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Hogs of War

video game review video game review video game review video game review Video Game Review: Hogs of War Publisher: Infogrames Entertainment
Category: Strategy
Platform: PS1
ESRB Rating: Teen    Release Date: September 2000

Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
3½ Stars out of 4

If there's one lesson to learn from Hogs of War, it's that Americans, Germans, French, British, Japanese, and Russians are pigs. All of these nationalities get porked in this hilarious roast of a game.

Unlike many strategy-based adventure games, Hogs of War is easy to jump into and learn quickly. Besides the short and helpful training mode, the game takes place on three-dimensional battlefields populated by armies of up to six pig soldiers for each side. Each side takes turns advancing the line and firing shots with a variety of weapons.

After completing a level, you get to promote soldiers however you choose within classes of medics, espionage, engineering, and heavy weapons groups.

While the game does not include a level editor, it does have a level generator. This feature creates landscapes randomly through a set of variables. Before generating a level, you can set some pre-existing parameters such as number of mines, landmass, and more. Combining this feature with the multi-player mode could have you addicted to pigs for months. You can even save any random levels you happen to especially like.

The power of this game's appeal lies in its presentation more than its game play. The absurd parody of Hollywood action conventions is almost invisible in its subtlety. Take, for instance, an attack on the enemy with a bazooka blast from a few yards. After the pig has his last words, he explodes into bacon bits, but his smoking boots are left behind unharmed.

The campy war music hits just the right note, as do the hilarious voice-overs. Imagine a gay lisp for this comment: "I can smell your fear." Or a hillbilly accent: "My daddy taught me how to shoot critters like you." Of course, the gay accent is more fun: "The terror arouses me." The different gays, airheads, oafs, and hillbillies exist within teams, avoiding ethnic stereotypes but instead showing diversity among all ethnic groups. Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but Hogs of War is still a cut above the rest.

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