Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit PS2 Review

Christmas morning. The tree is alight, the fire burning, a warm fuzzy feeling of excitement fizzles inside. Your Mum and Dad, your brothers and sisters, perhaps your Nan and Granddad all sit around eagerly awaiting your reaction to what is inside the presents before you. Two parcels – you open the bigger of the two first: your eyes fill with glee as PlayStation 2 packaging is revealed (No more sharing with evil big bro). Smiles all round. You look at the next pressie, it is unsuspicious, and you know by the shape it’s a game but which one? Of all the games that Mum and Dad could have bought you: GTA: San Andreas, Pro Evo 5 perhaps, maybe Manhunt! You tear at the packaging…it’s…it’s…its friggin Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. You feign a smile at your gorking family, ignore the knowing evil grin from your brother and give Mum and Dad a kiss. Idiots.

Developing games for children is a profitable business mainly because parents, who have little clue as to what makes a good game, buy them. If you add to that a film licence then you’re cashing in big style. These two factors usually end up resulting in an awful game made for relatively little, yet turning over a healthy profit. Indeed, if you were looking for a quality game, you’d do well to steer clear of the children’s market. Even the better games within this genre have a more mature outlook, or are at least fiendishly addictive. Think Jak, and Ratchet and Clank respectively.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit falls into the above opinion, but not typically. It is easy to see that time and effort has been piled into the production; the Wallace and Gromit world has seemingly been recreated to an obsessive degree.

‘Were-Rabbit pretty much holds the same narrative as the film; obviously leaving enough out to prevent would be cinemagoers from staying at home. You play one of three characters (Wallace, Gromit and new addition Hutch the rabbit) that attempt to prevent a vegetable crazed super Rabbit from eating everyone’s crop. Exciting. You usually play as one of them as the other two stand infuriatingly as you trundle about this task and that. Occasionally the game requires that you get two of the characters to work together, but is usually no more complicated pressing X at the same tandem with the other character.

Curse of the Were-Rabbit is, essentially, a bad game. And given the effort given on the aesthetics it’s a shame. Understandably adults will take very little from Were Rabbit, but kids might enjoy bits and pieces. Major fans will enjoy it more, if only for the high grade FMV that litters the game throughout. The main problem is its simplicity, and it segregates those gamers who want to be challenged those who don’t. At its centre Were-Rabbit is a platformer, a basic one at that. There isn’t a whole lot of variety with most tasks involving the capture of rabbits or simply arrive at one point from another. It really follows in the wake of most film/tv to game conversions in the standard that it sets.

There is little that Were-Rabbit does terribly badly, just even less that it does extremely well. It will sell well because of the state of the games industry and the people who are buying the games. And in a way, it’s acceptable, just as long as we all have the ability to ignore.

This Christmas, when you stare down at the DVD shaped present before you, remember the kids around Britain doing the same…and pray that their parents have been kind.