Will Rock is upon us and the first thing you have to do after installing it is download and install the 1.1 patch. The patch doesn’t say what it fixes, but if you don’t install it I can tell you that you’ll run into invisible walls. Does that say much about the game’s quality or not ? Let’s see…
The storyline is pretty simple, as in most straight-forward first person shooters: When the Romans conquered Greece, they inprisoned the Greek gods who swore that once they would be liberated they would take revenge on humanity.
Now, an organisation that worships the Greek gods has tricked Will Rock and his mentor to open an ancient temple which actually is the prison of the gods.
Will’s mentor gets killed, the gods escape and after shooting the statue in front of the temple you get possessed by Prometeus who was there to guard the prison.
It’s time to kick some Greek God Ass…
Well, that’s about it qua story. You get to see this all in the intro with static pictures accompanied by a monologue of Will who tells you what happened. Once the intro is finished you can start off killing monsters.
The gameplay is extremely standard: kill monsters, open door, pull lever, open again door, etc etc… A new element is the several “special powers” which you can activate when you’ve got enough gold. Such powers can range from extra damage to even immortality. Guess being possessed by Prometeus isn’t so bad 🙂
Gold can be found in rooms, cups, lamps, etc etc.
Monsters vary from place to place and have found their inspiration obviously from ancient mythology: minotaurs, centaurs, dead romans, cyclops, … even some real tigers are present although they’ve got nothing to do with mythology. After a while you’ll get to know them pretty well as you’ll get to see more than enough of them.
Some enemies have specific features aswell. If you shoot a minotaur for instance, he’ll die and out of his remains, two less powerful minotaurs will arise. The Gods themselves are also omnipresent as you’ll frequently get to see statues of them and from time to time they’ll come alive and start trying to kill you. Other statues will keep creating new monsters until you destroy them.
Will Rock looks a lot like Serious Sam. The graphics are bright and shiny and rather pretty. Dark corners are not omnipresent and even underground scenes are very colorful.
The characters are pretty well-modelled although they are not extraordinary. Same goes for your own character: the animation is good but when your health is getting low you get all bloody and messy. The way it’s portrayed, however, is rather simplistic; you look like you’ve camouflaged yourself with red stripes rather than having blood all over your body.
The AI is rather straight-forward. Enemies attack with as many as possible but don’t do anything to you before you’ve reached a certain point. You can be standing 10 meters from a bunch of Minotaurs who don’t do anything but get one step closer and they’ll start attacking you.
Same goes for the hallways: everything is scripted and walls will crumble if you reach certain positions after which a bunch of enemies who of course hid behind them will start making your life miserable.
The difference here with Serious Sam is that where Sam needed simple AI due to the fact that thousands of enemies would start to attack you, Will Rock will have similar AI with less foes to kill. Still, they keep running after you like chicken without a head.
The sound starts promising with rock music pumping out of the speakers during the menu’s, but once in-game things remain rather quiet. Maybe Sabre Interactive thought to create a scary atmosphere by creating a soundtrack which is hardly noticeable ?
The voice acting is decent but where Serious Sam and Duke Nukem hardly stop pouring quotes of their mouth, Will Rock is a timid dude who hardly ever says anything. The most noticeable is Prometeus who from time to time gives you a “tip” (like: “We need to find a key to open the door” – really interesting).
One could say that Will Rock is a nice shooter – and it is – which competes with games like Duke Nukem and Serious Sam but I wouldn’t go so far. Will Rock is like Serious Sam with the “Serious” taken a bit too seriously. Everything too straight-forward without much humour or anything else to make it extra enjoyable. Who wants to complete a game which doesn’t give you more pleasure than just shooting stupid monsters ? Overall, Will Rock is decently made but definitely lacks atmosphere.