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game: Torrente
two star
posted by: Blaine Krumpe
publisher: O3 Entertainment
developer: Cinemaware
ESRB rating: M (Mature)
date posted: 12:00 AM Thu Jan 20th, 2005
last revision: 12:00 AM Thu Jan 20th, 2005

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When you think of PC games, do the words racist, homophobic, and sexist come to mind?  I didn't think so?  So let me sum them up in one word: TORRENTE.  This game takes the first person and third person perspective of a dirty cop in Madrid, Spain, and tries to maliciously drag you through 60 missions.  His story goes like this:

Torrente is a fat, balding, middle age man who lacks the refinement of say? a sewer rat.  Your character has been kicked off of the police force due to dirty dealings.  However, Torrente wants to be back in his former gig.  He thus becomes a private detective and violently carries out jobs handed to him by his friends still in the police force.  This is where your 60 or so missions come into play, they will vary from the entirely absurd, (in the case of shooting man hole covers over their hole so as to save a blindfolded hostage), to the more routine goals of timed deliveries, straight up killing, and escort tasks.  Before learning the background to this game, I thought it was the corniest and most absurd knock off of GTA that I'd seen.  However, this game was translated? from the Spanish film Torrente, El Brazo Tonto de la Ley  (Torrente, The Stupid Arm of the Law).  The movie held great acclaim in Spain; however, I thought it was a modestly funny comedy.  You can also play the entire game in Spanish if you feel like it.

After watching the film I had a better understanding of the game, but that was not enough to boost the game's rating in my eyes.  All in all there are two maps within this game.  The first map you start in is Madrid, you then move to the seaside town of Marbella.  The maps are some what large, however, they lack the intricacy of the GTA universe, AND, you are unable to drive any vehicles.  That was one of the bigger issues I had with the game, being able to drive a vehicle is essential in a game like this, but alas, you're stuck watching a fat man jiggle his way through the streets.  On that note, it was a little bit different to have a main character that wasn't a genius, good looking, supper strong, or any of the other qualities that you normally find in a modern action star.  He's a flawed character that you can sort of relate? too.

This game was released last year in Europe and made its transition to the states about a month ago.  To tell you the truth, even with the recent release date, the game's graphics are horrible.  Character modeling/actions, shading, buildings, trees, cars, you name it were completely outdated by a few years compared to the new technology that developers are using on games.  When you play in first and third person mode your aiming is inaccurate and jerky, and for some odd reason everything seems closer than it should be in first person.  Like the guy has 2X glasses on. 

The computer AI has two moves, stand and shoot, or charge.  Also, the ones with grenade or rocket launchers take you out with one shot.  The majority of the time in a mission is spent finding out where these one shot one kill enemies are hiding, and taking them out before they shoot you from you're blind side.  This is where the frustration sets in, having no quick save feature within the missions, you will routinely repeat a mission four or five times before you memorized where all of the one shot one kill enemies are.  This is where I found my self asking, Why in the world am I doing this??  The game's violence got old fast and I found myself drudging through all 60 levels.

The only positive note I could find in the game was the soundtrack/voice overs.  I do have to admit that I did laugh to myself at some of the one-liners that Torrent said with his thick Spanish accent.  The music was also okay, but there were a lot of dead spots where there was little or no sound rumbling from my speakers.

I'd only suggest Torrente to the few people out there who are huge fans of the movie, or are former cops trying to get back on the force by any violent means necessary?.and they want a role model and a 60 step guide in how to do it.  But alas, I won't tell you whether the beloved? Torrente makes it back on the force, you'll just have to find Torrente on the bottom shelf of you're local game store.

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