Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard First Look

The venerable (fake) action game hero returns in this tongue-in-cheek action game from Vicious Cycle.

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If you took one part Coded Arms, one part Duke Nuke 'Em, and one part Charlie Kaufman movie script then mixed them all together, you might end up with a game like Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard. Developed by Vicious Cycle (Dead Head Fred) and on pace for a first quarter 2009 release, the game is a curious mishmash of third-person shooter with a tongue-in-cheek satire of video games in general.

Action game star Matt Hazard will blast his way through walls of cowboy (and zombie, mafia, and butcher) flesh in Eat Lead.
Action game star Matt Hazard will blast his way through walls of cowboy (and zombie, mafia, and butcher) flesh in Eat Lead.

Eat Lead marks the return of famous video game hero Matt Hazard. What, you've never heard of Hazard? Well, perhaps you know his games: A Fistful of Hazard (1987), Conflict of the Deities (Featuring Matt Hazard) (1990), and the all-time classic You Only Live 1,317 Times (1995). What, you've never heard of these games? Well, neither has anyone else--they're all merely a handful of fictional games that Eat Lead's Hazard starred in back in the "good old days." At the beginning of Eat Lead, those good old days are behind Hazard, who's since gone into retirement.

It isn't long before Matt is called back in to star in a game being developed by Marathon Megasoft, a company owned by the nefarious Wallace Wellesley, who is being voiced by comic actor Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D., Starship Troopers, Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story). It isn't long before Hazard realizes that something is very wrong with the game he's starring in; more to the point, it appears someone is trying to kill him. And we're not talking video game-style kill. We're talking killed kill. As in dead. No respawn. Dead.

The demo of Eat Lead we watched saw Hazard, who's being played by actor Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Blades of Glory, Loomis), making his way through a gameworld that was, literally, being reprogrammed before his eyes. After breaking into a building filled with what appeared to be bloodthirsty butchers, Matt immediately began dealing lead. It wasn't long before whoever was hacking the gameworld turned the butchers into zombies. Then, later in the level, that hacker turned them into six-shooter-blasting cowboys and even mafia goons. With the enemies and the settings in seemingly constant flux, it's tough to know what to expect from Eat Lead from one level to the next.

Of course, amidst all this chaos, it's nice to know that Matt Hazard's job doesn't change from one moment to the next: Take cover, arm your weapon, and blast anything that moves. In this sense, Eat Lead is as straightforward as can be, and the developers at Vicious Cycle are developing a cover system that looks to be easy to use, as well as effective. The way it was explained to us, all you need to do is point your cursor at an object or area and press the Y button, then Matt will move to that spot to take cover. Take heed though: Some objects can be destroyed and won't last as cover for long.

Hazard takes a breather behind cover before unloading on the undead hordes.
Hazard takes a breather behind cover before unloading on the undead hordes.

Because the enemies you face in Eat Lead aren't real people, but rather manifestations of programming code, they don't really die when you shoot them. Instead, they de-rez, which, in turn, allows Matt to absorb their code and eventually earn ability upgrades (such as the ability to dual-wield weapons). In addition, Matt has some help on the inside; a mysterious figure known as QA will use her own hacking skills to assist Matt in tight spots.

While the third-person gameplay looks to be on the generic side, it's hard not to smirk at the constantly evolving gameworld that Matt will need to fight his way through to defeat Wallace Wellesley's evil (and, frankly, preposterous) plan. In fact, it just might be the best butcher/zombie/cowboy/mafioso-fighting third-person action shooter starring a fictional video game character we've seen all year. Matt Hazard's return is currently scheduled for early 2009, and we'll be keeping tabs on him through the rest of the year.

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godzillab10

PodXCOM, I thumb down, not because those games are crap, (in fact i happen to have reserved a good amount of those games) but because your opinion is crap and I will be adding this game to my buy list, thank you

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PodXCOM

Please don't buy this game. You can do so much better! It's made by the same guy who killed X-COM: Dave Ellis! He makes nothing but garbage like x-com Interceptor. There's much better games coming out, like: Heavy Rain, FFXIII, Killzone 2, White Knight Chronicles, GTAIV Lost and Damned, F.E.A.R. 2, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Empire: Total War, Street Fighter IV, Halo Wars, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Resident Evil 5, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, Duke Nukem Forever, Stormrise, MAG: Massive Action Game, Arma II, The House of the Dead: Overkill, Overlord II, Global Agenda, Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason, and much much more. And If you vote me down. then you're telling me *ALL* these games are crap!

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AheronSlave

I really really though these kind of goofball games died with the 90s...but no, still going strong I see, and I'm really happy for this. It's good to see some producers still doing something more risky with their games rather than just go with the obvious storyline or idea for such things. This...could be really good. Fresh air, at last.

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xxxTristamxxx

PumpkinBoogie I agree 100%. It will be a shooter that would be just plain fun with out the over top seriousness.

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PodXCOM

Don't buy this game! It's made by the same guy who killed X-COM: Dave Ellis! He makes nothing but crap like x-com Interceptor.

