Players can blast the bad guys, score the hot chicks, and kick down the fourth wall of gaming in Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, a shooter that satirizes video game mythology and industry clichés. Matt Hazard, voiced by Arrested Development's Will Arnett, is a Duke Nukem-esque hero whose years of unemployment have him looking to reclaim his throne as the king of over-the-top action games. In reality,Eat Lead is Hazard's debut game, but developer Vicious Cycle and publisher D3 have concocted an elaborate backstory for the character, placing him in a dozen fictional games such as 1983's seminal side-scrolling shooter "The Adventures of Matt in Hazard Land," the GoldenEye 007 parody "You Only Live 1,317 Times," and "Haz-Matt Carts," Hazard's inevitable slip into kart-racing purgatory. Unfortunately for Hazard, fictitious developer "Marathon Software" spread his character too thin, and by the time of 2002's Viva Piñata-esque children's game "Choking Hazard: Candy Gramm," he was a washed-up has-been. But Eat Leadoffers redemption, as gamers help Hazard on a quest for blood and relevance in the first actual game among his 13 fictional adventures. Though primarily a third-person 3D shooter, the game's story and style are subject to dramatic graphical, sound, and gameplay changes because the comeback is not exactly whatHazard envisioned. It seems that Wallace Wellesley, a Marathon executive voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, created Eat Lead as an elaborate ruse designed to make Hazard's life even more miserable.
Continuous hacking of the game causes a number of inexplicable situations, such as Hazard fending off gun-toting cowboys in a futuristic space station, and only gamers can help the gruff protagonist make sense of the chaos and resurrect his career. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
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