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Wild Wild West | Steel Assassin | review | game | Lollipop

Wild Wild West: The Steel Assassin

(Southpeak Interactive for Windows)
by Brian Johnson

If the delectable Salma Hayek in a bustier couldn't draw people to the box office to see Wild Wild West, honestly, what chance does this ridiculous waste of time they call a video game have? Combining mediocre graphics with a plodding and, at times, excruciating story line, Wild Wild West the video game struts the kind of championship pedigree for abysmal that could replace Kevin Costner's obscene vanity project, The Postman, from its mantle as the most colossal waste of time and money ever perpetrated in the name of entertainment. It's so bad that I'm set in my assessment that the $9.99 price tag is $9.98 too much.

When you first load Wild Wild West into your computer, if you are unfortunate enough to've purchased it, you are inundated with possibly the longest, most unentertaining opening movie I've ever had the misfortune of sitting through. In this movie, we figure out that president Ulysses S. Grant is subject to an assassination plot conspired by the "true executioner of Abraham Lincoln." It seems that President Grant is set to attend the reopening of Ford's Theater where he will be assassinated in an encore presentation of the 1865 tragedy. I found myself wishing I was able to take President Grants' seat at Ford's Theater rather then sit through another second of this ridiculous plot. What kind of defense does America have against such devious terrorists? You guessed it, Mr. Jim West and Artemus Gordon (played respectively in the film by Will Smith and Kevin Kline). Grant's top secret service agents ride around in a souped up locomotive and have an arsenal of goofy inventions, ridiculous laser guns, and enough bad acting to make Dolph Lungren look like a graduate of the Academy of Royal Arts.

As the player, you can choose from either Jim West or Artemus Gordon (you will need to be both to solve this game), each player has two episodes to complete in order to win the game. As Jim West, you'll rely on your sharp shooting skills and smoldering charm to maneuver through rough towns and enough gun-toting roughians to make Charles Bronson wince. On the other hand, as Artemus Gordon you will be forced to rely on your wits and not your fists, to collect clues and solve the mystery of who is behind the assassination plot.

The underlying problem with this game is its inability to be a true action adventure game. The actual gun-slinging action is in the third-person and it's difficult to aim and maneuver. Perhaps if this where a first-person game, the action would compensate for the poor plot. On the other hand, the clue-finding aspect is confusing and makes you lose interest very fast. I had a few laughs at the character interaction in the game -- there's a porno movie quality to the acting -- but other then that, I found the whole experience to be slightly less than excruciating. Overall, I think it's time to call this whole franchise a wash and let all those involved begin again. Then again, this is the "Willennium," so I wouldn't worry about our friend Will Smith.


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