MadWorld currently has the distinction of being the only Platinum Games game that we've actually seen -- you can peep the debut trailer after the break and first-time director Shigenori Nishikawa (adorned with an incredible MadWorld shirt) demoed the game for us live at last night's Platinum Games event. First, he prefaced the gameplay with the following sentiment: "We didn't want to create a game that was depraved or perverse but rather featured comical, over-the-top violence so that anyone can enjoy it." So think less Manhunt 2 and more No More Heroes.
In fact, Nishikawa repeated this mantra throughout his demo, after every scene of grisly violence, he'd remark about how "lighthearted" the game was. And every single time, the skeptical audience laughed at (with?) his enthusiasm. We begin the demo by meeting Jack, the protagonist, set in a black-and-white world accentuated with flourishes of red blood. He begins tangling with enemies, throwing them into the spiked walls (sometimes over and over and over), tossing them into dumpsters only to have the lids sever their bodies at the torso, or shoving a street sign through their face, then dragging them around. Most notably perhaps is the chainsaw attached to Jack's arm ("everyone loves chainsaws," Nishikawa reminds us). With one swift flick of the Wiimote, you split enemies in half, right down the middle. After that: Man Darts. What?
Pulling a lever at the end of the stage brings up an enormous bullseye, an accompanying "Man Darts" minigame and audio announcers. Enemies pour out the sides and you swing a bat at them, trying to place them (and their blood) onto the target. Again, we're reminded of the "comical" tone of the game.
He closes out by saying, "We thought Wii was missing this type of game in its lineup and think this will fit perfectly." And we're left wondering what sort of actual "game" MadWorld is (besides a violent one). It's an action game, to be sure, but what form will the levels take? How will you progress? How many moves do you have? After showing the trailer, he asked us, "Was it interesting?" It was definitely that.
MadWorld is scheduled for release in Q1 2009.