Pinokl Games / tinyBuild Games (studio)
25 August 2016 (released)
14 December 2016
It's annoying when you have a party next door and all you want to do is sleep. Well our hero in this latest indie classic is setting out on a bloody rampage to claim his sleep back. You play as the Party Hard Killer, a mysterious individual who gate crashes parties in order kill everyone. Going from Country and western shindigs, roof top raves and boat parties, it’s up to our infamous killer to take out everyone in the area and get some peace and quiet. The game is presented to us through a series of confessions from a former police detective hoping for redemption and revenge on the killer. You explore further into the working of the killer and how so little can push anyone off the edge in this dark and bizarre noire saltire.
What Party Hard delivers as an experience similar to that of Hitman but on a more extreme spectrum of violence and high intellect. The Party Hard Killer will be dropped into a large location with as you may guess a party taking place. There are many variations of aesthetics for these parties to make them appealing and diverse from one another. Your main goal for each location is to clear out the party of all party goers by any means you see fit. Overall you must be sneaky, calculated in your every move and without raising too much suspicion to your actions. Police and other figures of law will come after you hard and end your party streak of bloody murder.
You must be as cold and calculating while instigating your creative flare in methods of death. Using a mixture of techniques to kill party goers, players can stab unsuspecting victims discreetly, sabotage items in the environment to obtain multiple kills or spread panic in order to hide from the police. Players can for example tamper with cookers to cause massive explosions, cause dance floors to malfunction or simply rig a car to drive off wildly and kill anyone in its path. There are smaller interactions such as poisoning the punch, pushing people over a ledge and of course using your trusty knife.
Variation is the most dynamic and engrossing aspect to Party Hard’s as the world randomly generates various elements to produce a new experience every time. Changes that include different interactions in the environment to what items you start with and can find to help you through your crusade. This opens new ways to kill of the two or three dozen guests at the party.
Murdering your way through the crowds is intense and gripping from start to finish with the lateral components and the over the top dark humour when committing such horrid acts. It’s a game of patience and planning with other elements such as to project a tough yet rewarding challenge.
The downside to Party Hard sadly is its repetitive and long winded nature you’ll often find towards the latter half of the game. The objective is always the same and the pacing of your killing spree can dramatically slow down towards the end of the level. This can be contributed to several factors. Firstly resources can be used up fairly quickly and the world doesn’t regenerate new ways for you to kill your targets. It doesn’t help that as a result of Party Hard’s randomised nature, you can find yourself with a lack of options at times and there has been time where there has been a vast restriction of interactions causing me to restart the level than rather to go on.
There’s also the flawed sense of pacing as missions just feel too big early on and the game never really eases you into the mechanics after the simple training mission. You’re thrown straight into situations where you have to kill around 40 people without a clue on how smaller mechanics work properly. Party Hard does produce some awesome set ups for parties and has a great foundation for gameplay but never really grows to become more compelling or less repetitive.
The saving grace here is the extra DLC known as the High Crimes which introduces more elements for a stronger experience that eliminates the reputation issue. High Crimes brings forth new locations including a Police station, a porn shoot with a meth lab and a crack den filled with criminal scum. Each mission has you tasked to kill a certain induvial and obtaining their location and getting to them poses the real challenge. You may have to distract guards, cause a diversion or work your way through hordes of corrupt cops to get to the big boss. This addition feels more deserving of the concept and overall brings a tighter, more rewarding experience.
The main game of Party Hard is enjoyable yet repetitive towards the end with certain factors which actually limit the gameplay. It can become a little tedious in some missions due to the large kill count and miss fire of the randomised factors. But the High Crimes DLC is what the original game should have been and it definitely worth picking up with the main game.
+ Engaging concept
+ Colourful and darkly humorous
+ DLC adds more content and better gameplay elements
- Repetitive in many statges
- Randomise elements can back fire
- Pacing is off
A Steam copy of Party Hard and the High Crimes DLC was provided by tinyBuild Games for the purpose of this review