Naughty Bear Updated Impressions

It's ursine revenge in a cute and cuddly package. We check out an updated build of A2M's Naughty Bear.

One part Care Bears, one part Grand Theft Auto. A dash of Teddy Ruxpin, a dollop of Jason Vorhees. That's the amusing--and sometimes troubling--mix that makes up the upcoming Naughty Bear for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. There's a dark undercurrent of violent revenge to the game's adorable exterior, and depending on your sense of humor, it makes Naughty Bear nothing if not a conversation starter. A few weeks back, we got an updated look at the game and got to see the titular bear's mile-long mean streak.

For the unfamiliar, here's the setup: Naughty Bear lives on an island filled with bears and has been ostracized by his fellow bears. After being rejected after attempting reconciliation at a birthday party, Naughty Bear goes nuts and starts to get even by performing the naughtiest deeds possible on the island. Of course, by "naughty" we don't mean sneaking a peek in the girl's locker room. Naughty Bear's mischief goes from sabotaging a toilet to somewhere north of pushing a bear's face into an electrical socket or scaring a bear so much that he eventually goes insane and commits suicide.

It's amusingly gruesome stuff that is made all the more troubling (or hilarious, depending on your point of view) by the cute and cuddly character designs. Neon-colored citizen bears with chubby little bellies get their heads stuffed in sinks, smashed in with a giant hammer, or set alight on a charcoal grill. These are just a few of Naughty Bear's methods of revenge, and every act of ursine retribution he commits will earn him naughty points. You'll need to earn a set number of these points to move on to the next area of the level, and each bear in the world has a certain number of naughty points that you can extract from him. Once the points are maxed out, you can kill them or ignore them completely.

Of course, dealing with any of your fellow bears is challenging because Naughty Bear relies on zero scripting in its gameplay. Instead, all of the citizens of the bear island have their own personalities and behave independently. Some are brave while others are cowardly. Some are curious while others seem pretty dopey. There are even special types of bears--usually indicated by the outfits they are wearing--such as ninja bears, police bears, and the like. These bears have their own capabilities. For instance, ninja bears are faster and stronger than their counterparts. Plus, if a ninja bear watches you sneak back into the woods (where you can normally hide from opponents), he'll follow you into the woods and try to take you out.

The open-ended nature of Naughty Bear's gameplay promises some interesting moments. Consider the bear trap, which is one of the more insidious (and poetic) weapons in the game. You can use a bear trap on an unsuspecting bear, and once he's been snared, he'll do his best to free himself. If another bear happens to be walking by, he or she might rush over to help free the trapped bear. Or, if he's by himself, you can sneak up behind him and choose to either kill him or scare him, which earns you more naughty points in the process. If you decide to kill him and your act of murder is witnessed by another bear, that bear might go insane with fright; so crazy that he explodes or commits the stuffed animal equivalent of seppuku. Should that suicide be witnessed by a bear, it might drive him or her nuts; thus, setting off a ripple of events that is only controlled by the creativity of the player.

Another layer to the mayhem in Naughty Bear is the unlockable outfits, which you earn throughout the game. Things like hats will affect Naughty Bear's attributes like speed or strength. There are also full outfits you can unlock, such as ninja or police costumes. These also affect your attributes but have the added effect of being disguises. For example, if you attack a bear while wearing a ninja costume, the citizenry will immediately become hostile toward any ninja that shows his or her face on the island, giving you even more opportunity to cause trouble while the citizenry is distracted.

A2M uses a different definition of 'naughty' than most.

There's no blood in Naughty Bear (your victims bleed stuffing, naturally), but the sight of a stuffed bear aiming a revolver at you is one you won't soon forget. The game's unscripted approach looks to make for a unique approach to solving problems each time you fire up the game. You'll get your chance at wreaking havoc when Naughty Bear is released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 this June.

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Discussion

128 comments
Serious
Serious

This could be one of those brilliant games that doesn't get any notice and ends up an epic fail. In which case I'll just pick it up in the cheap bin at gamestop.

slowhand461
slowhand461

this is a terrible game, awkard camera that often gets stuck (lotsa clipping), walk through walls, other characters. if a bear is coming in a door, it wont push u away or adapt, instead the door goes through both characters trying to fit through, and sometime u do a magic jump a few steps ahead in the direction ur walking, i woz trying to walk around a bear to pass through the door, instead it got stuck and plced me in the exterior. fighting is just a matter of bashing x and trigger to scare other bears....graphics r bad too, anyways, not wasting more time on this game other than to say dont buy it, not even worth da download...505 games have done it again!

P_R_E_Y
P_R_E_Y

its a Bearhunt instead of a Manhunt... or am i the only one to think like this? looks fun, shouldnt be taken too seriously otherwise mothers will have to think of the children and it gets banned.

addictedtochaos
addictedtochaos

Something about this game just strikes me as "wrong" but I'll give it a try anyway.

