Review – Eat Them
Ah. So this is how you mess up a game in which you play a giant, hulking monster. Eat Them certainly sounds a treat on paper, a game in which you play a hulking monstrosity of your own creation, and are tasked with destroying various public buildings, and causing civil unrest. However, the reality of Eat Them is far removed from my platonic conception of it all.
Eat Them’s main problem is that it honestly isn’t much fun to actually play. I’m somewhat at a loss as to why this is, but I think I’ve narrowed it down to a few possible areas;
1. When playing a giant monster, the player wants to do one of two important things. Smash everything in existence, and eat people. Whilst Eat Them contains both of there vital ingredients, the controls serve to conspire against the game at every possible moment. There are no less than 4 attack buttons (5, if you have a woefully ineffectual rocket strapped to your back), and they all correspond to different parts of your creature. The trouble is, each attack uses energy, which is also the health of your monster. When destroying a building with my SLEDGEHAMMER ARMS, I don’t want to have to worry as to whether my gas bill is going to be a little dear at the end of the month, but this is what Eat Them has you playing. An energy conscious mad genius, who would much rather have his monster use his weakest attack over and over again, rather than using the mortar strapped to his back, in the fear that said creation will soon come up against a particularly vicious looking bloke with a pistol.
2. When in a city ripe with destroyable buildings, a footrace is the last thing on my mind. Don’t pad out the mindless destruction with a checkpoint-based race, especially when your camera system is busted to the extent that I’m unable to see the checkpoint. Also, don’t even think about escort missions, especially when the very thing you are escorting can also be used as food to replenish health. And your monster scoops, making it all very annoying when you scoop up 5 of your allies, and pop them into your mouth.
3. Give me an awesome monster first, and let me make him even better the more I play the game. I don’t want to be running around a city, worried that I’ll be killed at any moment by a particularly vicious looking lawn mower. It isn’t fun, and it doesn’t make the progression any sweeter when I finally get that machine gun arm. You get new parts by getting either Gold or Silver medals, which seem to me a bit like withholding the cake until you rebuy the person the ingredients they used to make it with, when it’s a cake you bought for them. With your own money.
If I’m going to follow the standard review structure, this would be where I would traditionally talk about how the game looks pretty, has fun co-op and that the monster maker is incredibly cool to mess around with. Making a bright pink thing with 4 legs is entertaining, any way you slice it. But, to do this would be to attempt to wallpaper over a bloodstain. In the end, you know that there’s still a carcass under the floorboards. Eat Them isn’t fun, and manages to make the act of destroying a city seem like pushing papers at a desk job. So there you have it. That’s how you mess up a game about controlling a giant monster. Depressing, isn’t it?
For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Wonderful cartoon aesthetic
- Decent Co-Op
- Deep, if ultimately confusing monster maker
What I Dislike:
- Boring gameplay
- Uninspired mission designs
- Aggravating controls
- Withholds the good monster parts until you play more.