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MadWorld Review

Can Sega's stylish action game live up to the hype?

MadWorld has been heavily hyped as a hardcore darling and Platinum Games' great black-and-white hope. It's super-violent, action-packed and has a wicked sense of humour. And at times, it's utterly brilliant.

You really can't fault MadWorld's quality when it comes to art style and character design. The environments look fantastic and, beyond the standard foe, the beefier enemies and end-of-level bosses are all genuinely memorable.

In fact, MadWorld's presentation and production values are by far its most impressive elements. Surprisingly for an all-out action title, the plot and cut scenes take up plenty of your time and are all executed to the high standards you'd expect of the studio formed from the people behind the critically-acclaimed Okami and GameCube cult fave Viewtiful Joe.

Click to view larger image
The thrust of the plot is pretty straightforward. You are Jack, a surly, violent participant in DeathWatch, a near-future gameshow in which points are awarded for dispatching your rivals in the nastiest possible fashion. Throughout, commentators chip in with remarks on the action while the hip-hop soundtrack pounds away in the background. Both get a little annoying at times, but still add to the extremely high standard of presentation throughout Jack's bloody adventure.

So does MadWorld's gameplay live up to its impressive visuals? In quick bursts, absolutely. The initial flush of adrenaline when you begin your bloody rampage is one of the most enjoyable experiences to date on Wii. But be warned - this game is perhaps not intended for extended play.

MadWorld's main gameplay mechanic is

not in the basic combat, but in the use of the environments to rack up big scores. It's not enough to repeatedly punch someone in their miserable, monochrome face; you are constantly reminded by the on-screen prompts that 'standard' violence is the bare minimum. MadWorld is all about combining objects, moves and environmental features to max out your score and make your opponents' deaths as grisly as possible.

You've Got Some Red On You

So while simply taking down the standard enemies is never really a problem, it's what you do with them once they're stunned that really matters. After clobbering your enemy with a couple of punches or kicks, you're invited to get creative with the use of whatever you have to hand. Most commonly, it's a case of immobilising them by plonking something over their head, impaling them with something sharp, then finishing them off using whatever gruesome equipment the stage has to offer. That means big spikes, mincing machines and even killer toilets, all of which require a waggle of the Remote and come with lashings of humour and some appropriately squelchy sound effects.

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The quality of the experience lives and dies on the variety of different ways you can dispose of your rivals. The best levels are the ones where there's plenty of options - and the poorest are where your choices are restricted. So introducing new toys to play with is the main way Platinum Games keep you interested. As you progress Jack's primary attacks don't vary much from the core punch-impale-finish structure, but there are weapons to pick up along the way that successfully mix things up a little.

So essentially, you'll be performing the same moves over and over again, but with slightly different end results. Which is fine for a little while, but eventually becomes a chore. While each stage features different tools with which to impale or squash your enemies, the novelty wears off a little once you've chucked someone into a spike for the 20th time.

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Comments

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  1. Reevys Thursday 19th Mar 2009 at 14:58

    It was hyped? Really? Didn't notice.

    Anyway, sounds good, might pick it up when it gets a bit cheaper (if it gets cheaper that is, it is Nintendo after all :roll:).

  2. Rev killjoy Thursday 19th Mar 2009 at 15:37

    The screen shots just look terrible imo. It looks messy. does not appeal.

  3. darkandy666 Thursday 19th Mar 2009 at 16:37

    this is the lowest score i hav seen acrossed the net ign and people like that have been giving it at least 90% so im properly goin to get it

  4. Rgaveglia Thursday 19th Mar 2009 at 17:45

    is the age rating a 15 or 18?

  5. Smash-bros fan Thursday 19th Mar 2009 at 18:24

    is the age rating a 15 or 18?


    LOL look at the blood. Its most likeely an 18

  6. hulkbuster Thursday 19th Mar 2009 at 18:35

    Whats BLACK & WHITE & RED all over & in my hands 2morrow morning :?: ..........a copy of MADWORLD :D

  7. punkmario Thursday 19th Mar 2009 at 22:44

    oh crud, this is out ! **Dusts off wii since brawl** sorry 360 gimme 6-8 hours and ill be back something ACTUALLY WORTH BUYING came out on wii that didnt involve making a prat of yourself infront of your family

  8. gils Friday 20th Mar 2009 at 09:18

    got this yesterday and its great! C'mon ONM it needs more thn 85% i can see how it may get a little repeative, but this game is amazing a must buy for wii owners, even my xbox and ps3 mates (who are envious) have been drooling over this.

