Zombies. Can’t live with ’em,
Walk Thru Walls’ first adventure, Metal Dead follows the adventures of Malcolm and Ronnie, two heavy-metal enthusiasts struggling to survive in the midst of yet another outbreak of the living dead. It is the first in a planned series of point-and-click adventures set during the apocalypse.
At first glance, the comedy double act and stylized graphics instantly bring back memories of Ben There, Dan That. However, after an extremely brief opening section, the two protagonists suffer a slight mishap when Ronnie becomes thoroughly dead. No sooner have we begun to come to terms with events when the two are suddenly reunited by a deranged scientist with too much time on his hands. Ronnie’s head is unceremoniously resurrected through a complicated procedure involving an intelligence micro-chip and a chainsaw, and after shoving the newly revived disembodied head of his friend down his trousers, Malcolm sets out to investigate his surroundings.
As far as gameplay goes, it’s very much in the finest traditions of adventure gaming; picking up everything not nailed down and hoping it’ll prove useful later on. The puzzles are fairly easy to wrap your head around, but in the event that you do become utterly stuck, Ronnie’s head provides an always-on hand hint system. It is perhaps almost too easy in places, but I’d far rather be enjoying the story than scratching my head in pure frustration.
On the downside, the music does prove to be somewhat repetitive and occasionally annoying, but what the audio lacks in quality, the game certainly makes up for in other areas. The dialogue is well-written and frequently hilarious, providing life to the multitude of unusual characters you encounter in your journey up the medical centre.
Metal Dead isn’t going to win any prizes for graphical innovation, but adventure games have proven time and time again that graphics play second fiddle to imagination and storyline. The comedy and cartoon graphics complement each other well, and the animation does much to bring the game to life. Despite the cartoonish visuals, the undead nonetheless have a sinister look about them, and the game is not afraid to show more than a little gore.
Admittedly, the zombie genre is getting a little long in the tooth, but Metal Dead approaches the apocalyptic with a fresh style and comic humour throughout. Although brief in length, there’s enough here to provide a fun afternoon’s pointing and clicking, and its low price is no barrier to entry. For a first effort, Walk Thru Walls should be extremely proud, I can’t wait to see what they’ve got lined up next.
Verdict: Head Shot
Platforms Available – PC
Platform Reviewed – PC
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