Beowulf: The Game ReviewJason Leyanna
Beowulf is an English historic epic by an anonymous author. Many times games based on licenses just turn out to be completely awful and a way for the developer/publisher to make some cash based solely on the name recognition. This particular game is based on the recent film directed by Robert Zemckis (2007). This action-adventure game came out just about the same time as the film.
Beowulf himself is a relatively young Norse warrior who wants to prove to everyone what he is made of. He will be on this path of destiny for over 50 years. Meanwhile, King Hrothgar will need rescuing from a terrible monster called Grendel, who has been terrorizing the land for over 10 years. Beowulf will battle monsters from deadly sea serpents with only one eye to gigantic crabs (half the size of man) that make a bloody mess when destroyed. During combat, blood spurts from enemies as if this were a Mortal Kombat game. This is a portion of the reason for the Mature rating from the ESRB.
Beowulf is powerful, heroic, and can make good use of his rage when fighting tough enemies. To utilize the rage you will press and hold the right trigger. Enemies can be lifted with brute strength and hurled in any direction, perhaps at other enemies. You can alternate weapons by picking up a new one that is lying discarded on the ground with the A button. Others may be found in racks of weapons as well. You will have to find ways through certain areas, sometimes climbing walls and grabbing the small ledges. You don’t have to worry too much about falling, as you are strong and able to linger on the ledges. You will eventually be able to get some allies to fight alongside of you on your journey. These are the Thanes. Another friend of Beowulf is Wiglaf, his closet friend actually, who will fight to no end for Beowulf. Most of the time Beowulf will spend his time around the area of Herot. Mead Hall is there, which is the grand dining hall.
Beowulf: The Game is one of the few games coming out now lacking support for Xbox Live. This is a bummer with so many of Xbox 360 owners subscribing to Live. Beowulf follows a linear path for its gameplay as you go from one area to the next. The graphics of this game are sufficient, the cut-scenes good, and during gameplay - fair. I’ve been seeing a lot of eye candy in high-profile games lately that make me less impressed with some of the graphics, but they are still good – just not as spectacular as some for this system. Anthony Hopkins does some of the commentating, which is a nice plus for this game. (One of the few unfortunately)
Beowulf: The Game isn’t horrible as some licensed games are, but unfortunately it is still mediocre in comparison to similar games of this genre that are out there. The game lacks originality but is still worth a rent if you like games similar to God of War or the recent Conan video game. Or if you enjoyed the movie and would like to get more involved, the game version offers the interactivity you may desire.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.