Nov 15, 2007
If you've seen Beowulf's motion picture magic in 3D IMAX, you already know it's a must-see blockbusting behemoth. But don't let the big screen sparkle fool you; Beowulf was meant for the big screen, not your little one. In fact, following in the forgettable footsteps of this summer'sPiratesand Fantastic Four celluloid-to-console adapts, Beowulf: The Game is destined to line bargain bin bottoms. It has its hacking and slashing moments, but like so many movie-licensed titles, it reeks of a truncated production schedule and a too-heavy reliance on a story intended for another medium.
We could forgive the rambling VO and boring cut-scenes - a quick button press and tweak to the volume quickly covers these problems - if Beowulf's gameplay picked up the slack. Sadly, a mash-up of mini-games, weak squad commands, and so-so combat combine for a disjointed, poorly paced experience.
The mini-games, ranging from rhythm-based chanting - meant to inspire your Thane troops - to a weird button masher that has you resisting the sexual advances of Angelina Jolie's character (why the hell would we want to do that? Granted, it's actually some other actress entirely, but she's still hot), never mesh with the rest of the experience. Even the God of War-like boss-battle button-matching sequences feel clunky and repetitive. Additionally, the squad commands, so specifically tied to certain events, don't afford much freedom as you're basically told when to use them.