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Torrente is a first person/third person action game. Playing the title hero, Torrente is a foul mouthed, alcohol consuming, over weight womanizer who was disgracefully fired from the police force. Now, acting as a private detective, Torrente is handed jobs by his police friends that may help him get reinstated on the force. Of course, given the absurd nature of some of the mission, the over the top violence and sheer insaneness of it all, I had to wonder why bother.
Released in 1998, the Spanish film Torrente, El Brazo Tonto de la Ley (Torrente, The Stupid Arm of the Law) was a huge hit in its country of origin. The comedy about a homophobic, racist, sexist ex-cop who, for good measure, drinks too much and abuses his crippled father, reportedly grossed more money than Titanic, at least in Spain. This exotic pedigree gives Torrente the game an air of intrigue that eclipses the final product, which turns out to be a typically rotten movie-licensed budget shooter.
Nothing quite smells like a B-grade game. In the case of Torrente, the B-grade smell will hit you even before you open the box. I’ll admit that I’ve seen the first Torrente film – it happened somewhere in the middle of a story that begins with “I was so drunk,” and ends with a confrontation with Spanish authorities. There’s a third film on the horizon but the titular Torrente doesn’t change – he’s a big mouthed, bigoted, utterly sexist pig, I mean, ex-cop. His character isn’t changed for the game and Torrente is even voiced by the real actor, Santiago Segura (who also wrote and directed the first film), which provides for a continuity of sorts, but this is no movie adaptation.
"Torrente," an irreverent, darkly comic action shooter for PC in North America and South America. Developed in Madrid, Spain by Virtual Toys in partnership with Cinemaware, and based on the top-grossing films of the same name, Torrente is a sexist, drunk, and dirty cop who soon finds himself caught in the crossfire between drug cartels and the Mafia. Now he must blast his way through street thugs and hit men battling for control over Madrid's seedy underworld. The game is expected to ship in late summer 2004.
Look, I could keep going about this game and trying to find some good in it, but when my notes contain lines like "How cute, pedestrians don't know how to handle stairs," and "Why won't this game just end?" I think it's a good sign that this is impossible. Torrente is tedious and only worth trying out if you can laugh at a game with very few redeeming factors. It's too long, it's too uninspired, and it just isn't much fun.
Torrente kind of reminds me of State of Emergency, only not nearly as fun. It's a shooter, so it's pretty much constant action. Many of the nearly 60 missions are timed as well, meaning you have to keep on your toes to get through each level. For a budget title, the world is fairly active, with lots of cars, pedestrians and baddies filling the streets of digital Madrid.
Torrente is a first-person shooter based on a series of Spanish films that center around an ex-cop who is not the kindest person. He likes booze, he likes cigars, and he likes ogling women. The odd thing is that none of his films, which grossed more money than Titanic over there, were released in America. That isn't the odd part, what's odd is that the game was released to an American audience who has no idea what the source material holds. Not like it matters though, because this game is pretty darn bad.
Don’t be fooled by this game’s marketing. Torrente is a lame movie tie-in, which should have never been released in the United States in the first place. The graphics are bland, the sound is grating, and the gameplay is about as much fun as watching paint dry. There are better things you could do with twenty dollars. Like take your girlfriend out to a movie, or donate it to charity, or even set the twenty-dollar bill on fire and watch it burn.
If the gameplay was incredibly fun, or the graphics fantastic, then perhaps playing basically the same mission over and over again for ten hours could have been bearable, or even mildly entertaining. Torrente, by comparison, was more like pulling teeth. I'm generally pretty fair to budget titles, willing to look past graphical flaws or gameplay quirks and judge them on their own terms. More than once I've been surprised by a truly great game buried at the bottom of a bargain bin. Torrente isn't one of those games. It's a game that can't even live up to a lack of expectations, and that's just sad.