The combat, supported by some slick finishing animations - stomping guys in the nuts, and snapping the necks of giant trolls are highlights - is by far the best part of this package. It's not great, but the heavy hacking and slashing - complemented by copious amounts of blood and gore - is moderately satisfying, and unleashing Beowulf's Incredible Hulk-like "carnal fury" offers a fun, rampage-fueled romp.
But all the gore in the world isn't likely to satisfy if there's not a meaningful plot behind the bloodshed - which this both does and doesn't have. We can appreciate Beowulf's classic literary roots. Hell, we even enjoyed it a bit back in English lit class. But a game bloated with talky cut-scenes, bogged down by boring Old English-y dialog just isn't fun. And it doesn't only affect the cinematics; even during gameplay, off-screen characters will begin babbling. We love the occasional ale or wench reference just as much as the next guy, but when we're facing down an army of unearthly beasties we really don't want to hear Anthony Hopkins droning on about heroism or his favorite mead.