Ever since the late – and still great – Regis Philbin hosted Who Wants to be a Millionaire? some time ago, I’ve always been a fan as well as most people who have watched the famous show. After twenty-some years, it’s still going strong and has had plenty of video game adaptations, the latest getting a PS5-powered boost with Who Wants to be a Millionaire? – New Edition. Fans and trivia buffs will love the questions and feel of the show, though question some of the technical hiccups and lack of polish here.
via YouTube (Editor’s Note: Apologies, as the only European trailer from 2020 was available.)
While this newly enhanced version will also come to PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One in early 2022, PlayStation 5 users get first dibs on the new features added to the original release that Microids put out last year. In case you’re not familiar with the show and its premise, your goal is to answer fifteen trivia questions from a wide range of categories such as history, science, entertainment, and such.
Answering them correctly will win you money starting with $100 as you reach milestones such as $1,000, $5,000, $25,000 and up that you’ll still get to keep even if you lose. But making your way to the top and winning gets you a cool million dollars. To help aid you as the questions get inevitably more difficult, you have some assistance options such as asking the audience for help, calling a friend that can give you a guess, use a 50/50 option that brings the answers down to a right and wrong answer, etc.
Being a long time fan of the show, I loved playing this as it captures the fun and feel of the show really well, but could still use some work which I’ll get into soon. This enhanced version adds 3,000 new questions for a total of 8,000 to make sure you don’t get the same set of questions twice anytime soon.
Others cool things added are a “quick game” mode that only presents the questions so you can try to speedrun your way to a million dollars, an option to remove the timer so anyone can have fun taking their time to answer, and the ability to unlock new question packs by earning in-game currency and some will be added in future patches. You can also play with family and friends in local co-op teams, against each other, and more as well as take your skills online to challenge others.
Now to get to the so-so things about this release, starting with that presentation I mentioned earlier. They claim in this edition to have “Enhanced models and animations immersing all contestants even more into the real game show”, but the first thing I noticed upon the actual game mode loading up is how it moves a little janky as though it’s at running at 30fps or lower.
You would think for a simple looking game where it’s only your character, the host, and the audience in a small area mostly covered in darkness that this game would run at 120fps or higher on a PS5, but sadly that’s not the case here. Also the character models look like Claymation figures and feature the facial expressions and animations of an animatronic puppet, which ties in perfectly with the robotic sounding host who talks to you as though someone did his voice with a high quality text-to-speech program.
Those gripes aside, I had a good time with Who Wants to be a Millionaire? – New Edition. I love the questions and how the tension mounts as you get closer to winning just like on the game show, but I wish they had put some more polish into the overall presentation. Still, if you love the show and trivia, you’ll want to pick this one up and let it pick your brain.