Reservoir Dogs Review

By on September 1, 2006

A reservoir of out-dated graphics and repetitive gameplay.


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First Impressions
My reaction is

The cult classic Reservoir Dogs shot Quentin Tarantino to fame in 1992 thanks to witty dialogue, a brilliant star cast and of course, copious amounts of violence. Over ten years later, the titular game makes its way to the Xbox. While we were expecting to play Mr. (insert colour here) and engage in insane levels of on-screen violence, Eidos Interactive’s Reservoir dogs painfully reminds us why games that try to cash in on movie licenses seldom succeed.

Let’s start the slaughter. Firstly, the only member from the original star cast who lends his voice to this game is Michael Madsen, leaving the movie-feel somewhat lacking. The original soundtrack is present but it can only be heard during the car missions. The character models look dated for this day and age. Since Eidos didn’t have the rights to all the characters, they couldn’t keep all the characters true to the movie, save for Madsen.
The game consists of sixteen levels which include a few driving missions and you get to play the entire cast, but not by choice. They all play the same except for torture move (we’ll get to that later) and hence you don’t feel like you playing the cool but insanely homicidal Mr. Blonde or the panicky Mr. Pink.

The game offers two approaches to a situation – you can either go in guns blazing or you can take a hostage and never shoot a bullet. The way you play depends on whether you are a “psycho” or a “professional”; there’s also a career criminal mode which offers a bit of both. The mode you choose will also decide which movie ending you get, depending on your overall performance. The game can be difficult if you decide to go in guns blazing. The “professional” method is easier to handle and you can finish the game without minimal firepower. This tends to make the gameplay repetitive, though.

As you play, you fill up your adrenalin meter which when activated, allows you to either go into bullet time mode like Max Payne and shoot everyone in slow-motion, or if you have a hostage you can perform a torture move and all the cops around you will put their guns down and they will be neutralized. The torture move is different for each person which is the only unique difference that you might find in each of the characters other than their ugly looks. The game requires a measly 4-5 hours to beat on normal mode for an average gamer. The lack of multiplayer makes you wonder why you bought the game in the first place. The only incentive to play the game again would be finding blueprints hidden in each level which unlock some level designs and other graphics.
The graphics of the game are very poor. It leaves you feeling that the game should have been released 2-3 years ago, if not earlier. The level designs feel the same and many of the levels are repeated with a different character to show his point of view. In between levels there are animated scenes taken from the original movie. But there isn’t enough to make you feel like you’re playing the movie.

The soundtrack of the movie is a welcome addition to the game. But the fact that it is only heard during the menus or the driving missions makes it disappointing. The voice acting is hilarious as you try to picture the original actors acting it out. Madsen provides a good voiceover but he is limited to a few dialogues. The sound of the game like the environments, the guns, etc. doesn’t do much to improve the poor feel.
Overall, the game disappoints. Perhaps if Eidos had got some more of the original actors and spent some more time polishing the game, it could have been better. We would recommend this game only to die-hard fans of the cult classic. For the rest, go rent the movie instead.


The Scorecard
Fun at the beginning but gets repetitive in a hurry.
Bad models, bad level design, bad everything.
Does not feel enough like the movie.
No multiplayer, 4 hours of gameplay
Even fans of the movie will find this disappointing.
The game is mediocre at best. Go rent the movie instead.


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