Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond Hands-On

Matt Hazard returns in his latest fictional retro romp in the form of a 2D side-scrolling shooter.

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Considering the original Matt Hazard game--Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard--spent much of its time making fun of classic game tropes, it's either ironic or inevitable that the tough-as-nails fake-retro video game hero would make his next appearance in an old-school side-scrolling shooter. Hazzard's next adventure will find him heading back in time in the upcoming Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond, a downloadable game for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. Publisher D3 came by earlier this month to give us a glimpse of this blood-soaked shooter ahead of its release in early 2010.

The plot of Blood Bath and Beyond features Hazzard going back in time to prevent the evil gaming corporation Marathon MegaCorp from destroying his 8-bit self from the good old days. Along the way, he'll be blasting his way through multiple levels of bloody 2D shooting action that mixes in occasional bits of 3D for variety. Controls in the game are straightforward: You use the A button (on the Xbox 360 controller) to jump, the X to fire, and the right trigger to throw grenades; you aim shots by moving the left stick in any direction. In certain areas of a level, you'll encounter enemies that are "behind" the action on the 2D plane--pressing the left trigger will let you turn Hazard so he fires at those enemies before they can get too close to cause problems.

Weapons are plentiful in the game, both in terms of quantity and variety. Shotguns, flamethrowers, grenades, ice guns, and plasma rifles are just a few of the weapons Hazzard and his sidekick Dexter Dare (playable when in co-op mode) will have at their disposal. They'll need every one of those weapons, too, in order to deal with the waves of enemies that assault you in each level. We played two levels of the game. The first--known as Booty Call--had Matt and Dexter fighting pirates in a level that culminated with a boss battle against a huge living lighthouse while onboard a ship. During the battle, the lighthouse occasionally fired missiles that we deflected by shooting at them, turning the missiles back at the lighthouse and eventually destroying it.

Fear the Rhinozilla.

A second level featured a Japanese theme, as Dexter and Matt fought off a seemingly unending horde of ninjas and samurais, culminating in a three-tiered fight against a huge monster known as the Rhinozilla. From the name alone, we're guessing you can imagine what this boss looks like. With huge dollops of blood being splashed onscreen at regular intervals and a good deal of the fictional retro humor that permeated the original Matt Hazzard game, Blood Bath and Beyond looks like a fun (and more focused) video game lark than its predecessor. Look for the game on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network in early 2010.

Discussion

19 comments
ad12346
ad12346

it reminds me of shadow complex with the graphics and the 3d

Fintimimi
Fintimimi

Wow, looks gorgeous. Good oldschool 2D shooter, but with modern graphics and physics.

91210user
91210user

the gameplay reminds me alittle bit like Metal Slug, expect it's in full 3D of the Matt Hazard series now.

AStriegel75
AStriegel75

@ropumar You do know that Matt Hazard never actually existed in the game world right? I am playing the 3rd person shooter right now and it's not as bad as was said by most reviewers. It's actually kind of a nice change of pace of difficult shooters. I am enjoying it very much.

rob_dAmAgE
rob_dAmAgE

did i miss something or did they fail to mention if will arnett is on board??

seeyou0
seeyou0

that looked easy in a funny way we we

ropumar
ropumar

Matt Hazard should have never leaved 2d to make 3d games in the first place. I remember great moments as a gamer playing 8-bit Matt Hazard. I still think they should have kept sprites on this new games, HD sprites, don't like this 2.5D look they coming up.

Anderjak
Anderjak

A funnier, parodical Shadow Complex? I'm down. Besides, the "history" of Matt Hazard is one I'm actually interested in seeing play out. Some of those games sound like they could actually be fun.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Hmm, interesting. The first game, Eat Lead, was pretty dire gameplay if I'm honest, but the goofy script and nice genre-based gags kept me entertained, so I'd like to see how they can focus this next one a little more. Could turn into a good franchise :)

Hobbitslayer18
Hobbitslayer18

I must say this is a good way to bring back a good old formula.

wolf0
wolf0

i loved eat lead ad some bad spots but still a cool game

robgam3r
robgam3r

eat lead was mad funny with game play not so fun lol easy trophies i guess but the end level where u killed the makers of the game lol i cant wait to see what else they come up with

dijji497
dijji497

Not really interested, the first one seemed to generic and repetitive and so does this one, however maybe the fact that its an XBLA game will help the game. It definately wont be another Shadow Complex though.

Beastcake
Beastcake

I only played the first one for the laughs. Looks like I'll be doing the same here.

otanikun
otanikun

Not interested, last game was fun, now it's a watered down side scroller?