|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PC, PS2, PDP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Heavy Iron Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
One Cube at a Time
by Jonathan Marx
May 30, 2008 - WALL·E The Video Game is due to hit store shelves on June 24th 2008. That's three full days before the movie releases. The game will launch on every platform imaginable, even for Macs and Mobile phones! Here at CheatCC we got our hands on a preview build for the Xbox 360. All nine levels to be included with the full release weren't available, but we did get enough of a taste to let you know it's going to be a very fun and engaging family title.
In case you haven't seen any previews for the movie, WALL·E units are trash-compacting robots charged with cleaning up the wasteland that is Earth. The protagonist, WALL·E, is an inquisitive little fellow who goes about his business of cleaning up the Earth while finding interesting tidbits that fuel his curiosity. Enter the sleek search robot EVE. She's an advanced robot, capable of high speed flight and equipped with a potent armament of lasers. Through various trials and tribulations, these two robots from disparate backgrounds will join forces with an eclectic bunch of oddballs on a quest that spans from the Earth to the Mammoth Axiom Starliner on the edge of the solar system.
Though the game is based on the upcoming movie, players will be treated to new storylines and settings that are wholly original. The nine large levels will have players take on the role of both WALL·E and EVE. WALL·E is surprisingly quick and agile on his dual treads. He can jump, throw, and zoom his way in and around obstacles with the greatest of ease. Moreover, he's very rugged and durable. That's no surprise after seeing the junk-choked world in which he lives.
Levels featuring WALL·E are puzzle-based. WALL·E is able to get around various obstacles by compacting specific types of trash and using their characteristics to advance through the world. The world within which WALL·E lives feels like one great, big mousetrap. Consequently, zooming around with WALL·E is a ton of fun and will even work your noodle.
EVE, on the other hand, is quite a bit different. She is much more delicate and sleek. To make up for this she can fly at very high speed and packs a wallop with her precision lasers. As such, levels featuring EVE are fast-paced flight-shooters full of timed sections and tight tunnels. The juxtaposition of the two distinct game mechanics seems to keep the game fresh and appealing.
Additionally, there is even a third level type that uses the powers of both WALL·E and EVE together. Flying around with EVE, blasting stuff, and then cleaning up the mess and working your way through the puzzles with WALL·E makes for an interesting third-way to play the main adventure.
Along the way, there are tons of secret objects including Wallops, videos, artwork, and even statuettes from other well-known Disney Pixar movies. These unlockables have the effect of leveraging the level of difficulty. Getting through the entire story looks to be pretty straightforward, but collecting each and every hidden bit will be challenging for anyone! Moreover, the title also has a bunch of mini-games as well as a two to four person multiplayer component.
The sights and sounds of the 360 version are very nice indeed. All of the visuals look very crisp, and the environments are both detailed and expansive. The lighting is very realistic, and the Earth has a decidedly lived-in feel. The music selection is nice, but I can already tell it's very repetitive. According to the press release, the game features major movie voice talents, including Ben Burtt.
Controls also feel quite good. Both WALL·E and EVE are quick and responsive. Blasting through obstacles, throwing garbage, negotiating gauntlets, and manipulating objects in the environment are all done with the greatest of ease. There are only a few buttons to worry about and you'll never get stuck, as new abilities are succinctly described in pop-up text blurbs as you advance through the title.
All in all, it looks like WALL·E The Video Game is shaping up to be a very good family title, not just a good movie tie-in. The puzzle-based sections are very fun and should challenge youngsters and keep parents and older siblings engaged. We were only given the 360 version to try out, but the game will launch on every major gaming platform available, so there's no excuse not to pick it up. Look for our full review at the end of next month!
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director