El Matador

El Matador

El Matador

Terri-bull.

Boot camp. It's where every good shooter begins, the obligatory training tutorial in which a fifty-something bloke with more stars on his uniform than Cat Deeley has in her eyes barks obscenities as I run across planks of wood and through concrete pipes. Then my DEA special agent arse has to negotiate the shooting range, where cardboard villains pop up at windows, waiting to be shot. Afterwards, it's time to polish my boots, then catch the next flight to South America, home of the drug cartels. My job - to stop them carting. I am... El Matador... (Cue brief burst of Spanish guitar). Stop that sniggering.

The opening mission involves storming a nightclub with a squad of AI controlled team-mates. Bullets blaze and Bacardi Breezer bottles shatter as the owner's goons entrench themselves behind overturned tables and chairs. Gunfire comes from multiple directions and I quickly acclimatise to the third-person view, strafing in and out behind pillars and doorways while letting off targeted bursts of fire. It's action-packed stuff. So action-packed that there's the obligatory bullet-time slowdown feature to help the player out. No marks for originality here, obviously, but it's still damn good fun and the blurred visual effect is smartly implemented. The ragdoll physics are spot on too, with bodies crumpling realistically in a feast of slow-motion carnage.

A few minutes later, my rifle ammo spent as I reach the second floor VIP lounge, something strikes me. I'm crouched alone in a seating booth fumbling through the mousewheel-driven weapons menu for my shotgun. Everything's suddenly gone very quiet. The two thugs in the next room aren't doing anything. I edge out for a look. I see a forehead and a pair of eyes staring back at me over the bar. Nothing happens. I stare at him for what seems an eternity. In reality it's about twenty seconds. Then I shoot him in the head. Somewhere in the distance, there's the unmistakable twang of a Spanish guitar string breaking.

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