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October 14 2007
Beowulf - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
22/11/2007UbisoftUbisoftUbisoft Tiwak
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$119.95
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Hopefully we'll see plenty of blodd.
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Detail is pretty impressive.

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Time to run from this bad-ass enemy!
Before we even start this preview I plead with those of you that haven't seen the trailer for this upcoming Robert Zemeckis CG movie to check it out at this link. It should set a new benchmark for motion captured computer generated movies with sensational detail on the characters (including a nude Angelina Jolie - although we're not sure how much of her, ermm, breast area was accurately modeled!). As expected there is a game to tie into this movie, and Ubisoft are bringing us the goods. In fact they are bringing us a game which is based on a movie which is based on a 1000 year old poem. Naturally though the poem has been greatly expanded for the movie, and the good news for gamers is that this game is expanded even further then the movies storyline. Confused? Well bear with us (and go watch that stunning trailer again!).

You are Beowulf, legendary Norse warrior with the strength of 30 men. Arrogant, self-serving, and lustful for gold and glory, you journey to Denmark to destroy a bloodthirsty beast wreaking havoc on a frigid land. But evil persists, and you succumb to its lure of even greater fame, quietly maneuvering to claim the Danish throne. As King, you must face the consequences of ambition, even as war descends on the realm. Lead your thanes into battle, slay the Titans of a dying age, and crush the enemies that threaten to annihilate both your kingdom and your people. Only then, when you look Destiny in the eye, will you know what kind of hero you truly are...

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Prepare to enter the battlefield.
Beowulf: The Game doesn't just follow the story of the movie, but rather looks at 30 years of the Beowulf storyline and compacts into a 10-12 hour game. The events of the movie are covered, but only comprise a small section of the overall game leaving the developers open to introducing more storyline, more enemies, and more locations from Viking mythology. As you may have noticed the game is a hack and slash styled title. Although you're already very powerful you will be able to use carnal power to unlock stronger attacks and use special weapons such as pillars. You can order your army to hold positions, tailor weapons to best inflict damage upon enemies and also trigger events such as opening doors. It is possible to grab onto or climb walls, as well as fight in hand-to-hand combat with enemies and giant monsters.

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Graphics can be pretty moody.
As you would have seen the surrounding screenshots look pretty solid at this stage, but I wouldn't say they are setting new benchmarks on the Playstation 3. With only a couple more months until release I certainly hope that Ubisoft can not only increase the number of enemies and objects in the game world, but also the amount of detail. Having said that the development team has had access to the filmmakers early concept art and renders from the movie to gauge the look and feel that they were going for. As yet we are unsure if the likenesses of the cast will make it into this game - there isn't any indication of Ray Winstone, Robin Wright Penn, Crispin Glover, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, or Angelina Jolie in the screenshots. Ubisoft Tiwak have used the YETI technology used in the quite brilliant Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 game that Ubisoft recently released. The developers have had to work on the engine for this game. As Vikings wear a lot of fur complex fur shaders have been added, motion blur, zoom blur and depth of field have also been added. We can expect this game to also run at 30fps at 720p resolution.

Time will tell if the movie will live up to hype and expectations, and the same can be said of Ubisoft's video game tie-in. Still, we're hopeful that Beowulf: The Game will expand on the movie quite a bit and provide some gameplay thrills as well. Expect a release around the same time as the movie in the cinemas - that being late November.