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EL Matador Review

There will be loads of puns about the games name, because El Matador sounds like a Bull Fighting game and we need to set the record straight that this is a load of bull! - sigh (ed). Ok so if it's not about Bull Fighting, what is it about? Well think of Max Payne (your character viewed from 3rd person and slow mo's), mix in a touch of Far Cry style locations and add the voice over tones of a Sam Fisher clone - aka the main man from Splinter Cell and you can get an idea what the gameplay is like.

Story wise El Matador revolves around taking out drug lords, who rather nastily decided to wipe out all agents at DEA South-American headquarters. The new drug gang called La Valedora are you main opponents and the DEA - what's left of them -send in their best man for the job, to clean the lot up.

That bloke is you, aka El Matador!

We have to say right from the off that if you are a fan of shoot-em-up games this one will be right up your street. Like Max Payne you have slow mo modes - which seem the norm these days - that allow you to slow the action down when you are fighting, a bar represents your time in slow-mo mode and when this runs out you had better not be in the line of fire!

Taking a brisk go at the tutorial gets you accustomed to the weapons and techniques that you need to deploy during the Six Chapters and various sub-levels throughout the game.

From the off you are presented with a shed load of weapons, pistols, double pistols, various machine guns, Uzi's and shotguns, later levels give you access to sniper riffles and mini-guns. The mini-gun was pretty cool and reminded us of the scenes from Predator when old Painless aka Blain goes nuts.

It's basically an all out shoot-out from beginning to end!

You are joined at times by your fellow Police Swat members and they do a fair job at repelling the bad guys, ducking under cover when the fighting starts and popping out to take a few pot shots. Annoyingly they tend to push you out of your hiding places - behind a pillar - which results in you getting killed rather quickly.

Fire fights - which there are tons - are located in various locations, inside buildings, outside docklands and at one point in a lush jungle. The graphics are pretty neat, with bullet holes riddling the walls, glass smashing and wood splinters flying, but the explosions are a bit weak and though the bodies fly about when shot, they are a bit like puppets on strings.

Sound effects were authentic and you will find that the henchmen swear a lot, but the music tended to be a bit too repetitive, each time you went into action the music would change to this heart pounding track that never differed.

Some people will get bored of the constant fighting - which can repetitive and after a while you can easily learn when a bad guy steps out a corner. Most missions are the same, go in take out this or that bad guy. Saying that the bosses each have an energy bar of their own that raises the challenge factor a tad.

El Matador does not have a difficulty setting as such but it is certainly a challenge, we must have saved - using the quick save command - the game hundreds of times and even with the slow mo modes - which tend not to be used as much as you would think - the game will last you a bit longer than most shooters these days.

The slow-mo modes are pretty cool, but you still get a pounding even when you use them, we tended to use stealth in the end and use the weapons zoom function to take bad guys out.

At the moment we are on the last level and it took us over ten hours worth of play to get this far - even when we were saving and re-loading tones of times. The developers must also have a warped sense of humour, as one of the bad guys near the end is called "Helmut Koch" - we'll let you work that one out (ed).

Summary

We have to say that the more you play El Matador the better it gets, there are some really cool shoot-outs and for those simply wanting instant old skool action then EL Matador will suite you down to the ground.

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