The Wii has a well-earned reputation for being a console for the whole family. That may change somewhat when Madworld gets its Western release in the first quarter of 2009.
Madworld is a highly stylized action game that features what possibly may be some of the most extreme scenes of violence ever rendered in pixels. The violence is so over the top that it's almost amusing in its excessiveness. Bodies get split in twain, hearts get ripped out of chests, lampposts get impaled in heads--and that's just in the one level that we saw.
Details on the story are a little scant right now, but we do know that players take the role of a burly contestant participating in a reality gameshow in which death and dismemberment are central planks. Madworld employs a unique graphical style in that the entire world and characters are rendered in highly detailed black and white (think somewhat similar to the art style in a Frank Miller Sin City book and you'll get the picture). In fact, the only color in the game is the red blood, which gushes out of opponents in copious amounts.
Gameplay seems to be a mix of typical action brawler with some Wii Remote motion-sensitive moves thrown in. You'll use both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, and some special moves will require you to move the controllers in a specific way. In one scene that we saw during our hands-off demo, which took place along a city street lined with buildings, the in-game character ripped a street pole out of the ground and violently thrust it straight through an opponent's head. The character then picked up the impaled opponent and repeatedly slammed him against a wall filled with large spikes. This was achieved by shaking the Wii Remote up and down in rhythm with the action onscreen.
In case you didn't get the picture from the previous paragraphs that this game is extremely violent, here are another two examples. After progressing a little further down the street, the in-game character managed to find two large knives. He used these on the next opponent by first stabbing him in the head and, while the opponent was bent over in pain, stabbing the other knife in his lower torso. The character then literally split the poor opponent in half. And did we mention that the main character in the game's default weapon is a chainsaw?
Madworld is set for release on the Nintendo Wii in March 2009. Check back soon for more details.