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PodXCOM

Don't buy this game! It's made by the same guy who killed X-COM: Dave Ellis! He makes nothing buy crap like x-com Interceptor.

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Gelugon_baat

The screenshots, preview and references to pre-Pentium I games bewildered me entirely. Which is good, as most supposedly wacky games had me groaning as soon as I read their previews.

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mattv888

I heard some rumors of a timesplitters 4. until then, this shall have to satisfy my need for overly comical shooters. Timesplitters 3 is still my most played game, even over my ps3 games =P

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PumpkinBoogie

Ha, ha....this might be a shooter game I actually can get into (the kind that doesn't take itself too seriously, that is)! The whole craziness of the story actually sounds pretty fun, LOL.

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TehUndeadHorror

This sounds pretty insanyo.

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1_9_9_4

looks like fun plus i like that its supposed to be satirical

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stupid4

this sounds really weird

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the-bat-child

how about Time Traveler? lol

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scooby_kitesurf

Timesplitters!! Now there's a great blast from the past!! :) PS3 Timesplitters Hmmmmm ....

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mindloss

the whole genre mixing idea reminds me of time-splitters.

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NoobVader

To: scooby_kitesurf,msbcxheat and chickenfeed9 Actually, i press both xbox360 and ps3 links of this game's First Look and it turns out they both share the same links even though it was put either in the ps3 channel or the xbox360 channel. Maybe they forgot to change the links? or maybe the links are suppose to be for both. To The Game: The game looks pretty cool. And like other ppl said, it may turn out to be a good game.

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otanikun

Heh heh, this looks like fun XD I'll consider getting this when either a demo is available or I see some gameplay footage.

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rob_dAmAgE

amazing marketing + great story + will arnett= wowwowweewow!!!!! more games need to have tons of humor like this one. if this game was a band i'd like to see it open for postal 3!!!!!

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rickalpx

cool

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dutch777

what a fab idea for a game. this could work out well!!!

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scooby_kitesurf

msbcxheat.... This is a PS3 channel.... At least that's what is says on my browser... The game looks fun, I could do with a game that doesn't take it all too serious!!

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msbcxheat

chickenfeed9, do you realize that you are in an xbox 360 channel of gamespot?

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icym

In a world where everyone complains of for a original attempt to do something different, I'm looking forward to this. Its great to see games that dont take themselves too seriously and not look like a cartoon.

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keiththeWOLF

Will Arnett FTW! Can't believe no one else mentioned that yet.

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chickenfeed9

y button? since when was there a y button on the PS3? Gamespot should make sure they've atyleats made the effort to change the words befire putting it up under different headings

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Rai

love the concept

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aarow82

As long as it has a funny story and gameplay moments it should be pretty good.

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JBjazzbo

needs just one idea to make the actual gameplay original... otherwise, unless its done really well, this could turn out to be pretty boring.

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snake0510

skeptic

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splendormk7

this is gonna be looking freakingly cool and don't expect too much aswell.. yeahhh

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MFazio23

This could be a good rental game.

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SkeletalKnight

Interesting concept, but I can already see this won't be worth spending money on.

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StOcKoHeArTs

i just have a feeling it will suck...

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uzielnephilim

butcher/zombie/cowboy/mafioso-fighting third-person action shooter LOL i want to see this

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nikola96

looks like a good time waster.

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commandokiller

it looks kinda interesting and kinda stupid at the same time. guess we'll find out what it is when it comes out.

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dutch777

this sounds ginda weird but could work!!!!

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Beastcake

Haha this looks great. Somethings going on my early shopping lists next year...

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GeigerdolylWodd

It sounds like The Matrix to me what with the constantly reprogrammed world and the enemies made of code? Nice reference to Marathon from Bungie and Megasoft er Microsoft... will they sew or will they laugh?

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mjax211

This actually doesn't seem so bad. Kind of fun, and funny. And you can't argue with that title. Classic.

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YoJim8obaJoe

Seems like Timesplitters in 3rd person,tons of crazy non connected enemies and surroundings

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sw_and_wet

so....it's like playing a game in a game.....wired....huh...I will keep tracking and see how this game go... sounds fun, but maybe not soild enough. Though how is the cover system they mentioned easy? "point your cursor at an object or area and press the Y button"....what's easier than Gear of War's cover system just go to any wall and press A....

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GodsPoison

Its so crazy impossible itll have to be good! Mainstream good? oh hell no. Itll be Niche good. fills in the ittle gaps between those other games.

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garcia_jx

Super lame

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Guljigit92

i'm not sure about this game.

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SEEDman_X

I am pre-ordering this for sure! :-)

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thenewau25

.. ahh no pc!

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c_rakestraw

Sounds like a crazy game. I'll be sure to check it out when it comes out.

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balrogthane

Sounds fun. I can't believe Gamespot failed to credit Neil Patrick Harris's greatest work to date, though! Where is the mention of Dr. Horrible?

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