Image: Aardman Animations LTD
In Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway, you help the duo and their robot companions reach their holiday destination. Unfortunately, it’s not just the story that goes wrong.
Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway was released on December 7, 2023 in the Meta Quest Store for $12.99. Also included is Wallace & Gromit Jamtastic, a Mixed Reality mini-game.
Wallace & Gromit’s Virtual Reality game can be played on Quest 3, Quest Pro and Quest 2. I re iewed Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway on the Quest 3.
Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway: VR review in a nutshell
The Grand Getaway will win over fans of the Wallace & Gromit movies with its successful portrayal of the characters and the performance of the voice actors. The focus is clearly on the presentation, as the gameplay in Virtual Reality is unfortunately only average and at times frustrating due to technical problems and unclear gameplay.
I had the most fun with the Wallace & Gromit Jamtastic mini-game. The jam-based mixed reality shooter works well technically and has a challenging difficulty level.
Reviewed on: Quest 3
Wallace & Gromit is suitable for you if …
- you are a Wallace & Gromit fan and enjoy an authentic presentation,
- you are looking for an entertaining mixed reality shooting gallery and
- don’t value innovative game design or tricky puzzles.
Wallace & Gromit is less suitable for you if …
- you have a low frustration tolerance,
- are looking for an innovative VR game that breaks new ground and
- can’t relate to British humor and Wallace & Gromit at all.
A story for fans
Wallace and Gromit the dog are looking forward to a well-earned vacation, relaxing on the beach and playing golf. But Wallace got the date wrong, so he and his two robotic assistants, Auto-Caddy and Beryl, set off in a rocket to make up for lost time.
Of course, things go wrong and the group accidentally lands on Mars. As the player, you take on the role of either the golf robot Auto-Caddy or the dog Gromit to help the group out of their intergalactic mess.
Anyone who knows and loves Wallace & Gromit will feel right at home in this story. The typical plasticine character style and British slapstick humor are in no way inferior to the movies, but are of course a matter of taste. The performances of Benjamin Whitehead, who has voiced Wallace in all media since 2009, and actress Miriam Margolyes as robot lady Beryl are the highlights of the game.
Beyond the nostalgia and the original characters, however, the story is nothing special. It’s really fan service, with no big surprises or deep plots to be expected.
Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway: No gameplay highlights
Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway is played from a first-person perspective in static positions where you can turn 360 degrees and look around. In some parts of the game you have to change your position. To do this, you scan a predefined point and are then teleported to the new static position.
For the most part, Wallace & Gromit involves picking up objects, putting them in the right place, or pressing buttons and levers. Unfortunately, this isn’t particularly challenging or creative, as the tasks are either very obvious or the game sometimes doesn’t make it clear what is required of you. Unfortunately, there are no puzzles where I really had to think my way to the goal.
Frustration often arises because picking up objects doesn’t work properly. I almost always have to pick something up several times before I actually pick it up. In some situations, I didn’t realize that I could interact with objects or open cabinets and drawers because they didn’t react directly to my interaction attempts.
Aiming aid and lack of innovation
Sometimes I had the impression that cheating had been done to hide the imprecise controls. Instead of grabbing objects normally, the Auto-Caddy robot’s telescoping arms are often used. To achieve that, I use Quest 3’s Touch Plus Controllers to aim at a distant object to pick it up. This works much better, but this is due to the very generous aiming aid.
The same goes for throwing or shooting objects. I can’t throw anything with my arms. The game does not recognize my lunge, so the objects always land right in front of me. Objects have to be brought to my mouth with my hands so that the golf robot can swallow them and then spit them out. Aiming is done using my own line of sight, which is supported by a powerful aiming aid.
Some of the gameplay is broken up by mini-game challenges that can be replayed later in the main menu. For example, I had to fend off asteroids with a baseball bat, shoot at moving targets with a cannon, or replay a sound sequence. Technically, these mini-games work well, but they are also very simple.
All of the game mechanics in Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway have been seen in this or a similar form in other VR games. Apart from some frustrating moments, many parts of the game are easy to play thanks to the strong aiming aids. However, they often feel like band-aids, as intuitive mechanics like picking up and throwing are not better implemented.
Wallace & Gromit Jamtastic: What is the Mixed Reality mode like?
In addition to the story, Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway features a Mixed Reality mini-game where you shoot jam at toast and other pastries. The presentation of the Jamtastic mode is particularly impressive with the Quest 3 color pass-through.
A machine that lets you select levels and view high scores can be attached directly to a wall, and virtual rooms or a virtual roof open up for some stages, expanding my playing area. I particularly like the fact that the jam sticks to the environment when I miss my target.
Wallace & Gromit Jamtastic also works much better on the technical side, as aiming feels intuitive and direct without having to rely on aiming aids.
Strictly speaking, Jamtastic is just a mixed reality shooting gallery, but with 30 stages and a challenging difficulty level, it knows how to impress. I enjoyed Wallace & Gromit Jamtastic more as an add-on than as the main game.
My verdict on Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway & Jamtastic
Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway is unfortunately only okay in its best moments, but boring or even frustrating in some phases. The faithful presentation of the clay figures in Virtual Reality is successful, but the gameplay is average fare at best, with no highlights or interesting puzzles to speak of.
On the other hand, the Mixed Reality mode Jamtastic is convincing on a gameplay level, even if it only involves shooting at various targets.
Wallace & Gromit fans who can overlook the game’s flaws may still enjoy the two- to three-hour campaign thanks to the successful presentation and great voice acting. However, those looking for a truly innovative VR or Mixed Reality game should look elsewhere. For inspiration, check out our list of the best VR games of 2023.
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