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Joystiq impressions: Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures


We were treated -- that's the appropriate word -- to a brief sneak peek at Telltale Games' upcoming episodic adventure series, Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures, this past weekend at San Francisco's Wonder-Con. Although early, the taste of things to come was promising enough to get us as excited as Wallace on a trip to the cheese shop.

This demo alone convinced us that Telltale has a firm grasp on the unique humor of the classic Aardman Animation shorts -- and also their charming visual style. It's one thing to create controllable dogs and rabbits or citizens of Strongbadia, but something entirely different to capture the essence of real plasticine figures ... in motion, no less.

Gallery: Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures | 17 Photos

We were struck by the authenticity of the character models (you can even see fingerprints on them, as with their real stop-motion counterparts); their animations; and the 3D environments themselves. The same went for the puzzle-based gameplay.

What we saw looked to be very familiar stuff for anyone who's played one of Telltale's point-and-click adventures, but the inherent abundance of Wallace's Rube Goldberg style devices from the shorts -- being brought into the game -- created a unique situation of puzzles within puzzles. The particular situations we were shown had Gromit (who doesn't talk, though his expressions speak volumes) repairing an egg-breaking contraption in order to prepare his master's breakfast; trading off control, Wallace had to figure out exactly what was wrong with his honey making "machine."

Alas, just as we were to learn how the duo's new business venture, the From Bee to You home honey delivery service, was going to fulfil a 50-gallon order overnight, the demo came to a close. Still, If the gameplay of the four planned episodes -- each pegged at roughly 4-5 hours in length -- can hold up to the impressive presentation, 360 and PC owners have some truly grand adventures to look forward to.

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