Comedy is difficult to execute in video video games, and whereas it is achieved properly, it nonetheless wants stable gameplay to again up the jokes. Excessive on Life is faltering on each fronts. Although it wobbles for the fences on presentation and tone, the lackluster motion, gritty humor and dialogue, and less-amusing technical hiccups made me need to hold its smart weapons of their holsters.
Conceived by rick and morty co-creator Justin Roiland, followers of this present or his different works can anticipate the same model of unrelenting, extraordinarily grownup comedy. As a human teenager turned intergalactic bounty hunter after an alien invasion of Earth, you will need to save humanity with an arsenal of speaking alien weapons. These weapons, voiced by Roiland and comedians resembling JB Smoove and Tim Robinson, bug you to annoyance, along with your most important weapon, Kenny, being the largest perpetrator. Typically their jokes do not even make sense, like a gun complaining about not being utilized in ages once I used them seconds in the past. Fortunately, you possibly can cut back weapon chatter by way of a menu slider, however that is one in all my greatest points: I did not discover Excessive on Life humorous.
Excessive on Life screams at you for hours how hilarious and tousled all of it is thru tedious dialogue exchanges that take doubtlessly humorous bits and pound them into the bottom. Humor is not a lot about establishing intelligent punchlines as it’s about iterating on the identical primary gag with a barrage of swearing till it turns into, hopefully, humorous. That is normally not the case. Plus, everybody seems like slight variations of the identical crude caricature, whether or not it is your irresponsible older sister or your bounty-hunting mentor. The sport pokes enjoyable at the whole lot, together with making groundbreaking jokes about sport design and the business on the whole. Nonetheless, it does little to refresh the tropes it denounces. Ripping on a pipe puzzle to be per the books with out doing something distinctive itself makes the joke hole and hypocritical.
Though it by no means made me cringe, Excessive on Life has some humorous bits. I smiled on the aggressive banter of a household of loudmouthed building staff, and a head-spinning reference to a well-liked restaurant chain offers a enjoyable visible gag. Getting particular discs that summon little diorama-like areas that serve up massive, singular jokes get a few of the finest laughs, as do a sprinkling of sudden superstar cameos.
Excessive on Life’s humor feels greater than it hits, and the gameplay is not far behind. The filming appears satisfactory sufficient to offer insane enjoyable, however it’s not nice. Melee executions evoke the glory of Doom kills with out the satisfying liveliness. The restricted arsenal of dwelling weapons has major and alternate fireplace modes. Kenny, for instance, fires customary pistol bullets and may fireplace mortar-like goop balls that launch teams of targets into the air to juggle bullets. My favourite weapon is Gus, a shotgun that fires a big disc that ricochets off enemies. In a neat twist, you possibly can hit this disc to increase its momentum.
Fight begins off as a drag however picks up as you purchase extra weapons, and I like combining their skills. Sadly, the enemy selection is underwhelming, so most encounters look the identical. As the journey progressed, I began to keep away from optionally available firefights every time attainable, as they began to really feel extra like a busy job. Boss fights are equally flat, and a few throw approach an excessive amount of at gamers, leading to a number of low-cost deaths.
Outdoors of battles, you will discover a minimal number of planets that supply nice explorable hubs with a Metroid-style capability gate and respectable platforming challenges that use your jetpack. Whereas they appear good artistically, they really feel surprisingly lifeless with NPCs who act extra like signposts to ship dubiously humorous banter. Excessive on Life is in determined want of a map or compass, because the areas are massive and complicated sufficient to make it simple to get misplaced. I usually wandered round searching for inconspicuous warp gates to get again to HQ. The shortage of a map can be obvious as planets have shops that promote unique upgrades, however finding these needles in a haystack is a problem. A retailer provided a pleasant improve that I could not afford, and once I later returned to purchase it, discovering the shop grew to become an issue that I ultimately gave up.
Excessive on Life additionally suffered from quite a few technical shortcomings throughout my time with it. Along with the final hitch, I sometimes encountered enemies freezing or snapping to geometry. I needed to begin a protracted shootout once more when a pair of flying enemies obtained caught behind a wall, halting my progress. Prompts can typically crash, like once I missed rescuing a captive human as a result of the command out of the blue disappeared. Grabbing a collectible as soon as threw me into the skybox, forcing one other reset. A post-launch patch apparently fastened some issues, however I nonetheless bumped into a number of wrinkles.
Regardless of a number of flaws and my common dislike of the sport’s writing, Excessive on Life does sometimes have glimmers of potential. I would like to see a sequel tweaking and bettering that basis. I at all times look ahead to extra artistic pictures, however Excessive on Life jogs my memory that ‘completely different’ would not at all times imply ‘good’.