Saturday, August 13, 2011

Playboy - The Mansion

A joint sting on the ghetto of games by Playboy and Ubisoft with nothing but a thin plot and a pair of norks.
When The Sims first came out back in 2000, I had a hard time understanding its appeal. Surprisingly, my idea of intense gameplay does not include instructing my character to take a crap, clean the house or check the mail. Real life caters for these activities in abundance - and they most certainly are not fun. So when Milan, a friend of mine who was determined to make me play the game, invited me over one day to check it out, I reluctantly agreed. It took barely 25 minutes for him to build a mansion, deck it out, and get two sprightly-looking female Sims into a hot tub. It was then I realized what suckered people in - well, guys anyway. 

My revelation is not a unique one. Developer Cyberlore and publisher Ubisoft also uncovered this grail of gameplay. The result of course is Playboy - The Mansion, a joint sting on the ghetto of games by Playboy and Ubisoft with nothing but a thin plot and a pair of norks.

The game's presentation is somewhat basic. Two play modes are available - mission and sandbox. To avoid falling fast asleep in the cleavage of your keyboard you'll want to go for mission-based play, the reason being that the game, beyond the nifty animations, ridiculously proportioned female models and the magazine component, has no pliable depth beyond this play mode.

Regardless of which mode you choose, the player is put in control of Hugh Hefner and tasked with the creation of Playboy magazine. Each month, it's up to you to compile an essay, interview, article, pictorial, cover shot and centerfold and release the magazine into the wild. To do this, you must woo man and woman alike to gather your content.

Seriously though, no one is playing this game for its detailed publication element - it's all about the nudity. While the game does feature exposure of the upper-body, it's not hard to get women topless once they hit the mansion and, to be frank, after you've seen one, you've seen them all.

Conversation is the backbone of the game. Dialog can be driven by the desire for friendship, business interests or romantic pursuits and depending on what options you choose while talking to the game's numerous characters, your disposition with them will change. Once you have a strong romantic link built with a female character, they'll do pretty much anything you ask, including cover shoots, interviews and mildly offensive intercourse on a variety of surfaces. Again, you'll tire of this fast as the game lacks any real character development.

If you're looking for an actual game beneath Playboy - The Mansion's shallow exterior, then you'll be looking for some time. The game is a guy's version of The Sims, and because of this, it feels extremely vacuous, even a little childish, compared to EA's offering.  

SYSTEM: PC, Play Station 2, XBOX



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