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Impressions: The Grinder (Wii)


The Grinder is the first of the two new Wii projects from High Voltage that were revealed just prior to E3, and we got to check it out at the company's booth. It's a game that takes the cheesy grindhouse pictures of old and converts them into an FPS experience. The result is a game full of frenetic monsters and tension.

The demo opened up within a canyon, and the grindhouse theme was apparent from the get-go. The presentation offered a grainy filter effect, making the game appear as if it was running on old, crusty film. We were then immediately taken inside the adjacent house, and shown some of the environmental destruction. Television sets, bottles, and crates all exploded from the shotgun, and then the real attack begun.

One of the things that High Voltage wanted to emphasize about The Grinder is that the game is less about being on the defensive (like in Left 4 Dead) and instead puts you into the shoes of a monster hunter, making you a predator and therefore, on the attack. So the game is more about mowing down tons and tons of enemies than simply trying to survive.

As we made our way outside of the house and through the canyon, we were encountered by vampire after vampire. In The Grinder, they take on a much more feral form, and aren't romanticized like in some books and films. No, these things are out for your blood, and go about getting it in very shady ways.

One of the ways High Voltage wanted to keep the tension up was allowing enemies to teleport. If you break line of sight with vampires (and the Jason Vorhees clone enemy, which we'll touch on later), then they will teleport behind you or in front of you and continue their attack. There's no escaping them, other than to plant some carefully placed bullets into their faces and move on.

And that brings us to the encounter with our Jason Vorhees clone. High Voltage didn't have a name for him yet, but the likeness was unmistakable. Armed with a big knife, he was your average skulking bullet sponge, taking shot after shot yet he kept coming. Again, to make things worse, he can teleport, too! Clearly, High Voltage is getting a sick thrill out of all of this.

It may seem like the odds are incredibly stacked against the players, and, really, they are, but High Voltage emphasized that the game would be more manageable through the inclusion of a partner. They stressed that plans for the final product not only included local multiplayer, but that the team would also incorporate online support. That's likely to excite a person or two!

The title was in its earliest stages of development -- pre-Alpha, actually -- and is planned for a Q4 2010 release. Regardless of its early stage of development, it looked like a fun time and we're anxious to get our hands on it later in its development cycle.

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