previews\ Jul 11, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Godzilla: Unleashed - WII - Preview


E3 2007 Preview

Big, destructive gameplay needs to be deeply interactive. Players shouldn't merely view an array of polygons and particle effects, we should be immersed with a dedicated control scheme that places you into the world you are meant to be living in. Godzilla Unleashed is one step closer to that level of gaming with Wii-specific controls that are more than a simple shake.

Commanding any of 23 monsters -- some locked, some not, and two that are completely new to the Godzilla universe -- players get the chance to step into the shoes of a monster whose feet dwarf the size of a motor vehicle. It's a game of crush-or-be-crushed as you step into the city, and a hellacious nightmare for anyone that isn't the size of a skyscraper. Speaking of buildings, small structures can be picked up and used as a weapon. Now when I say "small," don't confuse that for a house. Small in this game is a large, multi-level office building. These monsters are so dangerous that, if you get too close to weaker and/or smaller buildings, they will start to crumble. It's the equivalent of a 10-year-old going up against a LEGO building set -- he can intentionally destroy it if he wants to, or just by charging through it.

Godzilla: Unleashed Wii screenshots

The Wii remote controls are intriguing but took a little time to get used to. I was expecting one of two things: either a DBZ-style game, where most of the base action is caused by the press of the A button, or a game where you constantly shake the remote to attack, a la Zelda. Unleashed is actually a combination of those gameplay types, minus the shaking. Wii remote movements need to be deliberate. In other words, if I want to shake my tail left, I need to swing the remote in that direction while holding the B button. It can't be a random action -- the controller must be shook left. To jump you quickly pull the nunchuck upward, and may then execute a tail attack for the start of a combo. The developers said that they're layering the attacks to make for a nice stream of combos.

Standard kicks and punches are delegated to the B and A buttons, respectively, but you can add value (and additional animations) to those moves by moving the remote while pressing one of the buttons. It's not a mechanic you'll get on the first try, at least not in this build. But I began to crave more as soon as the controls started to make sense, which didn't take more than five minutes.

Graphically the game is pushing the polygon power of the Wii, though it's not clear yet whether or not it will be able to compete with Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3's impressive effects. The overall picture quality has not yet been sharpened (some areas looked a little washed out), but there were still many great things to drool over. Buildings break and crumble in multiple ways, with falling debris, smoke, and explosions that add to the beauty. As the world's most fearsome monsters, players can shoot fireballs and other projectile attacks. When one of them misses its target, there's a good chance it'll find a building to crash into. Yay, more destruction!

Up to four players can battle simultaneously in eight different cities that are being prepared for Godzilla Unleashed. For those of you going solo, we're told the story will have a graphic novel-style presentation.

That's all we know thus far, but stay with GameZone as we bring you more on Godzilla Unleashed and other E3 games in the coming months.


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