Dear SEGA, why must you tease us? It seems like every time there's a game convention, you're showing off Wii beat 'em up MadWorld. It looks like no game we have ever seen before, and from the demos, it seems like a lot of fun, so why can't we play it? Sadly, last week's Nintendo Media Summit did not allow us to test out the hyper-stylized, hyper-violent game, but we did get to watch the developers play it, and that's something.
We can sum up our reaction with one word: WANT. This black, white and red game is like the embodiment of the fevered video game dreams we've had for years--any game where the default weapon is a chainsaw has to be good. It's planned for an M-rating, so no kids, and it may not even come out in more "sensitive" countries.
While it looks like a video game version of Sin City, The plot works like this: Some evil organization has transformed the entire world into a reality game show, and players get points for murdering each other in creative, bloody ways, but unlike another game with a similar plot (Manhunt) MadWorld keeps the tone light instead of ghoulish. Yes, it features gallons of blood, but the combination of the chiaroscuro design (look it up) and the outlandishness of the action keep everything light and fun.
The only new thing we checked out: A racing section of the game. There were no enemies there, but the inclusion of this level suggests variation that might make this a deeper experience than just a beat-em-up. Let's hope so.
The game comes out in February 2009.