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Game Profile
PlayStation 3
D3 Publisher
Vicious Cycle
GENRE: Action
March 03, 2009
Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond

Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard

 Written by Kyle Williams  on February 27, 2009

Final Glimpse: Let's... get... Hazard-ous...

Matt Hazard is back. That's right, the biggest action game star of the last 25 years is coming out of retirement for his first next generation game?

Okay I'm already tired of pretending that Matt Hazard has starred in dozens of videogames. I give you, the faithful Gaming Target reader, more credit than that. I'm sure that you've heard about Matt Hazard by now. About how he starred in a series of fictitious video games spanning the last 25 years, only to peter out during the last generation of consoles with an ill-conceived implosion of the franchise, Choking Hazard: Candy Gramm. About how this game will make you laugh your butt off. You missed that last part? Let me explain.

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard is putting some damn funny actors to work to help turn the action genre on its ear. First up is Will Arnett. An alum of the fantastic comedy Arrested Development, Will Arnett has also had hilarious roles in Blades of Glory and the Brothers Solomon, along with a recurring guest role on NBC's 30 Rock. If that wasn't enough, there is Neil Patrick Harris. Ah, Neil Patrick Harris?there are so many reasons why we love you. Sure, we remember you on Doogie Howser, MD, but it is your turn on How I Met Your Mother and your supporting role in Harlod and Kumar Go To White Castle that leave a lasting impression. Suit up my good sir. Suit up indeed.

Of course, even the best voice cast needs a worthy repertoire with which to exercise their skills. The crew at Viscous Cycle is doing their best to serve up a big steaming plate of parody with the unorthodox back story they have crafted. Through a somewhat cheesy, yet eerily realistic, fan site (check out ) we learn about the highs and the lows of Matt Hazard's checkered videogame history. In a story whose origins are in step with Duke Nukem's, you can follow Matt's evolution from 8-bit side scroller (The Adventures of Matt in Hazard Land) to first-person-shooter (Matt Hazard 3D) to the downhill slide of a go-kart racing/shooter (Haz-Matt Carts). There are some odd steps in-between, too, including a western-themed shooter and a trio of buddy-cop games. It is this background that is used to set the stage for Matt's latest adventure.

It is this storied history that sets the stage for Eat Lead. After his career was run into the ground by his money grubbing publisher Matt has been sitting idle while waiting for his next-gen chance. Eat Lead is that chance. The odd twist is that as the game progresses, Matt finds out that the programmers aren't playing by the rules. Matt will be faced by figures, weapons, and environments from his past in this third-person action title.

The more that I think about it, the more surprised I am that we haven't seen an Eat Lead demo hit the streets yet. In the age of digital distribution this screams apprehension on the part of the publishing team. Now, there could be plenty of legitimate, no-reason-to-worry, reasons that there isn't a demo available on the PlayStation Network. Maybe they spent every last moment tweaking the game so that we may all bask in its brilliance. Maybe they are so confident in their game that they are going to rely on word of mouth to sell a million copies. I'm willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt ? I really want to like this game when it comes out ? but I am concerned, especially after reading Joystiq's preview from last October.

Final Thoughts
A parody of a parody, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard is positioned to be a breakout action-comedy title if executed correctly. With an abundant helping of humor and a viral marketing campaign that fills in Matt's missing background, Eat Lead hopes to do right by the Duke Nukem crowd. Will it match the polish of games like Gears of War 2? We'll know next week. Will it be laugh-out-loud funny? It's darn near a guarantee.

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