If the powers of nostalgia are as strong as can be, then folks will be super excited about the release of The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee
, a game that delivers on the same promise of quality as the original TV show. Included are some car chases, Daisy Duke, some hilarious hijinks with the law and a few shreds of a game to hold it all together. If you just can't get enough of the duke boys, go ahead and gorge on on the goods here, we won't stop you. For the others who are hoping to catch up with these wacky racers your money is much better spent on the recently released DVD sets of the original show.
If there ever was the definition of a game that's rushed out to capitalize on some sort of synergy between a DVD release and a game, this is it. At least Star Wars Battlefront provided gamers with many different ways to go about the same battles. Here, the game is little more than an excuse to take a tour through Hazzard County in 3D and drive recklessly. This would almost be appealing, but problems quickly pop up here, there, and, you guessed it, everywhere. The biggest problem is with the General Lee's control and it goes on from there.
Instead of feeling like a souped-up Dodge Charger, the General Lee feels like a huge, giant sponge or maybe one of those scrubbing bubbles from the commercials, but either way this is definitely not a muscle car to put the fear of God into any law enforcement whatsoever. It's easy to lose control on even the straightaways as any minor turn can send the car rocking back on forth and into a complete turn off of the road itself. When the General Lee gets to hit one of the famous ramps in the game it feels like it's just floating through the air and just bounces off of walls or other objects. Should the car get stuck upside down there's even a comical raise and slow flip as the car rights itself.
So after getting used to this General Lee which is most definitely not a General Lee the game opens itself up to be a sloppy collection of missions where the Dukes tail cars, race to other points on the map, or just avoid the cops in general. It's a seriously dumbed down version of the Driver franchise and with the sloppy control system this all gets old way too fast. The only point to any and all of this is to see the brief comedic cutscenes which are the only parts of the game that seem to have gotten it right with a cheery narrator and all. If it weren't for them the entire game would just be one long, tedious slog.
If you're thinking that this game would still be good for those who have more useless trivia about the show than common sense, then let me try and get this one point across: the missions are horribly laid out and confusing. In many of the missions the instructions are to go somewhere else like, you know, over there. Only by pulling up the map and finding the new star of the destination is anything even remotely possible in finishing many of the quests. Sometimes arrows will indicate a direction, but since all of the driving takes place over an open-world map of Hazzard County this can be thrown out the window if you go off course.
Let's take one of the many entertaining missions that once again ask one of the Dukes with the teased out hair to drive somewhere in a set amount of time. The mission looks freeform at first, but by finding the one correct path by sheer stroke of luck some directional arrows will start to appear. This helps out for a little while and then, poof, they're gone again. The best way to go about finding the different routes is to memorize the map, but this requires even more riding around in the spongemobile and that's just not that fun.
To make the exploration more worthwhile there have been some 15 different special jumps in the game that get rated on a scale of one to five. If you manage to honk the horn during the jump, then you'll get an extra bonus. Ok, read that last sentence one more time to let it sink in, we'll wait. Again, if you honk the freakin' horn that's considered a skillful trick! What in the flyin' filth flarn filth
let's move on. So assuming you get the five star rating and the horn honking bonus toot and get a good action-packed thrill for the kids the reward is a new outfit for Daisy Duke. Did we mention the horn thing? That was cool.
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