REVIEW: Kill Annoying Pixels in “Party Hard”

REVIEW: Kill Annoying Pixels in “Party Hard”

Hi! What kind of gamer are you? I’m a ranger/ assassin class. If there’s a way to play a game stealthily, I’m going to make it work. I will repeatedly replay every entry in the Splinter Cell series –in order- until the day I die. Elder Scrolls? – Bosmer thief-archer with dual daggers. Metro 2033? – yeah, I made those shadows work for me just fine. Borderlands? – Mordecai…

I liked Alpha Protocol.

For some reason, Hitman is one series that I never invested myself in. It’s a real shame, too. By all accounts, I should fucking love Hitman. I did however, thoroughly enjoy watching my brother play Blood Money from start to finish. Multiple times. For our money (see that?), the most badass stage is Mission 5 – Murder of Crows. Mardi Gras, choking chicken-men, sniper rifles, party hats, CHICKEN COSTUMES!

Here is a thirteen-minute video walkthrough of that level:

You watched that whole thing? The hell is wrong with you…

If Titan Souls was this year’s pixel-art Shadow of the Colossus, then Party Hard is analogous to Hitman. Except you’re a serial killer rampaging through rad kegger and fancy costume party alike, killing every person in sight in the hopes of finally getting some peace, quiet and a good night’s rest. Damn kids and their music…

This is a very murderiffic game. It’s also a very clever game. In Party Hard, Pinokl Games – a video game developer too small to even have a Wikipedia entry – has crafted a stylish, inventive and engaging stealth-based assassin… murderer… disturbing… slaying of the innocent… -type game.

Each party/ massacre challenges you to dispatch some specified number of revelers and a counter at the top corner of the screen ticks them off as you do. Freeing these misguided souls of their bacchanalian compulsions is slow going but allows the player plenty of freedom of choice – and even reacts to those choice in small ways.

If a party guest witnesses suspicious behavior – or discovers a corpse you’ve left in the open – they will become suspicious or even call the cops. Though you infuriatingly can’t sprint, you can evade police officers or lay traps for them – your choice – by utilizing trap doors, fire extinguishers or any number of useful environmental objects. Once the police give up their search (after a very thorough thirty seconds or so), the party continues and you may resume amassing that bodycount.

Party Hard Cops

In my experience, if the cops have to crash your house more than once, party’s over.

It’s not all hide-and-seek, though – the game will fight back in surprising ways. Leave too many bodies around? – S.W.A.T. may be on their way. Use a certain escape route too often? – you may find it eventually closed off. Party Hard is full of little surprises that will keep you on your toes. Also, fuck you, Mario (you know what you did)!

DJs, horses, bouncers, chickens, bikers, dolphins… Party Hard is a delightfully macabre surprise. Publisher, tinyBuild Games, promises imminent un-paid DLC (because, “screw paid DLC,” says Alex Nichiporchik, producer on Party Hard) and even special Twitch events and other large content updates. They’re even planning a “Miami-level specific Sharknado event,” – whatever that means.

Maybe I should give Hitman another shot. In the mean time, I’m gonna party like… um… well…

Never forget…

Andrew WK

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