Beowulf: The Game Xbox 360
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Released on 16/11/2007
- Delve even deeper: Beowulf gamers will play through 30 years of the Beowulf story not seen in the movie to experience more of Beowulf’s life and mold their own legacy.
- The mystical world of Beowulf comes to life: Powered by the next evolution of the award-winning YETI technology used to create the critically acclaimed Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, Beowulf delivers an unrivalled graphical experience.
- Army of up to 12 thanes: Unlock them as players increase their heroic experience (by saving thanes, killing giant monsters, etc.).
- Beowulf players use the thane army to their advantage: Giving orders, assigning positions, tailoring weapons to the situation or enemy and by triggering in-game mechanisms.
- Beowulf's thane army evolves: Upgradeable weapons (swords, mace and spears), skills and abilities.
- Use Beowuulf's legacy experience points: Gain thanes, replace weapons and upgrade Carnal abilities.
- Beowulf Carnal Power: Allows Beowulf players to use stronger attacks and special weapons. Carnal upgrades include less daze after use and prolonged use of Carnal Fury. But if used too much, there will be grave consequences.
- Dynamic Beowulf combat: includes combos, parries and increasing skills as the Beowulf player progresses.
- Beowulf Grab ability: Beowulf to holds on to walls and climbs, as well as fight up close with visceral hand-to-hand combat against enemies and giant monsters.
Beowulf was largely the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, so it’s ironic that Beowulf’s upcoming movie has been made possible by the success of the ‘Rings film trilogy. Fellowship, Two Towers and Return of the King have created a huge audience for orcs, axes and magic at the moment, and any self respecting videogame publisher would be daft not to recognise the opportunity for a game version of the Beowulf brand.
A Beowulf sidestory
So step up Ubi Soft – and the people behind Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter – to do Beowulf justice. Far from retelling of the Beowulf story, however, they’ve gone for something more original, and set the Beowulf game in the film’s thirty year gap – giving them the chance to design their own Beowulf sidestory, with areas, characters and powers inspired by the legendary tale.
Beowulf is a high-action scrolling beat-em up based around the two sides of the game’s Norse title character. On one hand he’s a heroic leader; fearless, controlling an army of soldiers called Thanes and battling for the greater good; on the other he’s a monstrous warrior with the strength of thirty men who can snap a man’s arms like twigs.
A high-action scrolling beat-em up based around the two sides of the game’s Norse title character.
The Beowulf game’s action mimics this, with Carnal Fury and Heroic Power, letting you play Beowulf how you choose. Heroic casts a blue glow across the screen, offering a boost to your Thanes and giving Beowulf some sweeping, elegant weapon swings. Carnal, meanwhile, turns the screen a blurred, blood-red colour, focusing the camera in on Beowulf himself as he takes out enemies with barbaric hand to hand combat and holds; folding limbs, crushing bones and even sometimes bashing his own Thanes in his mad rage.
Beowulf’s Carnal / Heroic system is designed to let players play selfishly or selflessly, with different in-game rewards and, ultimately, different endings. Using Carnal will give you RPG-style points to build Beowulf’s own stats, and kills using Heroic powers will let you prep your Thanes with new armour and weapons. More points are given for Carnal than Heroic kills, however, and throughout Beowulf different characters will try and push you down one of the two different routes, so seeing that Heroic ending is going to take some discipline.
The story of Beowulf itself is of a warrior who becomes a legendary Danish king, and the Beowulf game sees players taking on the role of Beowulf both before and after his ascent to the throne. Having had a sneak-peak at several of Beowulf’s levels, we’re excited to report that it’s shaping up nicely. Gameplay ranges from dealing decent damage to medium sized enemy crabs on the Danish coast as the brutish Beowulf, to sawing through foes with his Sauron-esque king stature, and even battling huge sea serpents in a Zelda-style boss battle.
Beowulf’s visuals, are impressive, with chunky characters, loads going on on-screen and some rather wonderful lighting.
Playing Beowulf is an empowering experience. Combat is meaty and satisfying, with tons of breakable weapons, a decent (though none too sophisticated) combo system and some pretty imposing foes; such as a Lord of the Rings style troll we had to mount, bash and ultimately snap its jaws in order to defeat – all on our way to saving some topless virgins (this is an adult fiction, make no mistakes). Beowulf is also an athletic character, and throughout the game you’ll be able to jump and climb walls to find the many secrets dotted around.
Like the Beowulf film, Beowulf the game is chock full of production values. The star cast have all recorded original dialogue,for the game, including Ray Winstone playing Beowulf himself and narration by Anthony Hopkins, making this one sidestory that’s not being done by halves. Beowulf’s visuals, too, are impressive, with chunky characters, loads going on on-screen and some rather wonderful lighting. Beowulf reminds us a bit of a HD Fable.
Prepared to fight
There’s certainly more to Beowulf than simple hack and slash. A rhythm-action minigame where you help your Thanes move boulders or row, plus a GRAW-esque squad system, all incorporated into a tale fitting snugly into the Beowulf narrative, show the effort being made to make Beowulf stand out this winter. That’s going to be a challenge given the heady release schedule, but like Beowulf himself, Ubi Soft seem stacked and prepared for the fight ahead.
Preview by: Mark Scott
Preview Published: 02.11.07
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