Wallace & Gromit in the Grand Getaway Captures the Essence of Aardman’s Films in its Debut at Venice Immersive
Wallace & Gromit in the Grand Getaway made its debut at Venice Immersive, and it’s safe to say that it captures the essence of Aardman’s iconic films. As a gaming news writer and gaming expert, I had the exciting opportunity to get a full hands-on preview of this highly anticipated game. Like many Brits of my age, I fondly remember watching Wallace and Gromit as a kid, and this latest adventure took me right back to those hilarious and heartwarming moments.
A Silly and Hilarious Adventure
The Grand Getaway kicks off with Wallace realizing that he has mixed up the dates for their upcoming holiday. In typical Wallace fashion, he comes up with a plan: use the iconic orange Rocket to make it in time. However, things take a hilariously unexpected turn, and the duo finds themselves stranded on Mars. The adventure is split into 12 chapters, each offering its own unique challenges and comedic moments.
In the initial chapter, I found myself in control of the golfing-themed Robo Caddy, a delightful invention with extendable arms. Packing for the trip becomes a comical task as you use motion controls to grab items and place them near your head so that Robo Caddy can “spit” them into a suitcase. While not the most practical gameplay mechanic, it undeniably adds to the humor and charm of the game.
Joining me on this intergalactic adventure was Beryl, an AI bot voiced charmingly by Miriam Margoyles. Together, we embarked on a journey filled with puzzles, laughter, and plenty of nods to the beloved Wallace and Gromit universe.
A Movie-Like Experience
One notable aspect of The Grand Getaway is the lack of freedom of movement. Apart from Robo Caddy’s ability to teleport to set locations, the game keeps scenes contained to specific paths. According to the developers, this decision was made for narrative reasons and to ensure a smoother experience for VR newcomers. While it may disappoint players seeking full locomotion, it undeniably adds to the movie-like feeling and reduces the risk of nausea.
Humor and Puzzle Solving
The Grand Getaway shines not just in its humor but also in its well-crafted puzzles. As I took control of Gromit, I found myself preparing the rocket for take-off through a series of challenges. Fixing gears and brakes, searching for hidden items, and solving small puzzles required careful exploration and attention to detail. The game strikes a good balance, providing enough guidance to prevent frustration without spoon-feeding solutions.
However, it’s the seamless integration of humor that truly sets this game apart. Anyone familiar with Wallace and Gromit knows that their adventures are filled with clever wordplay and slapstick comedy. Translating this into an interactive, user-controlled environment can be a challenge, yet The Grand Getaway succeeds admirably. The comedic timing is spot-on, and every interaction feels true to the series’ signature brand of humor.
A Glimpse of the Adventure to Come
My demo of The Grand Getaway concluded shortly after our arrival on Mars, leaving me eagerly anticipating the full release. While I couldn’t test hand-tracking controls during my time at Venice Immersive, Aardman has confirmed that they will be included at launch. This addition holds promise for an even more immersive and interactive experience.
With its appealing visuals, strong comedic elements, and engaging interactivity, Wallace & Gromit in the Grand Getaway is shaping up to be a fantastic addition to the world of VR gaming. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the dynamic duo or a newcomer to their adventures, this game is sure to bring joy and laughter to both VR enthusiasts and Wallace and Gromit enthusiasts alike.
Wallace & Gromit in the Grand Getaway is set to arrive on the Meta Quest platform later this year, and based on my hands-on experience, it’s definitely one to watch out for. For more information on the game and insights from the developers, check out our full interview with Aardman, No Ghost, and Atlas V.