Beowulf — The Game
ESRB Rating: Rated M
Platform: Xbox 360
Price: $19.99; Released: Nov 2007
In the interest of full disclosure, I never saw the CGI motion-cap Beowulf flick. So I wasn’t going into this game with any expectations, good or bad. I wasn’t hoping it would live up to the movie; nor was I hoping it would be better than the movie… I just wanted a fun, action-packed game that allowed me to run around and kick ass in epic style fashion. After all, this is based on the poem that pretty much inspired every epic fantasy story ever told.
All of the pieces should have been in place – Epic story (no real need for writing), CGI Mo-Cap created characters that should have been easy enough to model for a Next Gen system, and plenty of great 3rd person action games to pick and choose control schemes from. So how is it that the developers dropped the ball on all accounts? Is it laziness, lack of understand, or just another example of a game studio being forced to rush out another piece of crap game to try to tie into a major movie release. The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it?
Here’s the gist of the game (my effort to save you $20, which is how much you can get this game for in just about any Used Games sections of gaming stores). Beowulf goes on a quest. He ends up in some closed-off type of arena (even if it doesn’t look like an arena, trust me, it’s essentially an arena). Wave after wave of bad guys with no real differences to their look, design, or fighting style come running at Beowulf. Through a series of button mashes (alternating between a weak attack and a strong attack…) Beowulf smashes through the hordes of AI-less drones. Rinse. Repeat.
That’s it. Sound like fun? No? Great. I saved you $20. My New Year’s resolution is fulfilled!
Now, I can forgive a lot of gameplay flaws in the face of wicked cool (yes, I said wicked cool) graphics. And with the source material the developers had to pull from, Beowulf should have a kick ass look. I mean, this is a Next Gen console title! Unfortunately, when this game was developed better for the PS2 and called God of War, the graphics were better. Oh, that’s right… I went there! I called it a cheap God of War knock-off! Sick burn! Even the opening cut scene in Beowulf looks like it comes from a bad PS2 title.
As I said, this game is nothing more than another lazy movie tie-in with sub-par graphics, sound, and gameplay. And it’s sad that an epic classic like Beowulf gets treated this way.