Graphically, it's competent, but not amazing. At present, the frame rate takes a huge hit whenever a group of enemies die at once (must be all the flying limb physics) and with the game practically finished now, that's unlikely to change. It does look a tad last-gen, especially as Berserker Mode's black, white and red colour scheme looks almost exactly like the Wii running MadWorld.
There are several references to the old Splatterhouse games, both in terms of plot and gameplay. The main story is the same as ever – Rick's looking for his kidnapped girlfriend Jennifer ('sexy' pictures of whom can be found lying around the levels) and that means splatting loads of monsters. Some of these return from the previous games, like this cheery fellow with a sack on his face and chainsaws for hands.
The new game is mostly third-person 3D, although there are some nods to the old games with 2D sections, which offer some rudimentary platforming on top of the thwack 'n' slash gameplay.
If you finish the game, you'll unlock emulated versions of the first three (yes there were three) Splatterhouse games. However, they haven't stood the test of time very well.
Above: This wasn't even cutting edge when it was released in 1992
They may have large sprites and decent animation, but the one-note gameplay is painfully under-developed. Now, call us cynics, but we have a sneaky suspicion we'll be saying something similar about the full game when it comes round to review.
That said, we certainly enjoyed the demo. It may be deliberately button mashy and a bit low-tech, but it was 'bloody' good fun. It's likely to sell pretty well, too – few games are this focused on gore. It's a shame age ratings have come into play to deny the biggest target audience. Sick-minded kids today would love this just as much as they did in the early '90s.
15 Jun, 2010