Playing THQ's (and Asobo Studio's) Wall-E
is basically like playing a game of "go fetch". Because the entire basis of the title is to find all of the energy bars which give you access to the next area, the game can feel quite repetitive. Along the way, there are also opportunities to find secret artifacts, which can easily be missed as you need to stop what you're doing and look around in first-person view to first find the artifacts, then you'll be able to go dig them up. The artifacts are basically interesting tools or toys from today's age, as Wall-E
is set some 700 years in the future. It's interesting to note that one of the artifacts happens to be the dinosaur from Pixar's Toy Story
series. Nice touch.
As previously mentioned, to further the story of Wall-E, you'll need to gain access to some doors using energy bars that you collect, and you'll also be able to challenge yourself to find all of the artifacts (in most levels) and break open all of the crates (again, in most levels), but it does a nice job of throwing some tiny mini-games in to break up the gameplay and add a little puzzle action to the otherwise repetitive nature of the game.
Other doors within certain levels will require everything from finding matching colors, toggling switches to match the pattern shown, or playing back a sequence that is given to you reminiscent of the old Simon game from the '80s, among others. You'll also have access to different types of friendly robots that will help you on your journey, whether it is to light the path in dark areas, help you get through certain security doors, or smash blocks in your way. There's even an umbrella robot, whose use is to allow Wall-E to jump on it and gain access to otherwise inaccessible areas.
Keeping in mind that Wall-E can't access high areas (his jumping is very limited) without a ramp, you'll also have to keep your eyes open for places to throw blocks at, either to trigger puzzles and gain access to the next area or to simply break other crates and get energy, health, or laser power. In some levels, you'll actually take control of Eve (when you're not busy chasing her down with the love-struck Wall-E) and be able to fly through timed levels while shooting down crates and fallen obstacles. Wall-E also has driving levels like this.
The thing that strikes me about Wall-E, however, is that the game feels a bit rushed. While it is certainly entertaining, it is overly repetitive and lacks ingenuity. There are many moments within the game where thoughts of "I've done this before" may cross your mind (at least for the older crowd). Besides the Matching and Simon mentioned before, I also felt like some of the flying levels were very reminiscent of games like Sewer Shark, and there were multiple blatant rip-offs of an all-time classic, Frogger, just to name a few.