Number two in the current episodic series from Telltale games, Wallace
and Gromit in The Last Resort sticks faithfully to its Aardman origins
to create an enjoyable, albeit slightly flat, interlude in the basement of
62 West Wallaby Street.
If you have never encountered
Wallace and Gromit before, check out
Gremlinís review of the first
episode, which will give you a little background. If you are familiar with
the plasticine duo, then read on.
The Last Resort
sees the Blackpool beach holiday thwarted by inclement weather (it is
the UK after all!). An almost calamity in the basement leads to a grand
idea -- if you canít go to the beach, get the beach to come to you. A few
conundrums later, and West Wallaby Waterworld is born, complete with
holidaying villagers all seeking to escape the gloomy environs.
The game is played in
self-contained chapters, the first of which consists of establishing the
beach. There are limited things to do, and limited places to do them, so
itís fairly smooth sailing to Chapter 2, which reveals what happens when
you try and entertain half a dozen or so would-be holiday makers in a
Wigan basement. Wallace must cheer them all up, or itís refunds all round.
Then the mystery. The lights go
out, and Duncan McBiscuit gets a good old noggin thumping with goodness
knows what and by goodness knows who. Wallace is busy getting the
Deduct-o-Matic to work properly, so Gromit is on the case. I was pleased
he was. Gromit has always been the brains of the operation, and it would
not have seemed authentic to have him merely as an adjunct.
A fourth short chapter finishes
things off, but not before a close encounter with a whirlpool. Itís Gromit
again who saves the day, with a few well aimed throws. It isnít a matter
of dexterity however, just throwing the correct thing at the correct item.
Do I look like I care
I have always admired claymation,
and the painstaking effort involved. We havenít got that here, but
Telltale apparently got access to the original plasticine models, so we do
have a rather excellent computer-generated imitation, complete with thumb
marks. Everything else from the Wallace and Gromit world is spot-on Ė the
very British feel is present, the language is right, and the actors
(including the Wallace stand-in) are all excellent. The original jaunty
music is also used. Clearly Telltale (and Aardman) had no designs on
tampering with a classic.
There is cheese too, although it
Gromit is great. Itís amazing how
expressive a character can be who says nothing, especially one who is an
animated piece of plasticine. And a dog to boot.
Unlike other Telltale games, the
Wallace and Gromit adventures use the keyboard to control movement, and
the mouse to interact with the game world. As fine movement isnít
necessary, it works okay, but it did feel a little clumsy now and then.
For point and click aficionados, you will have to grin and bear it, and
think of your Xbox colleagues. Or plug in a gamepad.
Its played in the third person,
and as might be apparent from the above, you get to play as Gromit in
Chapter 3, as well as on other short occasions. There arenít many games
you get to play as a dog (DogDay springs to mind), and certainly
not one as resourceful as Gromit.
Save games happen automatically,
and happen so regularly you donít really need to manually save. You can if
you want to, and save games are called bookmarks. The main menu screen
will let you continue a game, which will automatically load the last saved
game. As it autosaves on exit, you just pick up where you left off, a
feature I always like.
One thing that is here from other
Telltale games is the hint system, which has four levels of prodding. Turn
it off altogether if you wish, or adjust it as you go if you feel stuck.
Itís quite subtle, introducing dialogue into the game that may well give
you an idea of what to do. It stops short of an actual answer, but the
more frequent the level of hint chosen, the more obvious might be the
It isnít a hard game in any event,
although I did get held up here and there. It isnít terribly long either,
with probably four to six hours of playing time seeing you through. Some
more gadgets would have been nice, but all up it is engaging fun, and for
those who like the Wallace world, you would be hard pressed to be
I do like that world but I did
think the game lacked a little something. It was charming, but perhaps a
little too familiar. Or perhaps for me there is only so much you can do
with a quaint elderly gentleman and his debonair dog before it loses a
On that basis, for me itís a B
minus. If you donít have those same sorts of feeling, it will undoubtedly
Wallace & Gromit in The Last
Resort can be purchased as part of
Wallace & Gromitís Grand Adventures via download at the
Telltale Games website.