On the plus side, Crypto has been given some new weapons to destroy with. His saucer still comes packed with a death ray and a tractor beam, with which you can pick up people and vehicles and then toss them around gleefully as if there were on the end of the chain. He also has his handy Zapomatic lightning gun and his classic disintegrator to wield while out and about. The good old anal probe still does exactly what you expect, entering the human host in a way that looks quite painful, then sending a juicy brain-stem flying out from their shattered skull, while Psycho-kinetic powers give you the ability to throw smaller objects and witless humans around, though with rather less destructive effects than you might hope. New tools include a zombie gun (your target goes green and attacks his old comrades, which is handy for diversionary tactics) and a shrink ray (no prizes for this one), plus a ball lightning weapon which can frazzle several enemies at once.
The biggest and best new addition, however, is the mighty Big Willy himself. The giant-sized mascot of Pox’s fast-food empire doubles as a robotic machine of mass destruction, armed with a fiendish head-popping manoeuvre (BW uses brain-stems for fuel) and a range of dangerous emissions. The missions where Big Willy is finally let loose on the locale are easily the most entertaining, mostly because – even in an environment as dishwater dull as this – the mindless wrecking of public property is always fun. Do these few sections where the game comes to life make up for the uninspiring rest? Unfortunately not.
Finally, it must be said that the controls leave a lot to be desired. Big Willy Unleashed uses a combination of the Nunchuk controller to move Crypto/Big Willy/the saucer around and the remote to change the view and aim and fire weapons. Some of the time it just about works, but at other times you’ll find yourself struggling to get the right camera angle or pull the targeting reticule back on screen when you’re already working overtime to complete objectives. And while using a twist of the remote to rotate the view left and right while piloting the saucer or Big Willy must have seemed like a good idea, the movement is painfully slow in practice. In a game already beset with badly implemented missions, the controls will leave you all the more frustrated with Big Willy’s failure to perform.
All in all, Big Willy Unleashed is not Crypto’s finest hour. In fact, the poor chap seems impotent; his free-roaming levels seem smaller, his activities half-assed and dumbed down. All the willy gags in the world, no matter how knowing or how ironic, don’t make him anything more than a shadow of a former self. I’m willing to give him another chance, and I sincerely hope THQ turn things around with the upcoming PS3/360 sequel, Path of the Furons. If not, it will be time to destroy Destroy all Humans before it destroys our fondness for Crypto for good.
A shoddy Wii-quel that does little to improve this once-promising series and everything to destroy its reputation. Avoid.