Beowulf Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | PSP
Beowulf box art
System: X360, PS3, PC, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Ubisoft 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ubisoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Dec. 4, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

On the other side of the coin are the visuals, which I have to admit, look fairly decent for a handheld title. Well, at least when looking at the environment. The variety of different stages the title presents you with is quite solid and really helps give the game an atmospheric position. Unfortunately, the character and enemy sprites look quite plain, with this claim made ever more apparent when you take a look at some of the bosses. For instance, I thought that the giant sea serpent from the first few hours in would be intimidating, but due to its low polygon count, I could barely make out what it was. The U.I., however, is very easy to discern and makes for a quick learning curve. The map is simple, but offers enough utility to show your location, key positions in the area, and your current objective. It would have been nice to see a little more lighting and shadowing detail, but I suppose you can't expect much from a movie-to-game crossover.

Beowulf screenshot

Sadly, the audio department barely fares any better. It is quite disappointing that most of the time I couldn't even tell if there was any music playing at all. This was quite frustrating to me as the movie had an excellent soundtrack that really invoked the essence of the action and scenery. What little music that pops up in Beowulf is immediately drowned out by annoyingly repetitive groans, grunts, and weapon slashes. And while these all sound like they should, they could have balanced the music and sound effects a little more effectively. This usually results in just turning off the game's sound and replacing it with some music of your own. I will give the game this though: the occasional cutscenes are well put together. Voice acting is on par with the movie and helps attempt to move the story along. The problem with this is that the epic nature of the breaks in the gameplay really don't feel appropriate compared to the rest of the game, which feels boring, tedious, and depressing.

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To be honest, there really is nothing more to say about Beowulf on the PSP. The battle system is old and redundant, the visuals are lackluster, the music is non-existent, and there isn't even a multiplayer option. What you are left with is a poor cash-in on a great movie that people will still unfortunately buy because it bears the name of "Beowulf." The new storyline the title presents you with is interesting and deep, but the sheer mediocrity of every other aspect of the game will detract you from wanting to know what happens next. Overall, if you are looking for a quality action experience on the PSP, there is more than enough available on the PSP. Most notably, God of War: Chains of Olympus, which is set to debut in March. So yeah, just wait for that. You'll thank me later.

By Branden Barrett
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Army of up to 12 thanes to unlock as players increase their heroic experience
  • Carnal Power allows the use of 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.
  • Grab ability allows Beowulf to hold on to walls or climb, as well as fight up close with visceral hand-to-hand combat against enemies and giant monsters.
  • Delve even deeper into the adventure as 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.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    2.3
    Graphics
    Character and enemy models are adequately designed, but look dated. Lack of concentrated details like quality shadowing and lighting also bring down the quality. Frame-rate occasionally gets a little choppy.
    3.4
    Control
    Beowulf controls fine, but the overall feel of the character is sluggish. Poor camera makes for several control issues, once you are a few hours in.
    2.7
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The voice acting in the cinematic pieces is excellent. Unfortunately, the rest of the sound department failed to show up.
    2.0
    Play Value
    The overall adventure will take around 15 hours give or take. The problem is that there really is no incentive to finish the game, and even if you did, there is not much to do after it. Stick with God of War.
    2.4
    Overall Rating - Poor
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
    Beowulf screenshot - click to enlarge Beowulf screenshot - click to enlarge Beowulf screenshot - click to enlarge Beowulf screenshot - click to enlarge Beowulf screenshot - click to enlarge Beowulf screenshot - click to enlarge Beowulf screenshot - click to enlarge Beowulf screenshot - click to enlarge

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