Taking inspiration from Arnie’s movie The Running Man, top-down arcade shooter Smash TV and the more recent movie Sin City, MadWorld lets you go on a journey of human and mutant destruction in a deadly gameshow called Death Watch. You play as Jack, one of many contestants forced to play the game on the quarantined Jefferson Island. Armed with your fists, a chainsaw and pickups dotted around the town, you must maim and kill in imaginative ways to build up your score multiplier. Once you hit enough points, you can then fight the bosses who are, how shall we say, larger than life on most occasions.
Once again, Sega are waving the ‘hardcore games for adults’ flag as they did with House of the Dead Overkill. This one’s ultra-violent but the black and white graphics with plenty of red blood splashing about is probably the only thing that saves it from not getting the adult rating it needed to be released. You act out your punishment on fellow contestants using simple gestures of the Wiimote and Nunchuck. To punch just hit the A button or swing the Wiimote. Press B and you can then swing horizontally or vertically to chainsaw your victims. When they’re wobbling around you can then apply finishing moves to kill your enemies in a variety of fun, over-the-top ways.
As well as, for example, smashing tyres over enemies, ramming a sign post through their neck and slamming them into spiked walls called Rose Bushes for a good point multiplier, there are also mini games to take part in where you must kill as many people in a time limit. There are moments when you have to throw as many people as you can into a crusher, into a jet plane’s engine or into oncoming trains. It’s all very violent but so cartoony and fresh at the same time.
Presentation is also fantastic. Comedian Greg Proops provides expletive-laden commentary, the hip-hop soundtrack works well and the game style is superb. There are a couple of negatives. The camera can be an issue that annoys at times and picking items up can be a bit hit and miss in the middle of battle, but it’s nothing that breaks the game. If you’re looking for some instant thrills and kills and a treat for your senses, it’s right here on the Wii. MadWorld gets an excellent 8 out of 10.