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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution

Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Tiwak / Ubisoft Shanghai
Genre: Action
Rated: M (Mature)
Players: 1
Release Date: November 13, 2007
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

Ubisoft is bringing a legend back to life in Beowulf for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The story of Beowulf tells of a legendary Norse-warrior-king who was reported to have the strength of 30 men just in his arms (eat your heart out Hercules). Beowulf slays the demon Grendel, and must now deal with a vengeful mother. But unlike the upcoming movie or epic poem, the focus o the game is on the 30 year span wherein Beowulf is a young warrior as he makes his way to becoming an aging king. Along the journey, Beowulf will deal with his conflicting desires for power, glory, and honor via temptations and bloody battles.

Since the direction of the game is geared towards the trouble years of Beowulf, combat is a key to this projects success. As so, you will command an army of 20 thanes as you explore vast worlds throughout the game. Your trust thanes can be used to unblock passageways, row your Drakkars (Viking longships), decimate your enemies, etc. As you progress through the game, you will be able to acquire upgrades for various items, including your weaponry (spears, axes, and monstrous hammers), shields, etc.

Some may see this game as a modify Baulder's Gate, but the reality is far from it. Through a heroism system that Ubisoft implemented with the core mechanics of the gameplay, the player acquires points determining whether he is fit to command his thanes. The more you (Beowulf) stand by your thanes and are successful in battle, the more thanes that will flock to your will. This point system will also help you develop your thanes to take on multiple tasks at once. An example of this would be having half of your army deal with an enemy, while the rest of the group tends to a horde of barbarians.

The game has more to it than Beowulf commanding his thanes. Beowulf himself will have a few unique moves, including the ability to grapple and inflict devastating combos, and steal weapons right from the hands of his opponents. You will also be able to utilize two superpowers, known s the Viking Storm and the Carnal Fury. The Viking Storm allows Beowulf to launch his army of thanes in a group attack. This move is seen as ultimate heroic assault. The Carnal Fury is an ultra-powerful state that sparks an unstoppable killing frenzy.

Unlike several movies to game adaptations, Ubisoft has taken it upon them to 'adapt the movie's story to a hardcore gaming format that goes beyond the typical linear approach to a movie-license.' Certainly looking at this game, it has the potential to do for the crossover, that Spiderman: The Movie did for the industry. Only time will tell, but this title certainly has my vote.

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