|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: July 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
April 22, 2008 - I feel secure enough in my adulthood to say that I absolutely love Disney Pixar movies. In my opinion Cars was one of the best movies ever, and I hold it up there with personal favorites like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and V for Vendetta. But movie quality aside, I can't say that I've ever really disliked a THQ game based on a Disney Pixar movie. Sure, Finding Nemo was a little rough, but the two games based on the Cars franchise were actually pretty enjoyable, and had a nice family-friendly approach that gave parents and tykes a great way to play together.
So it is with this mindset that we look at WALL-E, the next big animated summer blockbuster from Disney Pixar, and its subsequent movie tie-in. The movie's plot actually lends itself pretty easily to a video game, and revolves around the lonely robot WALL-E. Poor WALL-E has been given the task of cleaning up after humanity's earthy messes after they have all left the planet. He is the last "living" being on the planet, and in the time that WALL-E has been operational, he has developed emotions and feels very lonely. However, all that changes when a cute but deadly robot named EVE appears. An interstellar adventure ensues, and you can bet that there's a whole bunch of Disney Pixar magic injected into this story at every turn.
The game follows the movie model fairly closely and begins by placing you in the shoes of poor WALL-E as he cleans up the earth. You use WALL-E's somewhat limited functions to pick up and compact garbage. As the game progresses, however, you will be able to take control of the EVE robot, who has a penchant for shooting things. Some levels will even have you taking control of both robots at the same time in a single player co-op.
Since this game is most definitely a massive multi - platform release, it is important to note that there will be several key differences and similarities between all the platform releases. First of all, the next-gen systems will all have essentially the same content. The only real difference is that the Wii version will have some exclusive multiplayer content in the form of mini - games, some of which will favor the use of the Wii Zapper. The PlayStation 2 version of the game, however, is being pitched as a completely different experience. There is no word on how the handheld platforms will figure into the multiplatform equation, but I would suppose that they would follow the PlayStation 2's model more closely then the current-gen home console model. Of course the handheld titles could be completely independent of both the console versions altogether!
But back to the main three consoles. There will also be some pretty obvious differences in terms of game visuals, with the 360 and PS3 versions having much more detailed environments and character models. However, an interesting thing about this title is that when you look at Wii screenshots next to PS3 or 360 screenshots, they do look remarkably similar. Sure, the keen eye will be able to spot subtle texturing differences and lighting effects, but on the whole, the Wii does a great job here of keeping up with the other two consoles in terms of graphical capacity.
WALL-E looks like it is shaping up to be a great family game. I can imagine families sitting down and playing through this game together, and hopefully it will provide a great experience for families with young children. And since it is coming to every important console, if you want to take home a piece of WALL-E, you'll get your chance this summer!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer