El Matador Preview

There have been a few third-person shooters out so far this year, but none with the aspirations of El Matador, since El Matador will fully capture everything that the shooter genre defines: full-blown visuals, physics, a slow-motion system, loads of weapons and plenty of brutal death. El Matador, developed by Plastic Reality Technologies, will appear in stores this Friday. Holding its own weight for visuals and gameplay, the game is shaping up to be something fans have been waiting for since Max Payne 2 in 2003.

You play a DEA agent named Victor Corbet, and the plot is very standard. You’re dropped off in various Central and South American locations, and it’s your job to clear out generic evil drug runners and mob bosses. Tight-knit street corners, vast jungle areas or confined villages are parts of what the locations will offer, and the game’s engine definitely ups the detail by supporting several current-generation technologies, including specular shaders, soft and indoor shadows, HDR lighting, post-processing FX, AA, cloth physics and anisotropy. Portions of stone will be blown out from concrete columns, the sun will shine brightly and glass windows will fly all around from nearby explosions; these are just some examples of what the engine will supply.

A pair of demos were released last month sampling two levels from the game, and the gameplay is a fairly basic concept to get down: shoot everything – and everyone – before they shoot you. It seems the difficulty can be fairly hard at times, however, since the enemy AI tends to shoot you well before you got a chance to dodge, move or do anything else. I hope that since the demos’ releases, Plastic Reality adjusted the difficulty or added some sort of slider-system to adjust it for novice players. Still, there is nothing like turning on the slow-mo, dodging to the left, taking out several guys with a very large automatic weapon and watching their corpses flop around to spruce up an afternoon.

Occasionally, you’ll be paired up with some AI teammates, but I found them to be pretty useless. Yes, they are nice to add to the atmosphere that you’re not alone in this fight (even though you are). They just go down very quickly. Speaking of the teammates, the voice acting is pretty decent with some hit or miss portions; the actors sound enthusiastic enough to be part of the game, but the dialogue gets pretty cheesy at times. I hope that Plastic is going for the non-intentional and hilarious over-rated B-movie dialogue instead of "yeah, we’re serious this is good dialogue" notion.

If you like over-the-top third-person shooters, El Matador is a sure fire pick-up. This game will hold my appetite until my prayers are answered for Max Payne 3, and if you’re a fan of the genre you should enjoy it as well.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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