Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: June 2003
Buy 'WILL ROCK': PC
When’s the last time you actually had to stifle a series of chuckles while playing a game, or even let out a maniacal laugh? While many games of today take the player and put them in serious plotlines or dire situations and set a gloomy mood overall, Will Rock differs in the fact that although the plotline “could” be serious if looked at in a certain light, its sole purpose is to be a conveyor of pure fun and is a throwback to the times when games took any plot they could to give the player a good time.
That’s not to say Will Rock’s plot is bad by any regard, not by any means. In the game you play Will Rock, an archeologist who, along with a professor and the professor’s daughter Emma, has been called upon to examine a temple recently unearthed by a team of scientists. Upon their arrival the team eventually cracks the code to open the gates of the temple but then are immediately besieged by the “scientists”, who are actually members of the Olympian Restoration Army and wish to bring back the glory of ancient Greece. The ORA force the team to open the doors to the temple and then kidnaps Emma to give the now free god of Zeus a virgin bride. As this occurs the professor unsheathes a pistol and begins to shoot at the ORA members but is immediately cut down by their fire. Will Rock runs to the pistol, picks it up, and begins to fire it himself. In the crossfire an ancient statue is shattered and the spirit of Prometheus is released, who then possesses Will Rock to give him the power he needs to combat the released armies of Ancient Greece, defeat the ORA, and save Emma. Fueled by revenge and powered by the spirit of an ancient god, Will Rock sets off to kick some serious ass.
The inevitable comparison between Will Rock and Croteam’s Serious Sam has to be made, as Serious Sam was on of the first games that tried to bring back the one versus thousands gameplay style. To put it in terms that people who have played Serious Sam will relate to Will Rock basically takes what Serious Sam created and expands upon to create a game that isn’t completely different but adds enough to the concept to come off as a fresh game.
The gameplay in Will Rock essentially takes you versus a few thousand of mythical beasts of ancient Greece. Tactics and strategy take a backseat to flinging out leads and quickly and as accurately as possible, but are not forgone entirely. Some weapons and tactics are obviously best suited for certain enemies and situations but are not exactly required. Will Rock has the standard weapon fare such as pistols, shotguns, and machine guns, but also more exotic weaponry such as crossbows, acid guns, and the Medusa gun. The standard weapons act as you would expect, and the exotic weapons not only are more powerful and specialized but also showcase a unique aspect of the game engine. For instance, the acid gun balloons and pops any enemy you fire upon, while a direct hit from the Medusa gun will turn and enemy to stone and then shatter them into dust and pieces. As a footnote to the weapon selection, even the lowly melee weapon has a significant use now. Since some enemies like archers don’t have a melee attack you can whip out your trusty digging spade and beat them to pieces.
The enemies you face in Will Rock are all taken from ancient Greece mythology, from giant Cyclops to skeletal warriors, berserkers to Minotaurs. All of the enemies act a bit differently but are the same in the fact that they want your blood. Skeletal warriors will simply bum rush you and brandish their swords against you, while minotaurs can either throw flaming axes at you from afar or use them to hack at you when up close and personal. To make the minotaurs even more of a threat, when you kill one the bloody chunks can spawn more minotaurs, making more of them until you finally kill them all a second time.
The graphics in Will Rock are not completely top notch but rank fairly high on the scale. The textures and models all look rather polished in both a quality and a true sense. Certain objects, such as anything metal, have a bit of a shine to them as seen when holding a gun and looking around. The enemies you face all have a fairly high degree of quality, they may not be the best fighters but at least they look good doing it. The games special effects are awesome, from the wavy reflections of the environment in a pool of water to the pure reflection of a mirror, to the pure reflection when looking at a mirror. The crumbling effect when statues and pots shatter is a sight to behold, as is the flying sparks and debris when a torch has taken one too many bullets.
The audio in the game is great, with many things especially notable. The sound effects all sound good, the guns actually sound like they pack a wallop which is never a bad thing. However, the music steals the show with its rock and roll battle music, which is heavy on guitar and sounds just like something you would hear 20 years ago. Fittingly to both the games original music and its name, the first song you hear upon reaching Will Rock’s main menu is Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock”. Call me crazy, but there could probably be no better song as a sort of overall theme for this game.
Will Rock is the kind of game that you can just pick up and run with, the controls aren’t complicated at all, the graphics and sound are not only immersive but entertaining, and the gameplay is simply fun. While the plot isn’t exactly movie quality, and there isn’t much in the way of character development, that’s not the point. People looking for those elements will undoubtedly be disappointed, as will people who prefer a more tactical side to their FPS. For those who played and liked Serious Sam, or enjoy the concept of gunning down a few hundred enemies per seating, keep an eye out for this title once June 2003 rolls around. True to both its name and its gameplay, this game will rock.
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