Blackpool’s lovely this time of year… not.
Wallace and Gromit never seem to get a break, even when they are supposed to be on vacation. The Last Resort picks up right after the end of the last chapter, Fright of the Bumblebees, as they’re preparing to go on a holiday in Blackpool. But surprise, surprise, living in England does have its side effects – it’s raining, so they give up on the idea. Or do they? Wallace, crazy inventor that he is, decides to bring the beach to their doorstep, thereby starting the second episode in Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures.
[image1]Premises in Telltale games have always been on the outlier side of cliché, in their own crazy way, and The Last Resort takes that to a whole new level. Just when you think you know what is going to happen, something crazier occurs that stirs the mix yet again. Aardman’s characters and the setting fit so well to the adventure mold – Wallace is an inventor, so it’s natural for him to collect all sorts of items that are lying around and to build contraptions with them. And Gromit… well, Gromit always gets him out of his inevitable jams, which lends itself to naturally combining two of the tenants of adventure games into one very satisfying, albeit short, experience: making insane item combinations and getting out of complications that were started in the first place by the greed of the protagonist.
The Last Resort plays exactly like Fright of the Bumblebees – no surprise there. There are options for controlling Wallace or Gromit by mouse and keyboard, or with an analog controller on the PC version of the game, mimicking how the 360 version will play once the episodes come out on its downloadable game service. Item collecting and combining is still present, like a classic adventure game should, but it is simplified, thankfully, so you won’t ever have to cook up some harebrained combo, although thinking outside of the box does help. Dialogue puzzles return as well, although not as funny as those in the first game.
[image2]Humor is also a strong suit that is retained from the previous episode, with lots of returning characters making an appearance and a few new ones to boot, like a brutish-but-secretly-a-scared-cat Scottish guy who is hilariously arrogant. Environments are recycled from Bumblebees with very few changes apart from some different items thrown in here and there. It’s not an immediate problem, but it will start growing tiresome if it continues through to the next episode.
For those jumping in to Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures from this episode forward, there is nothing that can be missed in terms of setup – there are very few references to the previous episode. It doesn’t last long, at about three to four hours, but it concentrates on quality and humor. Just don’t dare go on a vacation with these two…