By BlazeHedgehog 34 Comments
I knew I was in for a particularly craptastic treat when I saw a game based on Battle: Los Angeles had gone up on Xbox Live this morning. When a licensed videogame isn't even high enough quality to see a disc-based retail release, it's a good idea to avoid it at all costs. I, on the other hand, having a morbid fascination with train wrecks, immediately set upon downloading the game and giving it a spin. Surprise: it's not very good. It's not very good at all. It was so not good that I had to share it with the world through the magic technologic wizardry of live streaming.
Battle: Los Angeles is so bad that it somehow slingshots back around and actually becomes sort of entertaining again, strictly by virtue of being fantastically inept in nearly every department. Somehow, somebody was paid to make this "game". Let's run down a list of offenses I myself encountered in my time spent with the demo:
- The game opens with a "motion comic" style cutscene (that features shockingly little motion) that is both completely out of place and blatantly traced from actual promotional photos for the movie. It vaguely tries to set up the plot of the film but mainly repeats movie taglines like "NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME" over and over again.
- As a side note, the font used to display subtitles for these cutscenes is COMIC-SANS. IN A GAME WHERE YOU PLAY AS ONE GUY FROM A MILITARY PLATOON AS HE TRIES TO STOP ALIENS FROM DESTROYING ALL OF MANKIND. COMIC. SANS.
- For whatever reason, most of the dialog spoken by the soldiers (both in cutscenes and during levels themselves) sound like they were recorded in somebody's basement using a $2 PC mic. There's a weird echo to everything they say.
- In general, the game's sound design is mediocre at best. Aliens sound like animal growls run through a generic "alien" flange filter (there's a preset in Goldwave that sounds nearly identical). Guns lack aural punch and were licensed from some of the most budget sound packs available - keep your ears open and you can hear sfx from Doom 2 and Quake 1 peppered around in the game's ambient sounds.
- The actual shooting will put you to sleep. Aliens don't do anything interesting and act like boilerplate enemy human soldiers. There is no way to tell when you're actually hitting an alien with anything because they do not react to being shot.
- You are lead by the nose from identical encounter to identical encounter. At any time you are free to just wander away from the current shoot out and none of your squad mates will bat an eyelash. None of them can apparently die and it's rare that they actually manage to land shots on the aliens.
The only potentially impressive bit is the implementation of "Havok Destruction" physics, but after the Bad Company games, that's not really very special. I'm serious: you probably shouldn't buy this. It was good for a laugh because of how truly abysmal it is, but I hope nobody actually thinks of wasting $10 on it.