We had a chance to play the latest build of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at Konami's press event in San Francisco. The game, which mirrors the plot of the upcoming movie, is being developed by Frontier Developments. Certain folks may recognize Frontier as the team behind the last Wallace and Gromit title, Wallace and Gromit in Project Zoo. Frontier also developed Dog's Life for the PS2 and Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 for the PC.
Curse of the Were-Rabbit will star three characters from the movie, including the titular duo and Hutch, Gromit's new rabbit friend. Since the movie revolves around a rabbit infestation, a bulk of the game sees you trying to rid the world of wily bunnies.
Curse of the Were-Rabbit is, of course, an action-adventure game, meaning you should expect a blend of platform elements, puzzles and action sequences. Interestingly, Wallace and Gromit's latest adventure tries several mechanics not seen in their latest adventure. For starters, as second player can jump in at any time, play awhile, then hop back out.
Perhaps the biggest addition is the inclusion of a day/ night system. The entire game divides between a series of day and night stages, each of which differs greatly in terms of content. Players can change between day and night missions by finding sundials scattered about the environment.
During daylight hours, for example, you can only control Wallace and Gromit, not Hutch. Also, daytime missions consist primarily of hunting and capturing normal, non-Were rabbits. Nighttime missions, on the other hand, star Wallace and his friend Hutch as they battle the ever-vicious Were-Rabbits.
Like most action-adventure games nowadays, Curse of the Were-Rabbit will contain a series of gadgets and contraptions, including the Screwdriver, Airblast, Pesto Pal, Bolt Cutters, Auto-brolly, Bunny Hopper, and Lady Were-rabbit Decoy. While we didn't get a chance to test all of them, we did play around with a few. The first, the Bunny Hopper, is basically an inflatable ball characters ride on to hop around the environment and reach ceilings, ledges, etc. The Bundar helped us find items, rabbits and mission objectives. Finally, the umbrella can be used to float through town and reach hidden areas.
We played through the first portion of the game, which starts outside a mansion. Wallace and Gromit have responded to a plea for help by the Mansion's owner, who is suffering from a rabbit infestation. This section served as a tutorial and taught us how to jump, push and pull objects, and use the Bun-Gun. The first task saw us hunting single rabbits in front of the Mansion and stuffing them into a bunny container.
After this, we ran toward the back of the house, where we had more rabbits to collect. The first thing we had to do, though, was uncover a "vac-drain," which basically acts as giant bunny trap - any bunny within its radius gets sucked into a vortex of rabbit death. Then, with Bun-Gun (Think vacuum) in hand, we sucked up rabbits and fired them, cannonball style, at the open "vac-drain."
We'll be back with more of Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit soon.
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