Total Recall – Retro Wednesdays Episode 40

Happy Thanksgiving! In thidownloads episode we take a look at Total Recall. One of Brett’s favorite games.Total Recall, the original not that horrid remake, was a great film. You had action, tension in a political thriller some incredible practical effects, and Arnold. I still remember how grossed out I was when he had to pull that thing out of his nose and the one liners used in the movie are some of the best of Arnold’s career. Not to mention Sharon Stone.

So when I saw that Acclaim has a video game out about Total Recall, I was genuinely excited to try it. I thought about action sequences with guns and dodging the police while trying to find Quato. What I got was another disappointing crappy game adaptation of a good movie.

Where do I even start? In the game you do play as Quaid. Well, Quaid if he had gigantic pecs and is 3-4 feet taller than every other enemy. Anyway you run around each level fighting random enemies to get to the end. You can find a gun on occasion and there are health pickups, but for the most part you’re relying on your fists. Throughout the first level you’re grabbed by a random midget that you have to fight over and over. One of the biggest negatives of this game is how generic and unsatisfying killing the enemies are. Most of the time I barely noticed they were different in any way.

Speaking of level design, Total Recall would not be my first choice if I was going to show off good level design. Most of the levels are recycled meaning you go through it once then back through it again to get back out. While the moving right to left is novel it just comes across as boring and uninteresting.

The game starts out OK then you hit “hobo town” where for some reason you’re running around beating up homeless guys to find the kit that was left for you so you can get to Mars. Apparently in this version of Total Recall a homeless guy nicknamed the “Hobo King” stole it. No putting homing beacons in chocolate this time. This is the level where I really started to lose my patience. Hit detection was certainly not a priority when it came to this game and this level it’s exposed in a major way. Constant hits away from enemies or traps is infuriating, and the soda health replacement is not enough to keep up. Then you get to the “Hobo King” which  may be the most tedious boss fight we’ve ever done. Using a glitch of getting the boss to walk forward you can get behind him. Then it’s duck and punch non stop. By non stop I mean you have to hit him around 50 times, but don’t think every punch will count. NO of course the left punch you throw despite standing in the same exact spot. It was infuriating and afterwards we barely wanted to continue.

I also have to mention the music and screen loading in this game. Each screen when you go off you appear to fall off the level. The next screen you “land” This is also accompanied by having the music restart EVERY SINGLE TIME! Nothing is more annoying than hearing the same music riff over and over and over and over and over again while dealing with boring enemies, horrible level design, stiff controls and horrible hit detection. Total Recall quickly goes from something you had hope in to just a generic platformer that you don’t want to play.

We didn’t get much further into Mars, but at that point why bother? The only positive to this game are the cutscene graphics which are really good, but outside of that this game isn’t really worth it.





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