When Catwoman was reborn on the silver screen, it was the dawn of a new direction and needed all the help it can get to make the splash that it deserved. In 2004, in a bid to help promote the film, a tie-in game was created, one that excelled in showcasing the scandalous, yet fabulous action that the film offered in Catwoman: The Game.
Following in similar footsteps to the film. With Patience back from the dead, seeking vengeance for her previous death, and a hefty dose of stylish riches. Using her mystic cat-like abilities and leather-based ensemble to take on her former boss and the myriad of goons and underbosses between her. You advance though 11 levels of similar scenes of the film. Progressing roughly through the course of the film’s most iconic locales, unlocking upgrades until you’re ready to take on the one who cost you your life.
At the core of Catwoman is kicking butt and looking fabulous while doing that, and the game tie-in manages to do so without much difficulty. While the character is modelled on her, unfortunately Hallie Berry couldn’t return to reprise her role, we do get the talents of Jennifer Hale (a highly recognisable name in the voice acting world). Not saying that Berry couldn’t do an excellent job voicing cyber-Patience but getting an actual voice actress to provide the video game Patience is probably a more efficient move. (Especially with the calibre of Hale). Playing through the game, you might recognise Hank Azaria’s voice as various thugs, and Dee Bradley Baker replacing Lambert Wilson. Although returning from the film is Frances Conroy providing some continuity, and Berry herself for a couple of parts.
The controls are versatile enough to fully integrate the player into the leather-clad antihero. In terms of gameplay, you can get a sense of the free-flowing action that future superhero games do like to revel themselves in, with Catwoman’s cat-like agility lending itself to dazzling displays of parkour, wall climbing and general manoeuvrability. It does take a little while for you to get accustomed to the controls, but once you do, you’ll quickly get into the swing of things. You attack in the cardinal directions, with a different move depending on your stance. Equipped with a whip you can also use it to pick up and attack enemies with items. You can dispatch certain enemies with cinematic panache, and the game more than encourages you to do so. Like a proto-Stylish Action game, you’re judged on your execution, and the more stylish you are, the more gems you can earn, these can be traded in for upgrades. If you taunt your prey, for example, and then strike, you can earn Pussy Cat points; Scaredy Cat for taunting fleeing victims; Alley Cat can also be earned for the parkour moves. You can also peruse the comic, this is useful if you would like to reacquaint yourself with Catwoman’s move set, and unlock some fascinating concept art.
Catwoman dives into the style of its character and brings you a captivating experience, selling the essence of the film and a free-flowing fighting and flourish that strikes at the fun of the fledgling franchise. With its simple but effective gameplay, you see the genesis of the latter, more acclaimed, hero games of the genre. Like the jewels that Patience pilfers, Catwoman is a dazzler.
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