Players can blast the bad guys, score the hot chicks, and kick down the fourth wall of gaming in Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, a shooter that satirizes video game mythology and industry clich�s. Matt Hazard, voiced by Arrested Development's Will Arnett, is a Duke Nukem-esque hero whose years of unemployment have him looking to reclaim his throne as the king of over-the-top action games. In reality, Eat Lead is Hazard's debut game, but developer Vicious Cycle and publisher D3 have concocted an elaborate backstory for the character, placing him in a dozen fictional games such as 1983's seminal side-scrolling shooter "The Adventures of Matt in Hazard Land," the GoldenEye 007 parody "You Only Live 1,317 Times," and "Haz-Matt Carts," Hazard's inevitable slip into kart-racing purgatory.
Unfortunately for Hazard, fictitious developer "Marathon Software" spread his character too thin, and by the time of 2002's Viva Pi�ata-esque children's game "Choking Hazard: Candy Gramm," he was a washed-up has-been. But Eat Lead offers redemption, as gamers help Hazard on a quest for blood and relevance in the first actual game among his 13 fictional adventures. Though primarily a third-person 3D shooter, the game's story and style are subject to dramatic graphical, sound, and gameplay changes because the comeback is not exactly what Hazard envisioned. It seems that Wallace Wellesley, a Marathon executive voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, created Eat Lead as an elaborate ruse designed to make Hazard's life even more miserable. Continuous hacking of the game causes a number of inexplicable situations, such as Hazard fending off gun-toting cowboys in a futuristic space station, and only gamers can help the gruff protagonist make sense of the chaos and resurrect his career.