Eat Them! Review
Eat Them! is essentially a 3D version of Atari’s classic arcade game, Rampage, with a few notable differences. You choose from an assortment of gigantic monsters with different appearances, stats, and weaponry, then proceed to smash your way through cities, all the while attempting to keep yourself alive by devouring helpless humans.
There are four different modes to mix up the dozens upon dozens of stages: Maximum Destruction has you wreaking as much property damage as possible in a set amount time; Destruction sets key goals which need to be destroyed, again as swiftly as you can; Race is exactly what you’d expect, with the added requirement of grabbing screaming people-burgers so you don’t die; Survivor removes respawns and forces you to fend for yourself for four minutes. There are a few random mission variations, but overall this is what the game is comprised of.
As you make your way through the different stages, you will unlock monster parts that are used in the lab to create or customize original monsters. If you’re having trouble unlocking gold times on Races, you can attach quad legs and a claw that allows you to swipe humans off the ground without having to stop. Likewise, if you’re having trouble leveling a city to get the gold medal in Maximum Destruction, you can attach all sorts of laser beams and weaponry to devastate your targets. The customization is obviously a huge selling point to Eat Them!, and there is a vast abyss of options from which to choose.
Two players can team up to take on the single-player missions together, but the developers opted for an annoying Fable II-type camera system, meaning you will often have a hard time seeing humans or enemies (Race is the only mode that has split-screen). The lack of some sort of versus mode, where players can pit their monstrous creations against each other, is a huge oversight. The entire multiplayer feature set seems to be an afterthought, which is disappointing and a detriment to the overall game.
While wrecking entire cities and taking control of awesome, towering behemoths is inherently fun, Eat Them!’s primary flaw is the energy drain system. Everything you do in the game drains your energy, which also acts as your health. This wouldn’t be too obnoxious, except that the police and military tip the game from challenging to downright frustrating. Your health can go from full to critical in mere seconds as you yourself and the military chip away at your power, forcing you to stop what you’re doing and spend most of your limited time eating humans, which restores said power. It’s an unbalanced system that depletes the game of its fun factor, making this game a “so close” scenario that is hard to recommend.
Eat Them! is a precise example of why every title on the PSN should have a demo. On the one hand, there is a lot to like, with even the comic book-style presentation showing the developer’s hard work and attention to detail; on the other hand, the botched multiplayer and downright tedious health system render this game into a mere shadow of what it could have been.