Celebrity Deathmatch Impressions

Gotham Games' version of the popular MTV show is being shown at E3, and we've got hands-on impressions.

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At E3 this year, Gotham Games is showcasing Celebrity Deathmatch, a video game version of MTV's popular clay-animated TV show that revolves around some of the world's most famous people beating and decapitating one another. We decided to partake in the mayhem ourselves and see exactly what Celebrity Deathmatch was all about.

The roster for Celebrity Deathmatch features a colorful cast of characters from all walks of the entertainment industry. Notable stars include Marilyn Manson, Mr. T, Jerry Springer, Carmen Electra, Shannen Doherty, Anna Nicole Smith, Tommy Lee, Carrot Top, Dennis Rodman, Cindy Margolis, Busta Rhymes, Cleo, Ron Jeremy, and NSync. The game also features a number of hidden characters, including such famous monsters as Frankenstein, the werewolf, and the mummy, as well as the show's infamous color commentators, Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond, who of course provide commentary for the game as well.

The version of Celebrity Deathmatch we saw had three available modes. Deathmatch is a single match where you choose one of the game's available characters and one of several available arenas--including the familiar Deathmatch arena, as well as several more exotic locales--and then head into battle. Episode mode lets you progress though six episodes of the show, with three matches each. There is also a create-a-celebrity mode, in which you can design your own fame-hungry combatant.

The game's combat system is fairly straightforward, with three different attack buttons, a basic grapple function, and rudimentary blocking. The real fun comes from various power-ups and special moves you can perform. Each character has a specific special move and a death move. Special moves are powerful but won't kill your opponent. These are usually in the vein of Anna Nicole Smith shooting breast milk at you or Carrot Top hitting you in the crotch with a giant carrot. Death moves are available only when your opponent's life meter has been entirely drained, and they are far more impressive looking. For instance, Tommy Lee will rip out your intestines and begin playing them like an electric guitar, and Mr. T will literally drop the classic A-Team van on you.

Graphically, the game stays true to the cartoon-inspired look of the show, but it stops short of actually using a clay-animated style. All the character models are of the more tongue-in-cheek ilk, with lots of exaggerated features and goofy animations. The game's blood and gore aspects are all pretty inoffensive, cartoonish bits of tomfoolery, rather than anything legitimately violent. Sound within the game was sparing in the build we saw, but each character will have a few specific audio taunts to go along with the various stabbing and bludgeoning sound effects.

Celebrity Deathmatch is slated for a September release on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, and PC and will also be released in October on the PlayStation One.

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