Torrente

Review

posted 3/10/2005 by Ben Berry
other articles by Ben Berry
One Page Platforms: PC
Torrente, by Spanish developer Virtual Toys, can best be described as ‘The Pink Panther on cheap tequila’. Jose Torrente is the central character of pair of Spanish movies featuring an overweight slime ball ex-cop with a penchant for big breasted girls, tequila, and violence. Now, he is the main character of his own game, and in digitized form has evidently added an appetite for repetitive gameplay.

I’m the kind of gamer who enjoys tongue in cheek humor in a game, and for the first few missions I played, it was amusing. Torrente is voiced by the actor who played him in the movies, which adds a small feel of authenticity for those few have actually seen these movies. However, the more of the games nearly 60 missions I played, the more wisecracks became boring to the point of tedium, as there only 4 or 5 and they repeated every few enemies.

It’s sad that one of my favorite parts of the game is the controls. This game is extremely simple to learn to play. It takes about 5 minutes to master the various controls while running (or should I say waddling?) through the streets of Madrid.

Combat in this game brings together two of the poorer parts of the game: The graphics and the AI. While I’m a fan of cell shading, the semi-cartoonish appearance of the city only adds to the nightmarish landscape that is the gaming environment. And the only thing worse than the view in first person is 3rd person, where the central figures rather oversized rear is displayed front and center throughout play. Explosions are very flat, and The AI is extremely lacking, with the enemies rushing towards you, with only the occasional evasive maneuver.

This leads us to easily the most frustrating part of the game: the lack of any mid-level saving features. Evidently, the developers played through their game midway through development and realized it was too easy. So, they took away the ability to save during a mission, and added enemies with one-shot kill ability at seemingly random spots throughout the missions. It doesn’t limit the gameplay so much as to be almost a ‘mission on rails’ but it makes it so that as a player, you avoid whole areas rather than take the hit that makes you restart the mission.

The two redeeming components to the game are the opening cut scene, and the ‘victory dance’ Torrente performs at the completion of a mission. The cut scene shows our ‘hero’ in a hot tub surrounded by 2 lovelies, while being serviced by a 3rd who pops her head up through the water a few seconds into the cut screen. I hope Torrente offered her more to work with than we as gamers are given, but I highly doubt it. The victory dance becomes repetitive, but for the first few missions you anticipate completing the mission just to see the dance, which I can only describe as a fat man attempting to breakdance to samba music.
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