Platform:Wii-exclusive Publisher:Sega Expected Release: March 2009
Honestly, I’m a bit worried about Sega at the moment. It’s starting to look like the folks over there may have a bit of a death wish – they seem so ready and willing to offend people that it surely won’t be long before they get murdered by Daily Mail readers.
First there was House of the Dead: Overkill, with its swearing and strippers and general disregard for the politically correct and now there’s Madworld, which is bloodier than that shower scene in Stephen King’s Carrie.
Then again though, maybe Sega isn’t trying to overtly over-gore the market. It seems far more likely that Sega, tired of being associated with nothing but idyllic skies and runaway hedgehogs, is looking for new styles and presentations to be associated with.
The fact that they’ve apparently settled on the kind of gross-out humour seen in its latest games is unexpected, but understandable. Not everyone wants to be cutesy forever, do they? We all grow up sometime.
Actually, grown-up is probably a misnomer for Sega’s Madworld as, although the game is definitely adult material, it’s all handled with the kind of juvenile abandon that you might find if the cast of American Pie turned spontaneously murderous.
The setting and plot for the game is as flimsy as an Arnie film, with players being cast as a mechanic called Jack who gets dumped into Varrigan City and forced to kill to survive. One of the localisation managers for the game that we chatted to even seemed confused about the plot, saying something about an infection before collapsing into giggles as we impaled another foe on a spike, anus to eyeballs.
From what we were able to decipher though, the basic structure of the game is set around a Terrorist-run gameshow. A criminal group calling themselves ‘The Organisers’ has taken over the city and sealed it off completely, rigging all manner of disgusting traps and driving the residents insane.
The city is isolated from civilization and rigged up like a devil’s playground. There are spikes and booby-traps everywhere, with force-fields sealing everyone. There are jet engines and crashed planes in the streets, the turbines sucking up all who come near like lumps of dead meat.
Into this mess, you come. You’ve got a chainsaw strapped to your arm, a coat of leather on your back and the burliest arms anyone has ever seen. You’re some bastard amalgamation of Bruce Campell, Sylvester Stallone and The Mighty Thor. You’re harder than nails and twice as sharp, with the voice of the mysterious Agent XIIII in your ear guiding you deeper into the insanity.
What do The Organisers want? That much isn’t clear, but they’ve turned the city into some sort of sick gameshow, called Deathwatch, offering survival and 100 million dollars to anybody who can fight their way through the city. Maybe you’re the man to claim that prize – but to stand a chance you’ll need to chew through more blood than a vampire with Prader-Willi syndrome.
The gameshow aspect of the story ties directly into the way Madworld plays too, with everything you do being beamed to TV sets across the world and scored by judges, creating a sick commentary on modern culture despite the adolescent approach to the gore.