Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy |
August 2nd '04
Electronic Arts had the honor of developing a movie franchised video-game based on a movie, which is based on a comic book character.. whew. Aside from Spider-Man 2, I think we know how this is going to end up. Superman 64 anyone?
Catwoman based on the 2004 summer action movie of the same name, staring the x-bond girl Halle Berry. I might as well say it right now, the rendered version of Halle is about the best thing going for Catwoman, and its not going be enough to satisfy anyone.
Lately games with movie ties have been improving just look at Spider-Man 2 from Activision or the Chronicles of Riddick. Although those games had success unfortunately Electronic Art's Catwoman didn't follow the trend with their licensed rendition. It's really a shame because had a tone of potential when working with a great character like Catwoman especially if she is in the Batman-esc DC universe.
From the moment you make your first move as Catwoman you know you're going to be in for a rough time. Controlling Catwoman will make your hair stand up; I was in a frenzy of frustration even in the early moments of the game. The control scheme and camera work is horrible, mainly because the developers didn't use the standard 3rd person controls which has been working well for years. I would love to see this game being played fluently; the controls really make Catwoman overly complex and flow like river of bricks.
If you have the diligence to sit through Catwoman you're not going to find anything other than a standard action platformer with allot of camera problems. I found Catwoman to be fairly hard because I was in a war with my controller, talk about your design flaws. I imagine the entire story follows a standardized formula, although I never made it too far into the game.
To summarize the gameplay of Catwoman is beyond bad, its horrendous. Only if you enjoy weak combat systems, blocking camera angles, bad control scheme and standard boring gameplay you will disagree with my synopsis.
Graphics & Sound
The strongest point of Catwoman is the graphics, they have an over glossed look, but they do fit the atmosphere when looking down a dark alley. Alleys are perfect environments for a cat, I guess. Catwoman's animated movements look great and she keeps her sexy appeal by mimicking the movies lead actress Halle Berry. Unfortunately these good graphics are always interrupted by bad camera angles. The camera can be adjusted by using the D-Pad, but it's only slight tilts and isn't even worth adding into the game.
Halle Berry lends her voice for some one liners in Catwoman which are repeated all too often, and keeps up the level of cheese up in the game. It's not really the developers fault, they could only work with what they had, a sub-par movie in 80s style. The music is adequate in the game with typical game scores :) Overall Catwoman does an alright job on the audio and mainly because of the awful camera the overall graphics move from good to average.
The idea and potential doesn't meet the final project, although there are small innovations nothing can overlook the bad. One neat idea to add to the game is Catwoman's sense of smell. The smell sense works by changing the screen colours and making the controller rumble when you're close to your target. It's a pretty cool idea, too bad it's in this shell of a game. Catwoman also tries to re-invent 3rd person controls, and fails. Why change a system that has which has been working for years?
Oh no! The catwoman mojo is all wrong. Technically this game should enough mojo to satisfy any pussycat. There is no catnip in this box. I have to show a little mojo raise because of character of Catwoman. But this is just another classic example of a movie-comic book franchise gone wrong.
Catwoman is a flat out bomb, just like the pictures ticket sales. It's a shame Electronic Arts had to develop a movie version of Catwoman without the freedom of using the real feline character from the comics. Stay away from this game.
Gameplay: 4.5, Graphics/Sound: 6.5, Innovation: 1, Mojo: 3. Final: 4