava Technical Team LeadVIC
- CCEnd User Services ArchitectNSW
- FTPMO Project Analytics and Tools ManagerNSW
- FTFront End .Net Developer. Permanent jobACT
- FTOSS Developer - BPM (Business Process Manager) SMEVIC
- CCSolution DesignerVIC
- CCSenior Infrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTSystems Engineer | Managed Services ExpVIC
- FTSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- CCProcess Improvement SpecialistVIC
- CCDesktop Support/ Field Services EngineerQLD
- CCProcess Specialist - TelcoVIC
- CCVMware AdministratorNSW
- FTHRIS Systems Support Analyst (Kronos)NSW
- FTAnalyst Programmer - Mulesoft Focus x 3NSW
- CCSystems Specialist - Network Systems l Port MacquarieQLD
- FTCapacity ManagerACT
- FTInfrastructure DesignerVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- CCNetwork EngineerQLD
- FTChief Security OfficerNSW
- CCProgram CoordinatorVIC
- FTFinance Analyst with Accounting | 8 Month ContractVIC