PSN Review – Eat Them!

January 10, 2011 Written by Sebastian Moss

Developers of the hit PlayStation Network title Savage Moon, FluffyLogic certainly know how to make a stellar downloadable game. But can their latest PSN-exclusive title continue to shine, or does the monster rampage game, Eat Them!, fail to meet expectations?

In Eat Them!, you play as a towering monster bent on the mindless destruction of your surroundings. Drawing inspiration from mid-20th Century monster movies, the game follows your creature as he performs various destruction based missions, with very little in the way of a plot.

The gameplay focuses almost entirely on the annihilation of the small areas of city that you are placed in. While there are other game modes – from survival to escort missions – all devolve into being required to smash the apartment blocks and factories around you, until all that is left is smouldering rubble. Races, and other side missions, provide fleeting variety, but deviate little from the main game mechanic. While demolishing cityscapes is certainly enjoyable, it can quickly become repetitive and mundane.

With virtually identical city areas, missions and enemies, repetition is the game’s biggest flaw. Fortunately, the destruction missions are enjoyable – at least initially. As you smash and stomp through the streets, throwing cars and trucks at unlucky soldiers, and – of course – eating people, you can feel like a real monster.

Eating people replenishes your energy, allowing you to withstand enemy shells and bullets. Sadly, players will often need to run around scooping people up again and again, as the tough hide of the monster seems to give only modest protection against enemy attacks. Your energy also drains over time and due to your actions. Often, the level degenerates to little more than a game of cat-and-mouse, stopping players being even able to start destroying the city.

Impressive cell-shaded graphics and comic-style story panels make the game stand out from other PlayStation Network titles. A cartoonish feel in the characters, artwork and even the city, ensures that you will be charmed by the game’s looks. However, once again, the lack of variety hampers the experience, with almost all areas looking the same.

As the game progresses players unlock new weapons, arms and even full blown bodies, which they can use to customize their character. The variety of customizable options is vast, but most are identical in all but look. The monster can also be given a different look, with a rudimentary color scheme included. In theory, each customization changes how the monster moves and fights, but, with the exception of a few weapons – such as hand-combat or projectile based weapons – the majority have little effect.

Eat Them! also has four player local co-op, but an already difficult camera makes multiplayer a pain, with it only splitting into separate screens during races. Trying to spot objectives or enemies with the camera can be tricky enough, but in multiplayer it is a real game breaker.

Eat Them! could have been a truly amazing game – the visuals are impressive, the destruction based gameplay is very enjoyable, and the customisation can add depth to the title. But Eat Them! misses the mark, and sadly by a long way: repetition, a lack of variety, and a faulty health mechanic, make the game often more painful than enjoyable.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Obliterating a city can be fun

– Flawed health mechanic

– Very little variety

5 out of 10