Original URL: http://www.psxextreme.com/ps1-reviews/171.html
Chicken Run
Graphics: 8.7
Gameplay: 8.6
Sound: 8.5
Control: 9
Replay Value: 8
Rating: 8.7

  Being one of Mel Gibson's most critically acclaimed movie since Braveheart, Chicken Run's plot is almost as amusing as the movie's name. The movie held the number one spot at the box office for many weeks, brought in a big wad of cash for Dreamworks, there was no doubt about it, and it was an instant success with kids and adults alike. The movie's plot was very simple and there was absolutely nothing that distracted you from the plot, basically the pack of chickens are trying to escape the Tweedy's farm, Ginger will set up a few plans that later fail, and then an American chicken comes flying out of nowhere by the name of Rocky (Mel Gibson's character), Rocky now understands the situation at the Tweedy farm and agrees to help out the English chicks. In order to escape the farm, the chickens must watch out for dogs and the Tweedys themselves, so stealth is the key. Borrowing a chunk from Metal Gear Solid's gameplay of stealth, Chicken Run is one game that certainly lives up to its wonderful movie counterpart.

   It would very hard to visually re-create a movie like Chicken Run on a console like the Playstation, but Blitz Games really did a wonderful job with creating some of the best looking cartoon models on the Playstation since Toy Story 2. I was really hoping that the developer would do the movie a favor and give its videogame counterpart visuals that would please critics and gamers, I really applaud Blitz Games for their visual job with Chicken Run. Let's start off the top; the character detail look remarkably well done especially for the Playstation, the chickens have this great deal of attention to them and honestly they almost look as good the movie ones do. There is just something so striking about the visuals that I can't exactly put my finger on it, but maybe it is how well everything looks and feels, the organic atmospheres and how richly detailed the structures are, or maybe just maybe it's all of that and more. Chicken Run's graphics capture the movie's so well that when the game zooms in and the voice acting kicks in, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show, it really feels like you're watching the motion picture. Speaking of the motion picture, Chicken Run has clips taken straight out of the movie so that the next upcoming mission(s) would be set up and the theme would reflect the movie's. The visual presentation is top of the line baby! The game just screams with overloaded great visuals, but the frame rate can be a pain at times though.

   "Chicken Gear Solid" or "Metal Gear Poultry" would have been the ideal titles for this game and there is a huge reason for that. It seems as if Blitz Games has taken Metal Gear Solid and added some poultry into the blender, they set it to 'mix' and what we got was a Metal Gear game starring chickens. Get this folks, Chicken Run not only lets your chickens hide and press backwards against walls, but the game even has a radar which shows where your enemies are, and in this case that would be the dogs, Mr and Mrs Tweedy and more. If you are spotted the radar will flash red and your Dual Shock will rumble to let you know that you have to hide somewhere, out of the dogs eye sight. And once again a lot like MGS, you can hide around walls or even equip a boot walk with it or be still and hide under it, how sweet is that? Of course the game follows the movie almost ideally, from cutting the rusted fence, to trying to pretend you are Mrs. Tweedy and to the moment where Rocky (Mel Gibson) decides to helping you out.

   The plot line I already explained in the intro so I feel like I don't have to get into that, but I will get into the gameplay just a little bit more. The game starts you out with Ginger (an English chick), as you have to crawl around the farm looking for two sharp objects that can be formed into a cutting utensil so that a rusted piece of fence can be cut down. You will walk around the square-like-farm area, watching out for dogs and security lights, as you look for the two objects, a detector will help you out by beeping frivolously when you are around a key and important item, I thought that was a very clever idea. Chicken Run will take you through a set of missions, and while the game doesn't last as long as some of today's other adventure games do, it's still a lengthy enough title which is certainly worth a purchase in my book. If Chicken Run's witty humor doesn't get to you and make you giggle or laugh, then you must have a black heart.

   Being the game's strongest aspect is the audio. Chicken Run's voices are top-notch, and are in a class of their own. It seems as if Mel Gibson and the rest of the movie's voice acting crew have contributed to Chicken Run's sensational voice acting. Though I would have most likely gave Chicken Run a perfect ten in sound if a soundtrack was done for the game during the gameplay, but sadly Blitz Games didn't implement one and I took of a critical point for that error, but it's something that I honestly don't care for much in Chicken Run, since the voice acting and the accents are first rate and disappoint in no way at all. Kudos to Blitz Games for a wonderful achievement in the sound section.

   Controlling the chickens is a lot like controlling Snake from Metal Gear Solid. Moving towards a wall would make your character lean against it, a lot like what Snake would do. The movement of the characters is very smooth, your analog stick should be your premier way of playing the game since it is the most comfortable way, and the sensitivity can really come in handy with some areas where you can't make a lot of noise. On the left hand side of the screen you will see a transparent area that displays the function of each button, it can be turned on and off so you don't have to worry about seeing it constantly. The Dual Shock is also a plus here folks, if turned ON, you will be able to know when a dog or another enemy is sensing your presence, and that is your cue to run and find a new hiding place, it's a very well thought out use for the Dual Shock. The control actually does take a short time to get used to, since the game is played from a top-down perspective, typical adventure fans may need some time to adjust, but all is good though, it really is.

   Being very skeptical on the outcome of Chicken Run, Blitz Games has really paid homage to one of the years best movies, and one of Mel Gibson's most notable roles since Braveheart. Chicken Run is nowhere near an average game, in fact Chicken Run is actually one of the years most enjoyable games and I'm hoping that there are more to come -both a new movie and a PS2 version to the sequel-, if Dreamworks plays its cards right then maybe we could be seeing some sort of a sequel to Chicken Run and hopefully a nicely tailored PS2 version, with some downright amazing graphics and the gameplay to go along with it. Chicken Run for Playstation is a visually inspired game, it features gameplay that almost feels like Solid Snake (no, not me) was the director behind the incredible product, and let me finish off by saying that the voice acting nothing short of perfection. Chicken Run is really a must have title for the Playstation, it may be the last great adventure game you play on the console.

  


12/4/2000   SolidSnake