Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway Review

The adventures of our beloved man and dog duo continue in Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway, a brand new VR title in the world of Wallace & Gromit. In a world of sub-par computer-generated images, Wallace & Gromit’s claymation style has been loved by millions for many years, and now, fans of the series can actively partake in a new playable adventure rather than spectate from a television screen.

Our boys in the flesh…or the clay.

 

Let’s Go Golfing

Beginning our journey as the newest member of the house, players take the role of the Auto-Caddy, Wallace’s latest invention with one specific purpose: to play golf. All three main characters are playable in certain situations, but the Auto-Caddy is our first to control. Players may notice that the Auto-Caddy can perform certain actions that weak humans and canines cannot perform, like grabbing items from afar with extendable arms and throwing balls from their…mouth? The Grand Getaway insists that instead of using arms like a normal person, the Auto-Caddy will load golf balls into their mouth and spit it back out at high speed. The way that this is controlled can be very janky as players must raise their hands to their head to fire golf balls or anything they may think looks tasty, like the odd small alien or two. Also, the Auto-Caddy has plenty of wheels, but players can only navigate their surroundings in a scripted manner, scanning the environment for locations to teleport towards. Players hoping to explore the various locations might be disappointed with this feature as it could make them feel forced into following tight, linear pathways.

Look at all the land I can’t access!

 

Sticking to the Script

Speaking of linearity, the opening scene gives players an immersive view of Wallace’s dining area, but that’s about it. I was hoping to be able to explore the entire house in this new, virtual perspective, maybe with small side objectives like making a cup of tea, spreading butter and cheese atop crackers, and exploring other rooms of the house. This was the major downside for The Grand Getaway as I felt somewhat pushed into following the story rather than playing at my own pace. However, the design of the dining room is filled with nostalgia and key details that fans of Wallace & Gromit would appreciate. The disappointing lack of interactivity does let it down, there’s only so much fun provided by picking up and putting down random objects. The game introduces players to the planet of Mars, and watching Wallace go off exploring by himself made me very jealous of his working legs. Please, just let me explore the sandy dunes I see before me with my perfectly functional joysticks.

This whole situation is crackers…

 

Speak Up, Gromit Lad

On a light note, the voice work for the protagonists is fantastic. The brilliant Miriam Margoyls voices Beryl, a smart computer AI system that gives the player clues and objectives related to their mission. Players can simply give Beryl a wave to indicate the feeling of needing help when stuck for puzzles or probably just to say hello. Wallace is reprised by Benjamin Whitehead, taking over the role of Peter Sallis since his passing in 2017, and does a remarkable job with the character’s voice. Gromit still has no mouth and could be the first canine silent protagonist in gaming. Each of the actors does a fantastic job and brings out lots of personality in their characters, portraying plenty of heart and passion.

Open wide!

 

Step Right Up! Step Right Up!

The Grand Getaway’s gameplay mainly involves mini-games that are designed around a game of golf. For example, players can play certain musical scores for sleeping aliens on the planet Mars to wake up to, opening up a pathway for Wallace to score that well-deserved hole-in-one. Another mini-game involves the player using a cannon in a carnival game setting, shooting little green minions into gaping maws made of stone to create a path for Wallace and his nine iron. Each of these games adds a small layer of fun that, unfortunately, does not project broadly across the entire game.

A Song of Aliens and Golf

 

Final Thoughts

Overall, the world of Wallace & Gromit has expanded into virtual reality, bringing with it a new perspective on our favorite cheese and cracker-munching duo, despite its various flaws and shortcomings. The Grand Getaway is let down with janky controls and a limited movement system but stays true to the series by enhancing the existing characters’ personalities and introducing some new and exciting faces. However, the experience feels more on rails at times, and free movement is something I think most VR users are used to by now.

Developer: Aardman, Atlas V

Publisher: Astrea

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest 3, Meta Quest Pro

Release Date: 7th December 2023

Related posts

Deliver Us the Moon for Nintendo Switch Review

Kyle Moffat

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC Review

Ryan Jones

Bouncy Chicken Review

Peter Keen

CRKD Nitro Deck+ Review

Will Worrall

Tokyo Xanadu eX+ Review

Will Worrall

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Review

Matthew Wojciow