IGN has a hands on preview with Monster Madness. Developed by Artificial Studios for PS3, 360 & PC it looks like an old school hack em up which features up to 16 players online, offline & split-screen (calm down Henning ):
Monster Madness is in many ways an old-school game at heart. It’s top-down. It’s got split-screen multiplayer. It’s broken up into levels instead of unfolding as some big sandbox. Add in a score counter, and it’s the ’80s all over again (in a game heavily influenced by the ’50s and ’60s, no less.) But put together with the massively powerful Unreal 3 engine, with physics designed with the next-gen PhysX chip in mind, all put together in part by the team who displayed ridiculously stunning Cell Factor tech demo, and you’re dealing with a beast from another planet.
You see, when I think next gen on PS3, a top-down game in the mould of Baldurs Gate doesn’t spring to mind. I will wait until I see it in action before I judge it too harshly.
Now here comes the part that sounds like fun:
In development at Artificial Studios for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, Monster Madness is essentially a kill-em-all zombie and monster hunt, with a squad of four dopey teens wielding all kinds of dangerous weaponry to beat back the hordes. Each of the kids has his own main melee weapon to smash the skulls of the brain eaters who have taken over the town, but the fun really gets started when you open up with the game’s big weaponry — missile launchers, shotguns, machine guns, even chainsaws are all lying around to begin the splatterfest. And if they survive the night long enough to find power-ups, the kids can become a mummy, vampire, zombie or werewolf to do inhuman levels of death-dealing. Story isn’t necessarily the focus of Monster Madness from what we’ve seen so far (multiplayer co-op play and versus play are the big draws here, as are the big bangs and bloodsplurts), but there will be FMVs sequences styled after comic books that parody horror and sci-fi clichés.
I’ve got to admit that sounds great! There’s nothing better than blowing zombies heads off & add chainsaws to the mix & I’m in zombie bashing heaven. You can even turn into a zombie but won’t you become slow & stupid just like a zombie…..
What makes Monster Madness one to watch for, besides the theme, is its technology — this beast is powered by the frightening Unreal Engine 3, and even in the early, early sampling we have been able to check out of the game (running on PC hardware), putting that much horsepower to use in an old-school game can make worlds of difference. The graphics alone were enough to subtly engross us in ways we weren’t initially expecting — coming at the view from a top-down perspective doesn’t give this game a lot of chances to show off, but when you notice the details, you’re happy that it’s a next-gen game. Little stuff, like the way the nerd Zack’s glasses light up with muzzle flash reflection every time he shoots a gun, makes an impression here. Everything boasts self-shadowing and depth mapping. Light sources work correctly, stretching shadows out at appropriate angles and glowing bright when explosions spark up the world. Breasts of the big-boobied girls do bounce. Everything just works the way it probably should.
I’m at a loss with all this depth mapping & self-shadowing stuff but the big boobied girls sounds fun. Erm not that I’m in to big boobied computer generated girls…..
This next bit is for you Henning:
Probably the key to this game ensnaring those interested in its concept is its multiplayer offering. Monster Madness does a little bit of everything in this respect. Our demo of Monster Madness focused on the smallest scale of this — four-player melee bouts, somewhat similar to Power Stone arenas with all of the action taking place on the same screen. Here, there are traps and power-ups to snag as you brutalize each other for points and bragging rights. Step up from that, and you can play the main game as a four-player adventure quest, with each player out to destroy the invaders on his own but also encouraged to work with the team in order for all of them to survive the night. One step up from that is a full 16-player match-up — no story, just destruction, with modes that include Deathmatch / Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and more. You’re welcome to mix and match offline and online players on any system (even the PC demo had offline multiplayer), and since each way of playing the game has its own flavor of mayhem, there are many different ways to engage horror fans.
This is what games should be about: fun, fun, fun & more fun with added chaos & destruction thrown in for good measure. I can’t wait to see this game in action.
IGN on the gameplay:
Our hands-on session of the game in one of the four-player arenas — the Cemetery level — showed a total focus on console-style play (the demo doesn’t even work with mouse-and-keyboard yet.) Using a dual-analog control set-up, Monster Madness allows you to move independently from the direction that you’re aiming, for FPS-style controls from a top-down perspective. In play, you have to watch out for flying bullets, but the environments are also designed to smack you up. A gigantic guillotine guarded the rocket launcher up on a cliff, so to get to it, you need to use your dodge move to zip past its blade. Meanwhile, a deadly trap called “The Rake” guards a power-up in the bottom quadrant of the game (and also cuts off a good deal of the screen if you’re not a player who thinks and moves fast.) One devious implementation was a drawbridge on the back half of the game arena that, while providing a good vantage point for distance shots, also could be pulled at any time by players far off in the distance to drop you into a vat of acid. Another cool aspect was that the place was full of explosive barrels, which you could not only detonate from a distance (provided you’re a good shot), but also could send rolling towards opponents. And if you collect a Molotov Cocktail, you can catch an opponent on fire, which will naturally make any barrel that those burning men and women come into contact with very hazardous for anybody around.
Ooohh I love traps! It would be cool if you could create arenas & build traps & other hazardous stuff & invite friends, either offline or online, to play death-matches in your created arena. The possibilities…..
This game really does sound like fun if you have friends but what about the single player mode if it even has one? How will the NPCs work, will they have good AI or will they get in your way & just stand there instead of helping you out? Either way I’ll be keeping my eye on this little beast.
Written by: Gary
- News Contributor