A big, hulking guy came striding up to me with violence written all over his face, so I grabbed him before he could throw a punch and threw him into a nearby pit. On my side another suspicious individual was creeping up, trying to get the drop on me. I grabbed him by the shirt as well, punching him in the face and giving him a headbutt for good measure, before lifting him off the ground and hurling him down with his buddy. It’s at that moment that- SMASH!- a giant platform with spikes on the bottom came crushing down in the pit right on top of the two guys, splattering blood all over the room. It lifted back up to its ready position high in the air, covered in gore, and I saw that the blood was starting to pool up in the pit.
“You’ve got to fill it up to get more points!” advised Thu Nguyen, Sega PR extraordinaire, who was guiding me through my playtime.
It was about that moment that I realized that I love MadWorld. I threw more and more enemies into the ever-rising pool of blood as the spikes came down and crushed them to bits and just laughed and laughed. This game is insane.
Best described as The Running Man done in the style of Sin City, the black and white (and RED) Wii game lets you play as Jack, a mechanic with a chainsaw for a right arm. He’s competing in a television show called Death Watch, but not willingly. A group of terrorists know as “The Organizers” have taken over this guy’s city and has been kidnapping citizens to fight for their lives. If they survive, they’ll net a prize of 100 million bucks. What a nice group of people!
While you’re killing people two commentators do a play-by-play and crack jokes, and the developers were incredibly smart to get two real comedians to voice them. Those voices? They belong to Greg Proops (Whose Line is it Anyway) and John DiMaggio (Bender from Futurama, Marcus Fenix from Gears of War). I couldn’t hear too much over the dim of other games in the room, but what I could hear was hysterical.
The game’s fairly simple. To punch, you press the A button on the Wii remote- to grab an enemy, you hold it down. Throw them by shaking the Wii remote. The B button is your convenient chainsaw that can be used for a cheap and easy kill. The whole object to the game is to kill people as violently and in as stylized a way as possible. It’s all about combos, here. I killed people by throwing them into garbage cans, smashing them into electrical boxes, holding them in front of massive fans, and of course, using the aforementioned spike pit. It’s incredibly easy to control and just entertaining as all hell. The graphic novel look of the game adds so much to the feel and makes the violence much more funny than anything.
There are 1,000 ways to kill people, from environmental kills to finishing moves performed once you punch people around and dizzy them up, so you definitely won’t get sick of the violence anytime soon. While there’s no multiplayer component for the campaign, you will unlock various minigames that can be played splitscreen. One of the modes is called Man Darts, where your object is to use a baseball bat (Wiimote-style) to smash your enemies onto a giant dartboard. Have I mentioned how much I love this game?
You also won’t be hurting for new things to try throughout the game. Lots of times during levels you’ll run across “Bloodbath Challenges”, like the one I mentioned at the beginning, which is called Death Press. Just getting my hands on the game showed that this is a must-buy for any Wii owner, even if you’re like me and haven’t had your Wii plugged in since Smash Bros. was released.
I’ve got articles coming for more of the games I saw today at Sega’s press event, but it’s plain to see that this is a company that’s backing the Wii 100%. Mad World, House of the Dead Overkill and Conduit are all incredibly fun games that showcase exactly what we hoped developers would do with the Wii in the first place- make fun games that took advantage of the innovative controls. Somehow that plan fell by the wayside and all we’ve gotten are mini-game collections and kid games. It’s great to see that at least one company is trying to do something different, something that will appeal to the hardcore gamer.
If you have a chance to come to the NY Comic Con next week, make sure and hit up Sega’s booth since they’ll have a playable demo of MadWorld on hand, among lots of other Sega titles. MadWorld hits stores early March.