Isnít modern industrialism wonderful? Weíve got state of the art technology in our homes, hypo-allergenic skin care for trips to the beach or unsightly burns and other items to make our lives much more comfortable. Of course, while we reap the benefits of these up-to-the minute amenities, we donít see the seedier side of product development, which often involves unfathomably cruel animal testing. Now, calm down, Iím not making a speech for militant animal rights groups; instead, Iím helping to describe part of the premise behind Eidosí latest (and perhaps most twisted) platformer to date, Whiplash.
Whiplash takes place inside the hall of horrors known as the Genron Corporation (which should give players a sense of the parodying humor found within the game). A leader in products on store shelves, Genron has built its wealth on the suffering shoulders of animals that they torture in cruel experimental ďtestsĒ. For example, to test the toughness of their Velcro products, Genron scientists fire a few hamster cannons at a wall and see which rodents stick. One day, as a shipment of animals are being sent to the worst experiment of them all, the Genetic Recombinator, a daring escape is launched by two unlikely animals named Spanx and Redmond (chained together in captivity), who take it upon themselves to wreak havoc upon their captors.
Most platformer mascots are cute, furry and relatively aware of their specific quests. By contrast, Spanx and Redmond are merely furry (and thatís debatable). Spanx, a victim of electroshock treatments, isnít the brightest bulb in the lamp, but is incredibly fast and twitchy thanks to Genron. His unwilling cohort, Redmond, is an intelligent bunny rabbit whose been rendered invulnerable to damage thanks to countless hair spray tests. For example, Redmond can be thrown into electrical circuits to short out machines, or can be dipped into radioactive waste (amongst other things) to poison enemies. Obviously, this also makes Redmond the perfect weapon to be used against the dastardly employees of Genron. Using the chain that connects the two of them, Spanx whips, swings and slams Redmond around like a medieval ball and chain. Such attacks can also be chained together to form destructive combos, which powers up Redmondís attack meter. Once Redmond gets fully charged up, he gets hyper, turning into a furry whirling dervish, smashing anything and everything in sight. This can help free fellow animals that have been imprisoned, who will gladly lend a hand in assaulting their tormentors.
Since Genron is a truly twisted corporation, destroying their headquarters is the least our fuzzy heroes can do as payback for the ďhumaneĒ treatment they received. Lab equipment, computers and prototype equipment are only three examples of the destructible items that can be smashed throughout the large levels. In a unique twist, each item has a monetary value attached to it, which is subtracted from Genronís financial ledger. Cause enough financial ruin in a level, and your points can be redeemed for additional moves, maps or hypersnacks. Hypersnacks allow Redmond and Spanx to be powered up, giving more health to the duo or augmenting their attack damage.
One look at the large, bulbous eyes of Spanx or Redmond and you canít help but laugh at this game. Smoothly animated, with a ton of sight gags reminiscent of a Zucker Bros. Movie, Whiplash is easily one of the funnier titles to hit consoles in a while. Bolstered by expertly delivered comic lines (including some by Redmond that will simply make you hit pause because youíll be laughing so hard), Whiplash is one of those titles that we expect will scamper off shelves and into homes on Tuesday. Check back soon for a full review of the animal mayhem!
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