Sunday, February 8, 2009

NY Comic-Con: MadWorld Hands-On Preview

To see a snazzier version of this article, click here:


It’s hard to tell yet whether MadWorld is going to be a revolutionary title or just a game filled with button bashing boredom. Either way, it’s at least worth giving a look.


I know the new Wii game, MadWorld definitely has a storyline, because I skipped through the cutscenes before I played it yesterday (From what I saw, it has something to do with a mechanic named Jack with a chainsaw for a hand competing on an ultra-violent game show). But who cares about the storyline? All anybody’s going to talk about with this game is the distinctive art choice of casting it in black and white, and the fact that Nintendo is actually allowing a game like this on the kid-tested, mother approved Wii. I mean, Resident Evil 4 might have been violent and all, but this game makes that one look like Barbie Horse Adventures as this game has blood, gore, AND F Bombs dropped all over the place. And this is just from the demo I played yesterday. I can only imagine what the final product will look like.

Well, in my rather long play-time with the game (The guy at the booth didn’t seem to mind that I was playing for like, fifteen whole minutes), I got to really give the game a test drive, and I can tell you from what I played that I was impressed—but only for about five of those fifteen minutes.

First off, let’s start with the controls, which are surprisingly intuitive, making the game easy to just pick up and play. In the very beginning of the game, you’re dropped in some warehouse type building where goons rush at you right away. Pounding on the A button delivers some pretty devastating combos, but it’s not until you whip out that chainsaw that the third color in the game—blood red—starts to emerge. Blood went flying everywhere as I swung the Wii-mote up and down and side to side, eviscerating any goon who got in my way with my chainsaw. The visual style, upon first impressions, is very satisfying, and you eat it up right away.

But even in my short play-time with the game, with the demo ending in a room where I could toss my enemies into fans and throw them under a large, spike laden trap, I already felt my brief thrill with the game waning. So much so, in fact, that I almost even decided to hand over my turn to the next guy in line as I was getting a little bored just grinding enemies into a pulp and watching the blood splatter on the screen. There HAS to be more to this game, there just has to be. But upon first impressions, I’m starting to get worried that there really won’t be. In short, if the whole game’s like this, I have a feeling that this highly anticipated title is just going to be a mindless brawler like Streets of Rage or Final Fight, which isn’t bad or anything like that, but it’s certainly not the answer to God of War for the Wii that some people might have been hoping for.

I’ll definitely give it another try when it comes out on March 10th, but my anticipation for the game is nowhere near the level it was before I played the demo. With two other characters scheduled to be in the final product, here’s hoping that MadWorld turns out to be more Dynamite Cop than Fighting Force.

3 out of 5

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