Meteorologists say it’s springtime, but it’s hard to tell. The weather has been cold and rainy more often than not, so our beach gear and suntan oil stay where they are, gathering dust. As it happens, a new holiday resort opened, available for all comers. With the newest episode of Wallace and Gromit, The Last Resort, let’s visit the residence of Wallace and Gromit at West Wallaby Street for the grand opening of West Wallaby Water World.
Telltale nailed the creation of clay-like figures. That’s not to say that the first game’s graphics weren’t good (they were), but in this release they’re even better. The character models have more presence than in the first release, like you’re watching a video. In addition, their textures perfectly capture that clay look, and move much more fluidly than before. The Last Resort represents a significant leap in graphical quality over the first title, so I’m excited to see what Telltale does with the third episode.
The game is divided into chapters, episodes within an episode, all of which can be solved in about 20-30 minutes. All of the chapters included in this episode add up to a couple of hours of game play. The game’s fast pace owes to the puzzle’s structures, which require the player to think out-of-the-box, recall minor details, and rarely use trial and error. The careful construction of the puzzles and the logical nature of their solutions means you’ll spend much less time banging your head against the wall then you do in most point and click adventures.
Of course, puzzles do not a good game make, so it’s good to see the cast from the first game return. The unimaginative and amusingly authoritarian Constable Ernest Dibbons, the refined Miss Felicity Flitt, and the unpromisingly angry Major Crum are all back to round out the experience (with special honors to Major Crum). These characters are the keys to Wallace and Gromit – often the characters are part of the puzzle. Using their particular idiosyncrasies to solve a puzzle is just as important as knowing what and when to use an item.
The intellectual aspect of the game makes for a heightened and energetic experience. For instance, in one puzzle just glancing at a poster lead to a feeling of unity and a heightened sense of purpose – all at a mouse click. The voice actors are all back, including Ben Whitehead as Wallace, and all perform with consummate skill. The music’s great as well; I whistled the theme song all day.
Speaking of clicking, you’ll do a lot of that. It’s not a point-and-click adventure for nothing. However, there’s a twist. The mouse usually controls everything, but this game adds arrow keys to the mix. The arrow keys move the characters, and the mouse interacts with objects, people, and items. It might be tricky for those used to old style adventure games, but with practice it’s easy to use.
The Last Resort is a worthy successor to the series. It’s clever, amusing, and not too challenging with entertaining characters and colorful graphics. Anyone who enjoyed the last game should absolutely consider getting The Last Resort.