Going to the dogs

October 25, 2006 10:25

Movie producers eager to capitalize on their work and increase revenues usually seek out a software company to produce a computer game version even before their film's premiere.

3 minute read.

reservoir disk 88 298

reservoir disk 88 298. (photo credit: )

Reservoir Dogs, a DVD-ROM in English by Lionsgate for Eidos, distributed with a 25-page Hebrew-language user's manual by Hed Artzi Multimedia, requires Windows XP and an 800 Mhz Pentium III PC or higher, for ages 18 and above, NIS 219. Technical rating: ** Moral rating: zero stars Movie producers eager to capitalize on their work and increase revenues usually seek out a software company to produce a computer game version even before their film's premiere. Reservoir Dogs, based on the 1992 very violent cult film directed by Quentin Tarantino, has just been turned into a PC game - but it should have been left to rot in its film canister instead of being revived 14 years later. A gang of men wearing black suits, white shirts, black ties and "shades" over their eyes - named Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. Pink, Mr. White, Mr. Orange and Mr. Blond after the film characters - plan a diamond heist. But their plans go awry when the alarm is tripped and the police arrive on the scene. Four of the would-be thieves make it back to the pre-set meeting place in a warehouse, but one is clearly an undercover police officer. The problem is - who is he? The low-budget movie, which was admired for its wit and style despite its brutality, starred Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi and Lawrence Tierney, with Tarantino taking a minor role. Madsen, as the ruthless Mr. Blond, is the only actor to have his voice used in the game. The original soundtrack from the film, including Little Green Bag, Stuck in the Middle with You and other songs can, however, be heard on the car radio as you rush from one place to another. You can also try to get away on foot and hear the music on a wireless radio. You play this mindless third-person shooter (if you really must) through 10 missions, at "normal" or "easy" levels of difficulty. From start to finish, the whole thing - including the weapons training session that can be dispensed with by most gamers - will take you only about nine to 11 hours. Players are shown where they are in a continuum from psychopath to career criminal to professional. If you decide to shoot and kill as much as possible, you will boost your rating as a psychopath, while if you prefer to bloodlessly take security guards or other innocent civilians as hostages, you are considered a professional; the career rating is somewhere in between. Although the six Misters have different names, which ones you play really do not much matter, as their personas do not vary significantly. But whoever does the talking, you will constantly be exposed to four-letter words in the dialogue, both oral and written on the screen, and to disgusting scenes, such as razor removal of one's enemies' ears. Not only do they do these vile things, but some of them even smoke! With the aim of shooting at anything that moves or smashing a bank teller's head onto a counter, glass will splinter, bullets will be fired and blood will spurt everywhere. Although bodies quickly disappear into thin air, splotches of blood remain visible on floors, walls and tables. "Shooting at people will cause your adrenalin to work," you are told. "Shoot to max your adrenaline," you are instructed endlessly. Part of the missions include wild, murderous driving through the streets, usually on the wrong side of the road, in the style of Grand Theft Auto but with none of the sophistication of that admittedly perverse game. Reservoir Dogs, whose graphics are very old-fashioned (almost like those of 1992), borrows the "bullet festival" technique of The Matrix video game: You can see the slow-motion path of the bullets as they fly through the air and hit their victims. But none of the brilliance of The Matrix is present in this gratuitously visceral, horrendous offering. Parents should beware, as 18+ ratings do not prevent minors from buying it in the shops. Although I have a high-powered PC, Reservoir Dogs repeatedly crashed for no logical reason. After a few hours of this stomach-turning program, I was relieved by the return to my familiar home screen and decided to delete the disk from my hard drive for good. What a relief!

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