Wednesday, 1 April 2009

MadWorld - Wii

Coming hot on the heels of the wonderfully entertaining shooter House of the Dead: Overkill, Sega have more gory, over the top fun in store for Wii owners in the shape of MadWorld.

Created by Platinum Games - made up of members of the now defunct Clover Studios, who brought us the beautiful PS2 and Wii title Okami - MadWorld is an arena-style brawler, with the emphasis firmly on racking up huge scores by delivering brutal and stylish combos.

The first thing to grab your attention is the striking art direction. Taking obvious inspiration from Frank Miller's Sin City with a dash of old school 2000AD comics, MadWorld's mostly monochrome palate is a triumph. It might look flat and lifeless in static screenshots, but when the game is in full-flow, it looks incredible.

Rather than limit the player to punches, kicks and throws, MadWorld revels in letting the player utilise the environment to wreak havoc and inflict maximum damage - enemies can be thrown head first into burning bins or down toilets, street signs can be ripped up and used as weapons, bodies can be chopped in half with your chainsaw, while spiked walls can be utilised for particularly nasty finishing moves.

The gruesome action is accompanied by an excellent hip hop heavy soundtrack, while Greg Proops and Futurama's John DiMaggio provide the entertaining and expletive-laden commentary.

While the core gameplay and high production values shine through, MadWorld unfortunately does have its problems. The central gameplay tends to get repetitive fairly quickly and it's definitely best to experience the brutal action in small doses.

Boss battles can infuriate due to their regenerating health bars, while the MadWorld experience is over in a rather abrupt 5-6 hours. Another fly in the ointment is the lack of 480p support. For a game which relies on its stylised visuals to pack a punch, it is somewhat baffling why Sega and Platinum Games left this feature out.

However, for its fun combat and wonderful visual style, MadWorld deserves to be praised. It's an above average title that is sure to become a cult classic.

Images courtesy of Sega

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