The Weakest Link (PS)
It had to happen didn't it. Last year we had ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire released on all formats and it proved to be a resounding success; so guess what? The BBC have decided not to be outdone and as a result of this we now have The Weakest Link on the Playstation with it soon to be released on all other formats.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was successful because it retained the tension and atmosphere of the TV show and in this respect The Weakest Link is successful, however there is one massive oversight the game's developers have made and it is one that practically makes the game useless to a deaf gamer.
The mistake we refer to of course is that, the only text feedback that is provided is the questions that appear on the screen. If you were watching the program on TV you would have all of Anne Robinson's sarcasm and bitchiness subtitled and the same could be said for the announcer's comments and the other contestants little digs at each other. In the game though you have nothing! Rules are explained verbally, the contestants profiles are read out, Anne makes her usual nastiness felt and the contestants take swipes at each other. You could say that for the hearing gamer it is nigh on a perfect translation of the TV show. For the deaf gamer though it is as flat as a pancake as you answer your questions and remain aloof from all the atmosphere.
The game comes with four modes. There is Single player, Multiplayer, Championship and Bend the rules. In single player mode you play as one of the characters in an attempt to win £20,000 virtual pounds. Multiplayer mode is similar except that more than one person can play and you can either play through all the rounds or you can begin at the relevant round for the number of people i.e. if there are only two people then you can jump straight to the final round if you want. Championship mode is like single player mode except that you have to play through 4 shows with the aim of winning £1,000,000. Bend the rules allows you to tweak some of the rules in an attempt to make the game a little more interesting. All modes have three difficulty settings Junior, Easy and Normal (supposedly the same as the TV shows difficulty). The only quibble I would say about the difficulty settings is that on the easiest (junior) setting it occasionally throws up the same question twice in the same round.
Graphically the game is OK but it is becoming rapidly obvious that the Playstation/PSone has had it's day as the blockiness is fast becoming an eyesore but that is the fault of the console and not the game. The contestants (there are 24 in total) are motion captured and verbally make the same comments on every turn. When the spotlight is on the presenter the action switches to FMV which is again without subtitles so to a deaf gamer it is useless and another reason to hit the start button to cut through it.
If you're a fan of the TV show then The Weakest Link is going to appeal to you no matter what this review says, but don't forget that there are no subtitles (apart from when the questions appear on the screen) and all in all the game alienates the deaf gamer. If you're content with just sitting there until your question pops up and not receiving any of the atmosphere that the hearing gamer is receiving then you will be OK if not then this won't be the game for you.
Overall Game Rating: 4.8/10 As quiz games go it's the weakest link.
Quality of text: 2/10 It's like watching the TV show without subtitles.
Graphics: 6/10 OK but they show the Playstation for the tired console it is.
Interface:7/10 Simple but it does the job.
Gameplay: 4/10 Simple questions & answers but the lack of subtitles really take the atmosphere of the TV show away from the game.