MadWorld is set on Jefferson Island amid a reality, survival deathmatch contest. Contestants, called Killseekers, vie to be the last one standing as they fight their way through hordes of enemies to attain ranking and just for the thrill of it. On day three of the DeathWatch competition, Jack, the main character, arrives. This is where you take control, learn the ropes, and eventually make your way through the game while uncovering Jack's real agenda for participating.
You control Jack Cayman, a mysterious middle-aged mechanic and weapons expert. Jack is a rough and tough, drinking, smoking antihero, who quickly rises in the DeathWatch ranks, drawing the attention of the big bettors and sponsors of the show.
XIII is the public face of a the thirteenth sponsor, who is looking for a new Killseeker to contract with. Jack quickly shows he has what it takes, and Agent XIII is your go-between. Your sponsor will supply you with weapons and items in return for accomplishing various tasks to win bets for him.
The game is based on killing your opponents in the most entertaining way possible, and to that end many different items, weapons and environmental hazards abound. You amass points for all the damage you dish out, with more points being awarded for rarer or harder to accomplish methods. It is also beneficial to string together combinations of moves to add to your score. For instance, using two objects on an enemy then activating an environmental hazard kill will net you more points than the total of their separate uses.
Starting the game
At the title screen, press to go to the saved game slots. Save slots take up 2 Wii memory blocks, and you can save up to four games. You have the option to start a saved game or a new game, copy a saved game to another slot, or delete one of your saved games.
When you've selected your saved or new game, you'll see the main menu where you can select single player mode - the main mode of the game - or multiplayer, which consists of BloodBath Challenge mini-games in a two player versus mode. Also accessible from the main menu are the options.
- Controls: View the controller setup.
- Set volume for music, sound effects and game voices, and cutscene voices.
- Toggle subtitles on and off.
- Select "Default" to return to the default settings.
- Video: Adjust the screen position or return to default position.
- Title: Return to the title screen without saving.
Playing the game
When you start your game you'll have the option to go to the World Map or to the options. On the World Map you choose a stage then an area within the stage to play. Once you've cleared all areas in the stage, the stage is then considered to be clear. Your progress is saved automatically after each area you complete. Once your Vitality Gauge is depleted you'll have to expend a credit to continue. You have four credits, and when they're gone you go back to the World Map at your last save, and your score is reset to zero.
At any time in an area, you can go to the pause screen by pressing . Here you can see the area map, info on the area, your time limit and current score, your vitality and number of credits, and any messages from the DeathWatch organizers. You can also view your Play Log, which contains information on the number and type of kills you have so far as well as various statistics. The options can also be accessed from this screen. To return to the game, press again.
There are three types of items found in the game: weapons, healing items and other objects. You normally fight with your bare hands and your chainsaw, but occasionally you can find a weapon by breaking certain objects or by opening an Armory. The "Pick Up" command will show on the screen, and then you can use to pick it up. You can only hold one weapon at a time, and each one has its own special moves, which you must experiment with to figure out. Attacking with a weapon increases your attack damage, although weapons do wear out with use. You can equip and unequip your weapon with and , allowing you to hold a weapon in reserve (worn on your back) until a stronger enemy appears.
Healing objects are found by breaking items, defeating certain enemies or by unlocking an Armory. Items are used as soon as they are picked up, which is done in the same way as weapons, with . Items that fill your gauges won't be picked up if those gauges are already full.
- Happy Pill: Recovers a small amount of your Vitality Gauge.
- Pill Pack: Recovers more of your Vitality Gauge.
- Happy Onion: Fully recovers both Vitality and Chainsaw Gauges.
- Jack Balloon: Gives you another credit.
Certain objects around an area can be picked up by Jack and used to hurt, kill or incapacitate an enemy. The objects will either be throwable or multi-use. Throwable objects, like crates and barrels are picked up and hurled at enemies, while other objects, like street signs, will be held onto as you swing until they break. Some throwable objects, like tires, which go around an enemies body and arms, will incapacitate them, allowing you to take your time or find a higher-scoring way to kill them.
Certain immovable objects throughout an area can be used for special environmental kills. In most cases you need to grab an enemy and drag them close to the object, whereupon on-screen directions will show you the moves used to activate the kill. Some objects have multiple uses, such as spiked walls, upon which you can either throw an enemy from afar or slam them repeatedly up close. Be careful of certain hazards such as trains, which will also hurt your character if you get too close.
As you accumulate points in an area, certain features are unlocked either as a bonus or as a way to earn even more points.
- Armory: Scattered throughout an area, an Armory holds a weapon or healing item.
- BloodBath Challenge: Go to the star icon on the map to activate the challenge, then listen to the brief rules before beginning.
- Environment: Upon reaching certain points, deadly environmental hazards maybe activated.
- High-ranked players: Each area has an area boss, whom it is your goal to defeat. Certain conditions must be met before a boss fight opens up (usually a certain amount of points), and at that time you must find and activate the Boss Battle Challenge device with .
- DeathWatch Challenge: Some areas have these challenges, which are not usually mandatory. They're a good way to earn bonus points though, and you can track your progress towards the objectives with the icons next to the mini-map in the lower left corner of the screen.
Multiplayer requires two players, who will compete against each other in various BloodBath Challenges from the main, single player mode. To select a Challenge, go into the Map and view a list of all BloodBath Challenges which have been unlocked during single player mode. Select the Challenge you want, then start the game after the rules have displayed.
The screen can be split either horizontally or vertically with player one being on the top or left side, and player two on the other. The countdown timer will either be in the middle of the screen when split horizontally, or at the middle of the top of the screen when split vertically. You can select Map from the pause screen at any time to leave the BloodBath Challenge.
In multiplayer, both players play on the same level and compete to see who can get the highest score. Each player attempts to build their score by killing the enemies wearing the masks indicated by the icon over the Vitality Gauge. Players are automatically respawned when killed, and the match is over when time runs out. At the end of the match you will get a "Retry" screen where you can select either "Yes," and play the same Challenge again, or "No," and return to the Map screen.