MadWorld, a Wii game slated for the first quarter of 2009, presents a stark black-and-white world, colored only by the splashes and flashes of blood from ongoing death matches in an arena lined with spiked walls, potential weapons and other hazards. The game’s visuals and the massive amounts of damage characters sustain can’t help but remind you of a Frank Miller comic.
The game is developed by PlatinumGames, a group assembled from ex-CaPCom designers, a few of which from the under-appreciated and now-dissolved Clover Studios (creators of Okami, Viewtiful Joe and God Hand), who were recently signed for a quartet of games by Sega.
In MadWorld, you assume the role of Jack, a large, burly man with a chainsaw for an arm (think Ash from Army of Darkness), who is forced into a game called Death Watch, which was created by a murderous, mysterious group called “The Organizers.” The E3 trailer didn’t reveal any reason as to why Jack was involved with Death Watch, only that characters fight to finish each other off with various creative and gruesome deaths, such as Double Dagger Seppuku, Jumping Backbreaker and Human Garbage, where Jack tosses a body into the dumpster and the lid snaps shut, slicing the body into two clean halves. Sounds extreme? Wait for the giant Man Darts board to drop down, and practice launching your comrades to the bullseye.
While MadWorld pushes over-the-top violence, it is also designed to be comical, with overly-caffeinated announcers that add a grimly humorous touch. As long as the game maintains this semi-comical tone and puts up a decent story to follow, the brash brutality of this game will be much easier to digest.
You can bet that game critics are going to interpret this game as “senseless violence,” and with this hyper-violent game coming to the so-family-friendly-even-Grandma-likes-it Wii, it could generate Manhunt 2 or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas-level press. While Clover’s past games have traditionally flown very low under the popular gaming radar, I predict this game’s insane violence and comic-book styling could put it on the map.
Check with MyGamer for more details on Mad World as stories develop.