We don’t know who owns the rights to Quentin Tarantino’s classic jewel-heist-gone-awry film, but licensing the gaming rights to Reservoir Dogs is probably the worst decision that studio executive ever made. While much is revealed about the hapless heist carried out by the well-dressed gentlemen known as Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink, and Mr. White, the game lacks the slick style and distinguished character portrayals that made the 1992 movie so memorable.
The game’s 15 campaigns are split between two gameplay modes, but both modes suffer from unacceptable and unrecoverable faults. Most of your time is spent replaying the getaway from the diamond store in the third person, navigating a completely linear path through warehouses, narrow alleyways, and fenced-off streets. With the po-po hot on your trail, you’re required to take hostages and threaten cops into submission. In theory, you could get through entire levels without pulling the trigger, switching hostages as they wear out. But in practice, we found that cops were all too happy to shoot us even as we held up human shields.
In the driving portion of the game, too-loose controls ruin the experience. We could barely keep the car stable as we sped along a completely restricted path. Reckless driving is rewarded with adrenaline boosts for speed, but the AI pursuers always managed to cheat their way back within a few yards of our position. It doesn’t help that many of these “tracks” are just rehashes of each other, which also holds true for the third-person levels.
Of the main cast, only Michael Madsen returns to reprise his role as Mr. Blonde. The rest of the characters neither sound nor look like their movie counterparts, which just detached us from the story. Tarantino-esque dialogue helps a little, but we felt more like we were watching a fan-made tribute to the movie as opposed to being part of it. You do find out where Mr. Pink hid the goods and exactly what went down off-camera, but these bits were kept hidden for a reason, and exploring them is treading on sacred ground.
We’re struggling to find any reason to recommend this half-baked console port. This is money better spent on the DVD of the film, even if you already have a copy.