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WII
GENRE
Action-Adventure
DEVELOPER
EA Games / Argonaut
PUBLISHER
EA Games
WI-FI ENHANCED
no
WII EXCLUSIVE
gcn
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
July 23, 2004
BUY NOW AT

Catwoman

Yes, yet another movie-based game is on the horizon, and this one happens to be a comic book based one as well! Catwoman, a sub character derived from the Batman universe, finally gets her moment in the spotlight this summer with a feature film and a videogame releasing simultaneously later this July.

The basic synopsis behind the Catwoman character is as follows: A young woman who never sticks up for herself and is thusly constantly pushed around in life happens to stumble upon a conspiracy at her place of work. The owner naturally finds that she knows too much and has her killed, but as a strange twist of fate she lives but is forever changed. The woman gains the supernatural characteristics of a feline -- strength, speed, agility and ultra-keen senses -- complete with the mythical “Nine Lives,” and all of her inhibitions from her previous life are erased. While she likes to go around stealing jewelry and seeking revenge, Catwoman does have a good soul and is a superhero not a supervillain, although she is forever straddling this precarious line.

media

impressions

From the get-go, the aspect of Catwoman that will likely capture your interest the most are the visuals – and I’m not merely saying this as a male who enjoys ogling women wearing scantily clad dominatrix styled costumes – however that is an added bonus for this franchise. Catwoman features impressive use of particles, lighting and water effects throughout the very moody and lush environments. Everything from sprays of bullets flying at you to glass shattering and dust being kicked up and water reflections and interaction is present and done very well. And then there’s also the 700+ animations that were developed by hand for Catwoman’s model alone, using Halle Berry’s wonderful likeness of course. The developers went all out on this title.

Aurally Catwoman seems to be shaping up well too. In the video demo I viewed the voice acting present was actually portrayed surprisingly well, complete with Halle Berry’s voice as Catwoman. The sound effects for everything from gunfire, whip cracking, glass shattering and helicopter’s were all present and more than adequate as well.

On the gameplay side of things, I’d like to compare what I’ve seen thus far to Prince of Persia, although I have no hands-on impressions to be able to tell if this is accurate or not. Being a hybrid of both action and adventure elements, Catwoman appears to contain a good deal of platforming much like what you’d find in PoP, except cat-like of course. She must climb up and around buildings, move stealthily through buildings utilizing everything from air ducts to flag poles to reach her destination.

The combat system developed for Catwoman utilizes the c-stick solely -- face buttons being used for specialty moves -- and all of the fighting moves are context sensitive. This may turn out to be overly simplistic and make the combat side of the game too easy in the long run, but I’ll reserve judgement until I actually get my hands on the title.

The environments in Catwoman appear to be interactive as well, or at least destructible in most cases. A couple of examples of this from the demo I viewed would be from an alley fight. In the video I witnessed Catwoman engage a police officer in a dark alley where she proceeded to throw him towards into a stack of boxes where they proceeded to react realistically. There’s also the garbage dumpster which she threw another unsuspecting officer into, complete with a cinematic camera angle as he is hurdled inside.

Lastly, a few misc. details that you might want to note:

  • The game will follow the movie’s storyline very tightly, so much so that it’s almost an interactive version of the movie.
  • There’s supposed to be 6 locations in the game, each with 5-8 levels.
  • Much akin to games such as Timesplitters, you will receive detailed statistics based on your gameplay after each level; the better you do the more points you’ll earn which can be used towards purchasing new moves.
  • There’s supposed to be an adequate -- but not overbearing -- amount of collectible items to pick up throughout the game, which means you will probably need to revisit certain stages multiple times to acquire them all.

word on the street

We asked the Dojo Disciples in our message forums what they thought of Catwoman and here's what they had to say:

Jdccb: "My thoughts on the movie would be, the best thing it's got going for it is Halle Berry, beyond that it doesn't interest me much at all.

As for the videogame, there have been some surprisingly good movie games of late, people are actually giving some TLC to movie licenses, I can only hope the same is done to this. Most any movie/comic character lends itself well to a video game, Catwoman, Batman, Spider-Man, they're all pretty much the same thing."

King Mario: "Personally, I think the movie looks pretty bad. Like jdccb said, the best thing about it is Halle Berry. I think it is an awful career choice for her.

Following that logic, I think the game will be awful. If the premise of the movie is somewhat cheesy and does not have much depth, how are you able to pull a complete videogame out of it?"

press release notes

Play the Film: Control Halle Berry's Catwoman, the sexiest game character ever, and follow the movie storyline throughout the game.

Dominate Enemies: Catwoman toys with her enemies, rendering them helpless, scaring them into submission, and trapping them by using her tools and the environment around her before defeating them with cat-like grace.

Unique Cat Powers:

  • Cat-like Movement: With incredible acrobatic skills, Catwoman will move and jump with feline prowess, leaping across roofs, running up walls, pouncing on prey, and avoiding enemy bullets.
  • Cat Senses: Players will view the world from a feline point of view and utilize unique cat attributes that allow Catwoman to change the odds to her advantage. These powers enable her to see in the dark (unlike her foes) and hunt her prey by seeing footprints and smelling trails that reveal where they have been and what they have done. Catwoman can also use her "Sixth Sense" to establish threats around her and even predict what her enemy may do next.
  • Become a Wild Cat: Unleash Catwoman's "feral" side – move faster, hit harder, and completely dominate her prey.
  • The Power of the Whip: Catwoman can use her whip to throw or topple objects; smash breakable items; trigger interactive objects remotely; climb, descend and swing from structures; and even rescue herself from incredible "death falls" in the rooftop levels.

overall

Despite all of the bad rep the movie is getting, if you take all of that with a grain of salt and give the game the benefit of the doubt I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I think this might be one case where the game based on the movie will turn out to be a hell of a lot better than the actual movie itself. We’ll find out soon enough when both the game and the movie are released in late July.





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Jeff Pearson
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"I've given all I can, but it's never enough."


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