What a bunch of WALL-Es

I wanted to wait until I’d seen the film to play THQ’s WALL-E tie-in. I wasn’t so interested in the quality of the game – Matt’s covered that – but rather how it relates to the film.

The answer: tenuously.

It starts with the same opening sequence – WALL-E trundling around, compacting scrap, building structures, interacting with his cockroach friend. This nicely highlights the embarrassing inferiority of the game’s visuals compared to the film. Of course it’s not going to be as beautiful as Pixar’s original, but it really doesn’t look very nice at all. FMV doesn’t have to be your enemy, THQ.

Then it all gets terribly arbitrary. Admittedly I’ve not played it for an awfully long time, but I was quickly introduced to a variety of cubes of scrap – which WALL-E forms in his metal tummy. There are standard cubes, but also heavy ones, and cubes that carry some sort of electrical current.

This is pure artistic license on THQ’s part, though not unreasonably so – it opens up plenty of staple video game puzzles. But it starts to get ridiculous when the scrap for the ‘special’ cubes comes from vending machines. And WALL-E’s solar panels are recharged at special points where the sun has been magnified. It’s not only completely made-up for the game, but – as far as I can work out – unnecessarily so, and not really in-keeping with the film.

To be fair, the early parts of the film – with WALL-E just getting about on his own – can’t have been easy to mould into a game, but it just seems like such a cursory effort, and I can’t help feeling that there are going to be a lot of vaguely confused kids.

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