Preview: MadWorld

MadWorld has been a hot topic amongst both Wii owners and those who dismiss it to be a child’s console since it was announced. The highly stylistic and ultra violent game from Sega is bound to cause a stir because it is unlike a lot of things that have come before on the Wii. However whether it’s actually any good is something that is obviously very important as well.

When I had the opportunity to play the game it was unfortunately a briefer session than I would have liked but it did give me insight into how the game plays and what the final outcome will be like. As with many Wii games there is an initial period in which you must familiarise yourself with the control method. While there are basic controls for general play when you encounter someone who you wish to mutilate in any possible way you must move the Wii remote and nunchuck in particular ways and press certain buttons. Thankfully these are all logical; want to slam someone you’re holding onto the floor to break their back? Then simply thrust the Wii remote downwards. While the controls are by no means complicated there is a brief learning curve but soon you’ll be learning how to inflict the bloodiest violence possible.

When I first saw screenshots of MadWorld I was concerned that it would be all style and no substance, and that while stylish they seemed jarring. However seeing the game in motion thankfully eases both those worries. The game’s unique visual style has been developed to ensure that it integrates itself into the gameplay without drawing attention away and soon enough you look forward to those red splatters as they themselves are like a reward.

The glory of the gory.

While MadWorld is primarily a single player game there is a multi-player, and I use this term with some reservations, mini-game option. During the course of the single player game you are faced with certain challenges, explained by a pimp who is killed by his assistant every time, which is one of the game’s enjoyable over the top comedic moments. The one that I faced involved having to throw people into a jet engine and watching as they get sucked in and sliced to pieces. As with many elements of MadWorld it was visually wonderful and bloodthirstily gratifying. These challenges then become available as multi-player games and while some people may be annoyed you can’t play two player co-operative on the main story the game itself is one of those that are actually enjoyable to watch, as well as play.

One of the most important elements in MadWorld is of course the killing and thankfully Platinum games have come up with all sorts of gruesome ways in which to do this. You can destroy in pretty much every way imaginable; throw someone over your head and chainsaw them in mid air, slam them into a spiked wall or press them against a moving train. These are just a few of the murderous methods I experienced during my hands-on with the game and Platinum promise many many more will be available in the full game.

Overall I am optimistic for this game for numerous reasons. It looks to be a gruesomely satisfying game that could work as great stress relief, certainly preferable to trying to replicate these moves on real people. The game set out to prove that the Wii isn’t just for children and judging from what I played this appears to be true, not just in terms of content but also gameplay. The game is due out next Friday so stay tuned to N-Europe for the review.

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