This game is half wasteland apocalypse and half Frank Sinatra’s Las Vegas, so there’s a lot of dust and neon signs. And ruined stuff. And rubble. The last time I saw this much rubble was on Fred Flintstone’s Facebook page. Boarded up houses, empty bottles everywhere. In fact, I’ve never seen so many empty bottles in my life. You’d think after the apocalypse there’d be less intact glass bottles lying around.
Everybody I meet is dirty, except for the people in stylish Vegas suits, which are also dirty. I’m assuming everyone in the game is snaggletoothed, but video games rarely let you look in people’s mouths. Which is a shame, really. I can’t wait for the next generation of consoles to come out so I can really get in there and see the fillings on the teeth of the Super Mario Brothers in HD.
Everybody has a life-threatening errand for me to do seconds after meeting me. “Hey there stranger, could you go pick up a golden bottle cap for me? It’s hidden underneath some giant radioactive scorpions. You’ll literally spend forty minutes checking your map, wandering around and then dying of scorpion stings trying to find it.”
“Salutations, pal- I know I just made your acquaintance, but would you mind taking care of my personal business for me with a bunch of minor tasks? I’d do it myself, but I have to stay inside this building for the rest of my life for some reason.”
Also, my guns don’t seem to work very well against anything. I switched to punching people’s heads off with a pair of spiked brass knuckles. If someone has a laser gun, I just walk toward them letting the lasers hit me, then I punch-decapitate them. Sometimes they get me first and I evaporate and check Twitter on my phone. You’d think a man who’d walk into lasers just to punch you hard enough to separate your head from your neck would be harder to kill, but I die all the time.
Actually, I’m a woman. I got a girlish side bob haircut so I look like a waitress from the 1940’s, but grimier. More eggs, President Roosevelt? I guess she’s a waitress in the White House. Also, I have a tendency to take the hats off of everyone I kill. And a tendency to kill everyone in a hat. So I got a lot of hats. I thought my lady character would look sexy in a fedora, but you have to be sexy before you wear a hat and then the hat makes you sexier, I’ve learned. You can’t transform an ugly duckling into a swan with a fedora. Wish I could tell that to myself in high school before I posed for the yearbook photo.
So I’m running around in different stylish hats, punching heads off of passerby and taking their hats like a game of fedora whack-a-mole. Then an Elvis impersonator gives me his cyborg dog. My driving instructor in high school was a professional Elvis impersonator. He had a silky, velveteen Elvis voice. If you closed your eyes, it was like being taught to drive by the King himself. But then you had to open your eyes real quick because you were driving a car.
Anyway, I’m finally starting to learn how to manipulate the game’s menus enough to not die a hot dusty death every time I walk out of a sexbot brothel or a casino. This whole game feels like a spiritual successor to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, with all the surreal landscapes and weird sketchy people and Vegas-ness. If I had to do it all over again, I would have made my character look like Hunter S. Thompson.
The Bill Murray Where The Buffalo Roam Hunter S. Thompson, though. Sorry, Johnny Depp. If they ever make a Benny & Joon game, you’ll be my first pick, I promise. Press X to make a bread roll look like dancing feet! Now press Y to make “Charlie Chaplin eyes” at Mary Stuart Masterson! Now push left on the D-pad to accept a Golden Globe. DO A BARREL ROLL!