As a svelte and sexy creature, fully blessed with formidable assets both feline and feminine, gamers stalk evil in the night to bring justice back home to a troubled city. Like the Warner Bros. feature film on which it is based, this action-adventure takes some creative license with the Selina Kyle/Catwoman mythology familiar to fans of DC Comics. The heroine of this tale is Patience Phillips, a kind and quiet woman who was murdered after learning too much about her employers' dark secrets, but who was brought back from death by an ancient Egyptian magic to seek vengeance against her killers.
The game's main character is fashioned after Halle Berry's cinematic portrayal. She can perform superhuman feats of agility, such as leaping across wide gaps, scaling walls, and dodging bullets. Catwoman is equipped with a special whip, which she can use to attack enemies, to swing from place to place, or just to get the boys' attention. She also benefits from her "cat senses," which help her anticipate danger. Yet the supernatural heroine will test the limits of these amazing abilities in the challenge she now faces. As she sets out to discover the culprits behind her murder, she enters the grim criminal underworld of a dangerous mastermind, who would surely be pleased to see her slain a second time.
Catwoman leaps on to the big-screen and consoles courtesy of EA and Argonaut; but unfortunately much like the film, it appears that too much time has been spent on the delights of Halle Berry instead of creating a worthwhile gaming experience.
With the likes of The Chronicles of Riddick and Spider-Man2 film tie-ins have actually reached a good standard in recent times, but unfortunately Catwoman brings it all crashing back down again and reminds us exactly why we used to keep a wide berth from them.
Utilizing a dual thumbstick controller method seen in the likes of Blade 2 and Rise of Honor, Catwoman allows players to take control with the left thumbstick whilst executing a variety of punch, kick and whip attacks through combinations of the shoulder buttons and the right thumbstick.
Unfortunately this particular setup has never been properly realized in the past, and Catwoman makes no effort to change this. Combat is lifeless and uninspired, however sadly that's not the biggest issue.
In an effort to focus on creating a cinematic experience akin to the film, the games missions are split into scenes that are lifted straight from the film. However you'll immediately notice the tight restrictions placed on the player; one particular example that rears its head early on revolves around teaching the player how to use their whips to swing around the environment, all well and good until you realize that it's impossible to swing from anywhere except an iron grating fixed to the wall - it may look like you've got a better angle from the actual platform, but nope it's impossible unless you climb onto the grating first.
The restrictive control system and progression feels pathetic compared to the state of fluid titles such as Prince of Persia of Galleon, whilst the overall experience is confounded by an awkward fixed camera system that makes it virtually impossible to see where you're going.
To highlight the sheer ineptness of this title, leave your joypad alone for a few seconds and marvel at the extent to which the developers created an idle animation. Sure we've seen Sonic wag his finger at you and Mario fall to sleep, however Catwoman struts her stuff in this elaborate cut-scene styled effect whenever you let go off the pad for a few seconds - it's just a shame that this much effort wasn't put into the actual game.
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