Eat Them! is a downloadable game from the PlayStation Network. For those of you who have finally peeled themselves from your 10-year WoW session, the PlayStation Network is the online store for the PlayStation 3. Incredibly similar to games such as Rampage, or War of the Monsters, you control a giant, lumbering, human-craving monster, with two main goals: destroy everything, eat everyone. Oh, and also look as stylish as possible.
The story, if you truly care, revolves around a mad scientist who has taken control of a monster and is using it to destroy the entire world. The stages are set up in episodes within comic books, each with their own mission such as Destruction, Race, Bonus, or High Score. Your completion will grant you a bronze, silver, or gold medal, which in turn unlocks new pieces-parts for Monster Lab. Sporting graphics very similar to Borderlands, or Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions, it has a very bright, crisp look to the world, all while keeping it cartoon enough to be reminiscent of an old-school arcade smash ’em.
The controls are about as easy as you’re going to find, and while they aren’t perfect, they do work well. The triggers are assigned to left and right arm punches, with the buttons being mapped to stomp, backpack weapon, jump, and kick. You can pick up humans to eat them, granting you much needed health/power, by simply pressing the R2 button. Eating humans is a lot of fun, especially when the quote “Cop Chow” or “Army Rations” pops on the screen once you have devoured a handful of the security forces. Weapons can be anything from a claw hand, a giant hammer, a laser, a machine gun, and even a spinning saw blade. Holding down the left trigger as your monster laser beams the tank next to you, while completely dominating the building in front of you with your hammer fist is beyond epic.
I do however have one complaint in the controls department: destroying a building all the way to the ground can be a bit… annoying as hell. The majority of the time when pummeling a long building, you will crush it into sections. To make it easy to understand, we will just say the top floor, middle floor, bottom floor. Once you have smashed both the top and middle floors, you are left in a difficult position where a normal punch is too high, and a ground slam isn’t quite strong enough to completely level the bottom floor, leaving you to get destroyed by the armed forces as you run around like an asshole. This slight mishap does become much less common the more powerful your monster becomes, and the better you become at the game itself, but it’s definitely still an issue in the later levels. Especially considering how high the difficulty ramps up.
The major draw to this game is the Monster Lab. Here you can create your monster from a fairly large amount of customization options. Everything from its head, it’s right and left arms, legs, chest, and back accessory. Equipping certain items will change your monster’s speed, max power, damage, power usage, fear, and jump. Once you have selected the pieces you want (such as a laser right arm and a hammer left), you can then assign individual colors to each piece (PRO TIP: head into the Options Menu and turn on “Advanced Colors” to see the full list). You can then name your monster, and hop into battle. As of right now, I have my speed monster, ‘Creeper’ – my power monster, ‘Da Hamma’ – and my high score monster, ‘High Scorer’ (couldn’t think of a good name). Creating monsters is incredibly easy for how in-depth it is, and I find myself constantly trying to get the next best medal so that I can unlock the next creation piece.
My major complaint comes in the form of multiplayer – it’s local only. Four player local mind you, but still – no online cooperative. This is a huge mistake considering how much fun this genre of game is when you play with a buddy. There isn’t a better feeling than taking a giant monster through an unsuspecting town and ravaging the citizens like it’s December 2012. I was fortunate enough to be able to play it with three other friends and to be perfectly honest it was one of the most fun times I have had all year playing a cooperative game. For the developers to not have installed an online cooperative mode is one of the only reasons this game won’t be a massive success.
Overall Eat Them! is definitely worth playing. Whether or not it’s worth buying is your call. After a few hours and several comic books in, the missions become repetitive, and the difficulty can be on the edge of insane. With the only online portion of the game being online leaderboards, it’s tough to recommend a purchase as you may not be able to play with a buddy all the time, which is what makes this game truly shine. Am I upset that I purchased it? Absolutely not. In fact, I have already put in over ten hours, beaten the campaign, and plan on playing each level until my name is atop every leaderboard. If you liked Rampage, and have a weird obsession with Godzilla, you’ll definitely like this game (that’s not to say you won’t like it if you don’t have a fetish for a giant lizard). Could easily be the sleeper hit of the year.