When I first launched High On Life, I knew what I was getting myself into. I was familiar with not only his Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites), but also his games his studio, his Squanch Games (Trover Saves The Universe, Accounting+) work, so any I had an idea of what comedy would come up with. my way. But what I didn’t expect is his 3D shooter with a Metroidvania feel, reflecting some of the best games of my youth and, more importantly, those to achieve justice.
High On Life tells the story of a protagonist, whom everyone calls a “bounty hunter,” whose name isn’t even his own sister, as he battles an alien drug cartel that has invaded Earth. The cartel wants to collect all humans on Earth and sell them as a drug that can be consumed by other aliens via sophisticated machines. Our bounty hunter hero is armed with Gatrian, a race of talking guns, each with their own unique attacks and abilities. I kept guessing until the end.
At this point, I have to admit that this is 100% a Justin Roiland project, with all the hallmarks of his comedy philosophy. A barrage of monologues, fart jokes, tearing down the fourth wall, improvisation, and dark comedy all intertwine in the game’s narrative and presentation. If things like Rick and Morty, Trover Saves The Universe, or Solar Opposites aren’t your cup of tea, this isn’t either. I was tolerant and laughed throughout the ten hour adventure.
I was thrilled by the fact that Squanch Games licensed four feature-length schlocky B-movies to players to simply “enjoy.” Every time a voice actor in clear ad-lib mode laughed in the middle of a rant, I laughed too. Helpful humor always got a response. There were mentions of other video games, notably Pistol’s Kenny endorsing Indie Darling’s Donuts His County enthusiastically.
All of it has a real charm to it. Sure, some of the jokes don’t quite work, sometimes with long ramblings of hand-held guns, but it’s evident in every attempt the development team makes. fun Making high on life. I had no idea what was going to happen as the scene progressed. Honestly, this offhand approach is the only way certain jokes work. For example, it includes an entire scene unfolding at “Space Applebee’s”, interrupted by a waiter when ordering food.
However, Squanch Games also recognizes that this brand of humor isn’t for everyone, and offers options to tone down the jokes so that even those who are turned off by the constant chatter will enjoy the game. I left my setting to a “frequent” joke, but I didn’t think it was too much. This may have been because the characters weren’t talking out loud about the puzzle at hand, which made the dialogue feel more natural to the setting.
Once you get past the goofs and focus on the game itself, High On Life delivers a solid 3D shooter experience that emulates the exploits of Samus Aran. Each of the different biomes I explored was full of secrets, from living chests filled with gold to random NPCs offering quick ginger or easy side quests. As the game progresses, finding jetpacks introduces vertical movement, further opening up exploration.
These worlds are also large, and the game tries to counter them with a waypoint system. This allows you to see in which direction your target is and how far away it is. In most cases, just tapping the directional pad will get you going in the right direction. Waypoints also became something of a crutch later in the game. Because if you don’t use waypoints, you can go to the wrong part of the map and get lost. It’s not a perfect system, but waypoints are often useful.
Each Gatrian stands out from the rest, both in their equipment and in how they are used in combat. Kenny with a resident pistol, Gus with a shotgun, Knife Knee with… um, a knife, and Sweezy acting like Halo’s needler. The most interesting of the weapons are the creatures, which act as a sort of Pikmin device for him, launching small creatures at enemies to deal damage over time. All four types are powerful in combat as they are advantageous against certain enemies and switching guns during combat is essential.
Each gun has a secondary power that aids in travel and environmental puzzles, gradually expanding the world as you progress. Kenny shoots explosions of thick slime that hit designated obstacles and allow them to pass. Sweezy can fire shots that slow down time around the point of impact, making it perfect for dodging fast-spinning fans that deal damage. These special shots can also be used in combat. For example, Kenny’s slime his shot launches enemies into the air for an extra hit. This gives you even more options.
Using Gatrian in combat is a lot of fun, and the enemies I’m facing fit right in with the weird and silly aesthetic of the rest of the game. (without spoiling its origin). Dealing damage causes the goo to wear away, exposing its underlying gray body. It’s weird, but you can easily visually indicate how much damage you’ve done to a particular enemy, and even create your own weak points. is exposed, targeting that location will immediately kill the enemy. It’s an ingenious idea to show combat damage to enemies without giving them health bars or anything like that.
That said, most enemies I’ve encountered are stupid as rocks. I was able to kill him. There were times when I was overwhelmed and had to restart the fight, but it wasn’t so much that the enemy betrayed me, but that I was too enthusiastic.
Sure, some of the jokes don’t quite work, sometimes with long ramblings of hand-held guns, but it’s evident in every attempt the development team makes. fun make high on life
Boss fights aren’t all that great as they mostly boil down to just shooting and dodging. Some of them shake things up a bit whether or not you implement the Gatrian special shot you’re trying to save – Kurvis fires a large disc that can be reflected at him. Or give multiple bosses to fight at once. At its core, though, it’s the same combat you get from Growl, just with bigger bad guys.
The overall combat is fun, but what gets boring is the length of some skirmishes. increase. Some of them extend much longer than that, to the point where Pistol Kenny says, “Oh my God, more?!” I feel exactly the same. These fights will be as much a test of patience as they are of skill. Most boss fights don’t suffer from this problem, but some do run into problems of their own, and just thinking about how hard one fight in particular got in the final stages is maddening.
Ultimately, High On Life is, in its own weird way, what a modern Metroid Prime game would look like through the comedic lens of Justin Roiland. There’s a similar sense of exploration mixed with moments of fast-paced combat, but only here it’s swelled with swear-laden jokes and sometimes incoherent ramblings. characters and moments that will be referenced for a while, and it’s told incredibly well. game It’s worth going here.
https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/high-on-life-review-talking-heads/1900-6418014/?ftag=CAD-01-10abi2f High on Life Review – Talking Heads