    One of the best graphics on the wii and one of the best graphic styles i've seen in ages and great intergration of the motion controls

    92-93% maybe more IMO

  9. Gerry-rich Friday 20th Mar 2009 at 11:57

    is the age rating a 15 or 18?

    If you look at the madworld game case it says 18 at the bottom left, so that gives you a hint to what certificate the game is.

  10. tomonm Friday 20th Mar 2009 at 13:00

    Yes it is an 18 rated game

  11. gils Friday 20th Mar 2009 at 14:01

    madworld is already upseting people and its only been out barely a day...

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... 329321.ece

  12. Rgaveglia Friday 20th Mar 2009 at 16:09

    is the age rating a 15 or 18?

    If you look at the madworld game case it says 18 at the bottom left, so that gives you a hint to what certificate the game is.

    Calm down mate! its just that in the mag it said it was a 15 so just calm down :roll:

  13. adam2611 Friday 20th Mar 2009 at 18:20

    madworld is already upseting people and its only been out barely a day...

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... 329321.ece


    its so stupid
    if people dont want the game they dont have to complain
    if it was released on xbox or ps3 no one would argue its because the wii has all casual games like sports party n carnival games n tht crap
    if they dont want the game they dont have to buy it, simple

  14. Bellicapelli Saturday 21st Mar 2009 at 14:05

    Got this yesterday and played through the first couple of levels.

    First impressions? The graphics and artstyle are really attractive. The dialogue (especially from the Tom Tucker-esque commentator) is laugh out loud/gasp out loud funny. The use of enviromental fatalities is inventive and well thought out.

    Though for all it's charm, ONM have hit the nail on the head on the playability - it cannot help but get repetitive after a while and it's definitely a game that will enjoy short bursts in your Wiidrive and not the epic gaming marathons that the likes of the Zelda series envoke.

    The problem is the baddies eventually, when gathered in numbers (and after 20mins of slicing and dicing), just become tedious chainsaw fodder rather than the human torture guinea pigs the developers intended them to be. Maybe if the developers concentrated on limiting the constantly respawning grunts and just gave fewer AIs more intelligence and power it would have freshened things up considerably. Less bad guys, all harder to take down - and the enviromental traps as Mortal Kombat style finishers (when the opponent is on his last leg) would have made the gameplay more satisfying and less repetitive - in my opinion.

    It's a clash of identities really. This game wants to be a modern and original classic yet is held back by its tongue-in-cheek retro nod to the old highscore arcade beat-em-ups - it's cheesy and bit too simple-minded. This drawback leaves the graphics and artstyle feeling wasted on the game!

    It was right to not give the Gold Award most expected from the hype. 87% for me.

    Still a unique experience on the Wii, essential for those mature enough to enjoy it.

  15. Mcpilch Saturday 21st Mar 2009 at 14:40

    give it more than 85%! c'mon, since when has repetition of something incredibly good been a bad thing? (just ask my girlfriend :wink:)

  16. Random-Hero Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 02:27

    Whats BLACK & WHITE & RED all over & in my hands 2morrow morning :?: ..........a copy of MADWORLD :D

    I wouldn't call it Black, as Black is not real... Just a very dark blue. :wink:

  17. mastersword267 Friday 27th Mar 2009 at 08:19

    To be honest if any of you just sat down and thought about this game you would be able to see it would get repetetive from a mile off :roll: ,

    So i think this was way to over-hyped for what i expected we would get. :D

    75% tops

  18. Munch Friday 27th Mar 2009 at 19:32

    This looks totally amazing =D I cant wait to buy it!!! ^^

  19. yubel Thursday 29th Apr 2010 at 12:39

    To be honest if any of you just sat down and thought about this game you would be able to see it would get repetetive from a mile off :roll: ,

    So i think this was way to over-hyped for what i expected we would get. :D

    75% tops

    No, I agree with onm's 85%

    The repetition of game play dosent really get boring unless you die and have to grind through the same stage again.
    Theres plenty of unique gimmicks that are introduced throughout each level and that to me, is enough to keep my attention and continue killing.
    I played this a couple of weeks ago and loved it.

  20. FamilyGAMEGuy8 Wednesday 8th May 2013 at 15:08

    Just bought it for 3 quid off ebay...don't know anything about it! Just going out on a whim here!

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