Grey’s Anatomy has the unique ability to tell you so much about a person. If I know you watch it, I immediately know that you saw Twilight multiple times in theaters, you bought a Wii for that awesome bowling game, and you are currently updating your Facebook status to say “Trying to piece my mind back together after discovering there’s a Grey’s Anatomy video game!”
Since Grey’s Anatomy follows the lives of Seattle’s finest surgeons, you would think the game is a surgical simulator similar to Trauma Center. In reality the game is more like an interactive episode, and the interaction is dreadful. To say the game is story-intensive does not do it justice. When not watching a cutscene you will play one of three modes: Challenge, Choice, or Surgery.
In Challenge mode, you will be tasked to do something like “flick away doubt” for Meredith or “avoid lust” for McSteamy. Then you’ll use the remote to move the doubt clouds off of a photo of Meredith or move a sphere around to avoid the falling lust balls (seriously). It may sound lame, but it is actually both lame and weird.
In Choice mode, you must complete a puzzle that leads to a decision for the character. During one Choice, you’ll have to match the music beat while two songs play. The outcome of playing one song is being friendly, the outcome of the other is giving the cold shoulder. Another Choice sends two colors of balls falling and you must match them so they’ll fall in groups of three. Should you match the balls that have Alex tell Lexie the truth, or will you give Alex the balls to lie?
That leaves Surgery as the mode with potential. You will soak up blood, sew sutures, and do all the things surgeons do when they aren’t facing the arduous choices and challenges of life. Sadly, removing dressing is not what you hope, and inserting a swab into the back of a guy’s open mouth is just awkward.
There is no precision whatsoever involved in the surgical tasks; they are either completed within the time limit or they are not. Once, when making a cut, I carved my scalpel over the entire surface of a lady’s head. Along the way I happened to slice open the marked spots, and it didn’t matter that I hit them out of order because I still got them all within the time limit.
The only penalty in the game is not completing a task before time is up. Do this five times, and you have to restart the scene over, which means watching a one-minute cutscene before you get five more tries.
A strong point of the game is that is looks startlingly better than expected. Three-dimensional models of the cast would have looked horrible on the Wii, so considering the amount of cutscenes that you watch it’s fortunate the game designers chose cell-shading instead. Another shocker is that the voice actors imitating the show’s stars sound uncannily like their real-life counterparts.
Despite my dislike for the game, non-gamer fans of the series will get exactly what they want: yet another ridiculous Grey’s Anatomy storyline actually written by the show’s writers. But if you are hoping for a decent surgical simulator, there are far superior ones available for the Wii.