The Weakest Link
Review of The Weakest Link
The Weakest link is based on the general knowledge TV quiz show where contestants first have to work together in order to win money and then get rid of the worst player in each round… The last two players fight it out in a special head-to-head round where the winner takes all the money that has been collectively won during the game; while the other 6 players leave with nothing.
When someone answers a question correctly, the following one is worth roughly twice as much as the last one. After each question the next person can BANK the money earned on the previous ones, or risk that they WILL answer theirs correctly to further increase the value of the next one. Getting it wrong loses everything that has not been banked and resets the question value to its lowest amount. Taking this risk is the only way to earn some serious cash in the real game, but is pretty much lost in the computer game… although it does give you the chance to ridicule any of your friends that lose the team a (virtual) fortune and give everyone an excuse to vote them off the team when the round finishes.
To spice things up the game has heavily featured the ‘ice maiden’ presenter of the TV show Anne Robinson, who’s job is to scare the participants by insulting them on every mistake they make… oh yeah… and ask the questions too.
The game has been fully authorised by the company who own the format of the television version. This means that everything right down to the set lighting, incidental sound effects and voiceovers have been incorporated into the game. Even Ms. Robinsons dodgy black raincoat is in here !
The faces of each of the 24 contestants look almost real; putting to shame those seen on the latest NBA, NFL and FIFA games. Each looks very different, but all are impressive, only let down by the robotic ‘chattering’ way their mouth moves when speaking. All of them fidget nervously throughout each round and apart from the lack of anti-aliasing (smoothing of the outside edges) manage to provide a believable atmosphere to the whole game. The question master (or should that be mistress?) was a bit of a let-down in that she was poorly drawn and shuffled around her podium like a crab on hot coals.
The PS2 version of the Weakest Link comes on a DVD, which has allowed not only 100,000 questions to be included, but lots of TV quality cut-scenes that are used to explain the rules, set the scene for the start of the round and best of all many of the contestant insults are provided using this video footage. None of these little extras takes any time to load and so their impact is very positive; making it feel less like a videogame. The only loading time is at the very start of the game and is disguised by displaying a question at the bottom of the screen for all the players to try and answer.
Sound quality is fantastic, but in all the wrong places. The theme tune sounds awesome as does everything else EXCEPT for the voices used during the quiz, which seem to have either been heavily compressed to fit on the disk, or just sampled at too low a rate and subsequently sound muffled and distorted. Shame really as the whole purpose of using the DVD format is to eliminate this kind of thing.
The actual playability varies widely depending on whether you play this on your own against just computer controlled opponents, or with all of your friends and family…
As a human versus human game this is a real winner and is sure to bring out the very best and worst in those you know and (used to) love. You will have great fun ganging up on your friends and relations to vote them out at the end of each round. Everyone can use one joypad, so no expensive accessories are required to let everyone join in (although expect this to cause some frantic throwing of it from person to person and time wasting).
Playing against computer opponents in a game of general knowledge is completely pointless. They don’t bank when they should, make you wait ages for your turn and then have the cheek to vote you off when you were the best player on the team. You know that they have access to all of the answers and so its really just a matter of luck who wins. Add to this the simple fact that you are trying to win pretend money and it wont be long before this ends up on a shelf gathering dust until your next party. The only way to make this slightly entertaining is to set up a multiplayer game and play as each of the contestants yourself with the aim of beating a money total.
The standard method for answering questions is also flawed in that just the first letter of each possible answer is shown on screen. As the real show isn’t a multi-choice answering game this was probably the best that the developers could come up with to try and assure you really DO know the answer, rather than just taking an educated guess. Where this falls flat on its face when the answer has the word The in front of it... which causes confusion. Waiting about ten seconds will show the full wording of each possible answer, but in practice the whole game flow slows down as all of the human players do this, rather than risk choosing the wrong answer. The only way around this is to select EASY mode where the full multi-choice answers are displayed immediately.
Younger players can go for the JUNIOR mode where there are only ever two possible answers to each question.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'The Weakest Link' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Stevie Vincent © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 11 The Weakest Link in-game screenshot slideshow
Have You Played The Weakest Link ?
If you have owned 'The Weakest Link' long enough to have formed a solid opinion on it, then click here to write your own mini review of The Weakest Link.
Alternatively, if you would like to read what other gamers who already own The Weakest Link think of it, click here to view all of our reader comments and mini reviews of The Weakest Link.
Want To Know More About The Weakest Link ?