RageEho
RageEho

Game looks fun. Reminds me of Conker's Bad Fur Day. Great game.

SquareEnixFan13
SquareEnixFan13

Call me what you want, but that sounds awesome! And Hilarious! I'll be getting it.

EXxile
EXxile

I have high hopes for this game. Artificial Mind & Movement proved they are capable developers with WET so I'm sure they can pull this off. If you pre-order at Amazon you get a Freddy outfit haha

GenoForPrez
GenoForPrez

Gives me fond memories of Conker's Bad Fur Day. This looks like it could either be an instant classic or an instant joke.

fuzzylogic72
fuzzylogic72

This is going to be an instant favorite, and classic title.

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

Any gameplay trailers? They seem to be keeping this under wraps for no reason, as far as I can tell.

jokerzrus
jokerzrus

It's like a Friday the 13th teddy bear version :P

f1tz
f1tz

I can't believe it's not getting a PC release. I might have to throw my rig in the fire & go & do something about all this nonsense...

EndoftheworldX
EndoftheworldX

This game makes me feel damn awful for wanting it...but it looks like so much fun. D:

Noahthereviewer
Noahthereviewer

Stupid, stupid, stuipid!!! Who put Nikos Bellic in a bear suit?

Kanbei_669
Kanbei_669

My girlfriend is excited about the apparent cutesiness of this game. I don't think she's half prepared for "stuffed animal seppuku". Can't wait.

thepope21
thepope21

makes me nostalgic for conkers bad fur day. i would really like to try this out

jarofdirt882
jarofdirt882

It looks like a kid's TV show gone horribly wrong. Hehehehehehe.

vengefulwilberg
vengefulwilberg

I wonder if the narrator is naughty bear's inner voice telling him what to do. (Didn't read the text yet. Just a prediction.) This game looks interesting. I am sure some good laughs can to be found in this game.

amds
amds

Kind of has a Jonnen Vazquez type vibe to it, I like it.

theexperience13
theexperience13

hm...this could either be really good or just absolutely awful and unplayable. Hopefully it will be the former

yoyoman500
yoyoman500

cant imagine what would happen to his "unloyal" girlfriend

TheBlaklyon
TheBlaklyon

I wonder will it be a more comedic version of manhunt.

blanx319
blanx319

@apollo333 i def agree, my 1st post ever after 7 yrs and its not even about a game

hawkin90
hawkin90

Omg, im so looking forward to this!

charmelen
charmelen

this games going to be awsome

drknessfeeds
drknessfeeds

Looks fun in a twisted way, will keep watching for this one.

apollo333
apollo333

CreatureRising: wow, you should really stick to small words that you know.

CreatureRising
CreatureRising

This has patentional to 1. take the thrown of comedy in games. 2. Become infamous 3. "Most contraventionl" game of all time. My pick is all 3

IrishBulldog93
IrishBulldog93

this game is gonna be the laugh of the year (like a good laugh not a mocking Dracula laugh)

DamnedApples
DamnedApples

Awww...I gotta wait until the second quarter of '10 to check this out? Guess I'll just have to grin and "bear" it--HAHAHAAaaa..........man, I suck. PS:At first, I thought the bear of stroking the rooster, but instead it was just something innocent like fondling a knife...and cutting himself.

crackers24
crackers24

Dude. Totally badass! AMAZING concept, kudos to the developers for coming up with this.

SkeetWeetSlappy
SkeetWeetSlappy

i have a feeling that this game is going to be great can't wait to play it!

lpool8
lpool8

@ Gargaglio5tatus.. clearly you've never bin high

jjjrrr11211
jjjrrr11211

This Game Was Made By The Same People Who Made Wet So It Might Be Good

Spartan91234567
Spartan91234567

Great idea I just hope they dont make it really repetitive

BatGojko
BatGojko

Don't think it's a good idea anyway. Will wait and see how it will be at the end but I think it will be just another game with nothing really original to offer.

Nerissa
Nerissa

I like this, hope to see more

iwantapepsi
iwantapepsi

an emo kid life but put into a bear lol

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@bossman19 well the 360 is pretty much already at it's limit

Gargaglio5tatus
Gargaglio5tatus

is this supposed to be funny?.... this is the sense of humor i would find funny if i was like 10 or something.

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

@ramspot its multi plat for xbox and ps3.....

ramspot
ramspot

DUde that's even more reason to buy a PS3! :) :) :)

bossmon19
bossmon19

looks ok but the ps3 one is going to look better and they never try to push the 360 to its limet

ramspot
ramspot

Oh man ... this looks promising! Let's hope it's something grrreat!!

glimpus
glimpus

This game could be this gen's Conker. Looks like it could be good.