PC REVIEW: TORRENTE

Torrente has a few things working against it, the least of which is the fat, balding, middle-aged, ass that is the star of the game. That fat dork is the best thing about the game. What does that tell you?

Torrente is based on an apparently hilarious Spanish movie which translates to The Stupid Arm of the Law. José Luis Torrente is the foul-mouthed, bumbling lout who is a modern day Inspector Clouseau. As an ex-detective, Torrente is shown sitting in the lap of luxury surrounded by babes in a hot tub. He explains that things weren't always this way. We begin in Madrid where a plethora of missions attempt to bring us up to speed on Torrente's present situation. Unfortunately things don't always work this way.

At first glance, the city, with its crowded vehicle and pedestrian traffic, resembles a combination of Crazy Taxi and GTA. The city is large but very simply detailed, not unlike Crazy Taxi. Although there are lots of vehicles you can't drive any - although you can get run over by them. There is an on-rails mission which features a vehicle. It's actually the best part of the game. The majority of the gameplay however, will involve walking around and shooting at gang members and other nefarious criminals.

Missions range from escort to collecting. You can defend yourself from enemies with pistols, rifles, grenades, baseball bats, uzis, knives and hand-to-hand combat. There are times when you may need a sniper rifle to pick off some bad guys in a second-story window or the occasional grenade to infiltrate a distant gathering of enemies but the pistol will serve your needs just fine for the most part. The aiming is loose. Only the grenade has any sense of accuracy but that's because it's got a larger radius of destruction. Fortunately the bad guys don't move around a lot. They either stand in one spot and shoot at you or run at you in straight line. Eventually this begins to erode any sense of challenge that may have been present at the onset.

Torrente is slow to move. He's fat. What else can I say? I think he's got potential to be a really interesting character but we don't really get to see his personality the way in which it was revealed in the film. This film was huge in Spain. In the game he's a caricature of a caricature. Before each mission we're given a little insight into the story and his character but it's too shallow to make me really care about him. He spews out a few naughty words here and there but he repeats himself too quickly. For those that haven't seen the movie more explanation would be required and that includes me.

You can choose from first or third-person perspective. There are times when you will be attacked from enemies off-screen. At first you might think this is due to the perspective but such is not the case. You'll have to remember where all the scripted events take place and avoid them on your next time through the level. Yes, you'll have to play through the entire level again and let me tell you that you can expect to play through some of them more than twice.

What bugs me the most about this game is the wasted potential. It's got a kind of Leisure Suit Larry meets Duke Nukem feel to it but the developers focused more on the shooting aspect instead of expanding on the comical storyline.

If anything, Torrente has got me sufficiently interested in seeing the movie version. Considering that the quality of the game in terms of graphics, sound and gameplay would still look like a budget title on the PS2, a full version of the movie should have been included. It's more than five years old now and would probably include subtitles, so it's not like they'd be giving something incredibly valuable away. That's the only way I could recommend purchasing this game.

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System: PC
Dev: Cinemaware
Pub: O 3 Entertainment
Release: Dec 2004
Players: 1
Review by Dan
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
2.5
CONTROL
2.0
MUSIC/FX
2.0
VALUE
1.0