Charlie Brooker's most offensive, controversial (and brilliant) video game reviews
18th May 2011 | 15:51
Believe it or not, but painfully funny telly critic Charlie Brooker used to review video games for some blokes (and ladies) that didn't sit too far away from us.
Writing for PC Zone in the mid-90s - when he wasn't getting the magazine pulled from shelves for massively libellous comic strips (see Lara Croft's Cruelty Zoo) - Brooker committed his insight and Kentish Town anecdotes to reviewing PC titles, from Dungeon Keeper all the way to Unreal.
Most of them were very funny - and they've been sitting on CVG's servers for more than ten years.
After Brooker provided his own take on Rockstar's LA Noire last night - along with a timely reminder of his classic GTA critique from 1997 - we thought we'd bring together some of our favourite verdicts from his PC Zone past for your pleasure. Enjoy.
Outcast - 60%
"Scarcely a moment goes by without a character blurting out a new word. You must go and talk to the Mons, they'll say. The what? The Mons? They are the leaders of the Talan. The who? Didn't you know? They inhabit Shamazaar, which is in the grip of the Fae Rhan. The which? Open your mouth to speak and, within seconds, even the simplest of exchanges congeals into a dispiriting trudge through a quagmire of Crap Alien Terminology."
Euro Truck Simulator - 40%
"You don't get to do any of the other things truck drivers are famous for, like wanking over porn in lay-bys or knifing 19 year-old hitchhikers, so the tedium quotient remains fairly constant."
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver - 69%
"Shadow Man is the better of the two. Soul Reaver: Legacy of Kain feels a little sad and superfluous by comparison."
Micro Machines V3 - 90%
"Turds, for instance. They're beautiful. They're so beautiful, no one can bear to flush them away without turning round for a quick look first. Check out those tapered ends! Not only are they aesthetically charming, they also perform an important practical function: preventing your buttocks from clapping together each time you drop one off."
Theme Hospital - 91%
"So anyway, I was hiding upstairs, cowering, contemplating the scene that would doubtless unfold: me, having my legs broken with a hammer. Me, having my face cut open with a rusty bread-knife. Me, being tied into a pretzel and hurled bollocks-first from the top floor window by his knuckleheaded cronies."
Unreal - 93%
"There's probably a little too much poncy lighting on show here. After a few hours, your retinas start yearning for a vista of grey, featureless concrete to gawp at, if only to spare them the effort of straining to see past the dazzle. Live in Coventry? You're in luck. Keep the window open. Try not to hurl yourself out."
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil - 85%
"Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, two of the best console games in the history of everything".
Syndicate Wars - 95%
"The aim is to complete a series of missions... All of them end with shitloads of corpses littering the pavement, like so many discarded socks across a teenager's bedroom carpet. Cops, enemy agents, innocent bystanders - everybody dies. Make no mistake - this is ultraviolence, shoved right in your face. The vicarious thrills just never stop coming. It's as addictive as crack cocaine and The Simpsons put together."
Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse - 95%
"Carmageddon II is completely, completely horrible. If real life were as horrible as this, the Samaritans would be out distributing razor blades and sleeping pills. It's far more horrible than the first Carmageddon, and since that's widely regarded as the single most horrible computer game of all time, this is quite an achievement. In fact, it's far more horrible than the word 'horrible' could ever imply, even if you scrawled it in blood on the wall of a torture chamber, then underlined it by nailing a row of severed fingers carefully into place beneath the dripping text."
Tomb Raider - 95%
"Now we British are 'a nation of animal lovers'. Not so Lara Croft. If you've got four legs, and you spot her coming toward you, run away. Quickly... She has no qualms at all about gunning down endangered species left, right and centre. I shudder to think what would happen if she were let loose in Whipsnade Zoo."