Hogs Of War Review

By: John Doe

...this little piggy went for roast beef and this little piggy stood on the precipice overlooking the enemy troops and shouted, "Attack." In the same vein as Worms, HOW takes a refreshingly funny look at war. Not that war is ever funny. I didn't mean that. Ummm... Let's just move on, shall we?


Welcome to the world war for swine. Infogrames has constructed a surreal and smart-assed world with their offbeat Hogs of War game for the PS2. What's in it for you? How about cheap laughs, outrageous puns and asinine characters all involved in a full-scale war. It's a 3D frag fest played on a huge battlefield with a blend of real time tactical strategies and clever cut scenes. Nothing goes together better with the horrors of war than big laughs from silly animated pigs with names such as Herr Dry and Herr Gel.

The concept of the game is basic and that's part of the overall problem. Although the game shows promise in the first few levels it fails to blossom further. It's as though the programmers ran out of steam and developed programmers' block so they just chose to add a few extra gimmicks onto each level and just increase the difficulty level.

Pigs are sent into battle one at a time within a limited time period. Chose from an assortment of guns, bazookas, grenades or mortar rounds to take care of your enemy. At the end of the time limit, the enemy takes its turn to try to fry your bacon. You can also take defensive maneuvers and get the hell out of an area if you're out maneuvered. During your turn at bat, your hogs can search for power up crates and hidden health revitalizers. Watch out for mines during your little forays or your little piggy will end up as pork sausage.

Employing the weapons will take some practice especially the grenade, which like some of the other explosive weapons, you must depress and hold the X button to determine the distance the weapon will be thrown or launched. After a few dead pigs, you will learn how to get rid of that damn grenade properly. For added tension, the longer it takes you to line up a target in your crosshairs, the more jittery it becomes and harder to aim. You have no idea how that single element drives me to within a few inches of the edge of insanity.

Complete a mission and outfit your troops with more powerful weapons using the points acquired in successful battles. Soldiers can also be endowed with special skills such as the ability to treat injured soldiers or operate mega weapons. The decisions you have to make during the battles are not so taxing that you can't enjoy the wacky humor of this game but it's nice to have your brain engaged occasionally instead of just your reflexes.

It is here, that I take aside the friendless and be blunt with them: The single player mode in Hogs is decent, but it won't keep your interest for long. The multi-player game is an entirely different matter. In fact, it's really the only way Hogs of War should be played. Get four players going and you will find yourself enthralled with a game that as a single player, you had trouble staying awake. Simply put, this game is all about friendly competition. Get a multi-tap and buy some friends, or is that the other way around?

Not that the graphics will win any awards, but just as some people think that The Full Monty was the funniest movie they had ever seen, I'm sure that some people will think that this is the best game ever made. This game has cult following written all over it, and where there's a cult, there are fanatics desperately trying to attach to something that sets them apart form the mainstream. But let me tell you that the novelty wears off pretty quickly even with the inclusion of a deathmatch mode. Aside from the quirky concept and some decent gags, this game is average in every way. Some of the animated bits are hard to make out the first time you see them but you will soon learn what's going on and forever be disappointed with your discovery. For some authenticity, tunes from the war era pepper the soundtrack and the voice-overs are generally well acted although the faux German accents do get a little annoying after a while.

So is the point here that those who engage in combat are nothing but a bunch of pigs? Maybe in some conservative politician's mind but don't read anything more into this game than just another good old killing spree. If you've ever wanted to lead a battalion of porcines into battle then you can either start a fracas in the buffet line at the Beef Barn or get your hands on Hogs of War.






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