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Mademan: Confessions of the Family Blood (PlayStation 2) artwork

Mademan: Confessions of the Family Blood (PlayStation 2) review


"If you’re looking for a innovative game with blazing action and insane challenge, you could do a lot worse than Made Man…but you could do much better, too. "



Being staff and all, I don’t have the opportunity to give taglines to my reviews. But, if I did, this one would read: When good ideas happen to bad videogames.

Actually, that’s not fair. Rewind. I wouldn’t go so far as to call Made Man bad, really - it’s just not particularly good, either.

If you’re looking for a innovative game with blazing action and insane challenge, you could do a lot worse than Made Man…but you could do much better, too. Most of the enemies here are of the ‘run straight into the player with guns blazing’ variety, while a few others study in the ‘hide behind large objects and fire, but still leave a vital area exposed’ school. Not too tough, really.

But…

They’re a funny lot; they talk, they joke, they beg as you shoot up their ranks, and the banter keeps things from getting too boring. They come from a wide range, too; you’ll be facing everything from hillbillies to the mafia to the VietCong, and you’ll be in the environments to match. Are they all a little dumb? Yeah. Are they redundant? No.

But…

No matter where you go, whether it be the swamps of North Carolina or the jungle of Vietnam or the alleys of Brooklyn, it’ll never be a visually pleasing affair. To put it mildly, the game just doesn’t make much use of the PS2’s power; there are first-generation PS2 titles which easily blow it away. Characters talk without a hint of lip synching. Environments, though fairly detailed in small doses - wrecked cars strewn about, intricate flora, fully-stocked stores - they have a repetitive, washed-out feel overall.

But…

While the levels don’t impress visually, they get the job done on audio. The music is fairly gritty, works with the mood, but that’s not the cool thing: the levels have narration. As you go along, Joey, our intrepid little anti-hero, narrates the missions, chiming in and giving things the feel of a good piece of fiction - which isn’t surprising, considering the storyline is written by crime author, David Fisher.

But…

Even with all that going for it, things just don’t come together. You’ve got an execution system, which lets you kill wounded enemy’s with a quick cinema - only it would be a lot more badass if Joey aimed the gun anywhere near the victim. You’ve got the slow-motion effect, which was honestly played out in videogames before even the final Matrix movie came out. You’ve got a lot of things here that would actually be sweet by themselves, because they’re great concepts and ideas - but Made Man just doesn’t bring them together.

Rating: 5/10

lasthero's avatar
Staff review by Zack Little (April 18, 2007)

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