Hell's Kitchen - video game review
by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 6th 2009 3:01PM
If you're a wobbly-kneed, amateur chef with a tendency to wet your pants anytime someone's voice goes a few decibels higher in your direction, a good version of the Hell's Kitchen video game should make you wish you put on your rubber pants before you started playing.
Unfortunately, the real version isn't even worth shelling out for the price of a pair of extra-large Depends.
The game lacks in just about every area imaginable, from gameplay to ambiance, most notably and disappointingly from the angry chef himself, whose mean stare can make puppies cry and anger spittle can burn a hole in your face like hot alien acid.
It strives to simulate the high-pressure, short temper world of Hell's Kitchen's hellish kitchen by putting you smack-dab in the middle of a juggling contest between the killing floor and the dining room. Guests arrive and it's up to you to make sure the Maitre-d are seating and serving the food as you prepare their meal from the cutting board to the plate.
You, the magical head of the cooking and wait-staff, have to make sure guests are seated and served, and the meal is being prepared to resemble something worthy of feeding to Gordon's pet pig.
Unfortunately, there is only one waiter and one cook, namely you, between the two rooms. This makes it very difficult when you're trying to seat patrons as your ONE waiter and Maitre-d waits for one table to make up their minds or bus their table. Even the real Hell's Kitchen has more than one waiter. Has the recession finally hit Hell's Kitchen?
Meanwhile, Gordon looms over your every move with that pressed, gruff face and his arms cemented in a permanent fold. If you're not fast enough or burning more dishes than a third-rate Denny's, Gordon won't hesitate to let you know, but he never really lets loose. In fact, he hardly gets in your face, even if every dish on the stove is a flaming pile of compost.
Where is the Gordon Ramsey that literally gets in people's faces and shows naughty chefs new and painful uses for rolling pins and turkey basters? Virtual Gordon should be so wild and angry that players are actually afraid he will see your pathetic score, fly to your home and choke the living hell out of you. Here, he's about as threatening as Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show combined.
The graphics are crisp and fluid for a game with playability that looks like it was made over a weekend. The images, however, rarely change between levels and the game gets so boring by the time the guests start piling up that you're hungry for at least some new decor or different characters.
This is one reality show game that could have used some more time on the stove, because it isn't worth feeding to Gordon's pet pig.