Monday 11 December 2017

Computer Games: Competently made brawler with minor flaws

Charlie Murder stands out simply because it's all over the place.
Charlie Murder stands out simply because it's all over the place.

DESPITE being as far removed as possible from the ethos of Punk, Charlie Murder is a game that describes itself as a 'punk-rock brawler', which unfortunately makes it sound much more exciting than it actually is.

The bizzare approach this game takes of throwing everything and anything it can think of into the mix, helps this competent co-op brawler stand out simply because it's all over the place.

Combat can feel repetitive, but some RPG depth helps provide a rewarding incentive to keep fighting the good fight.

The members of this five-piece punk band are a fearsome bunch, and each protagonist sports a distinctive dark and twisted look.

Their combat abilities reflect their roles: lead vocalist Charlie screams attack and buff spells on the mic; Lester, the lead guitarist, shreds spells on his axe; The Rexicutioner fires projectiles from his drum set. Those can be upgraded within subclasses like Mage, Shaman, Beserker, and it gives you a diverse selection of playstyles.

To really get the most from this game, though, it's recommended that you play with friends, especially since the repetitive act of pounding on enemies can get old fairly quickly.

Co-op adds not just conversation, but much-needed variety of unlockable team-up moves. The resulting transformation puts one person in charge of movement while the other spams powerful rapid fire attacks, similar to the classic Simpsons arcade brawler.

To its credit, Charlie Murder does provide more rewards for beating up on bad guys than the typical brawler. Similar to Castle Crashers or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, it incorporates RPG-styled leveling systems, equipment, and unlockable abilities.

Each piece of gear has some fun real-world context tossed in - spells and buffs come from tattoos, and you have a smartphone on which you can check your follower count on (think Twitter, but with a squid), which is Charlie Murder's equivalent of experience, or purchase useful special abilities.

Charlie Murder is a competently made brawler, albeit with some minor flaws. Dull minigames don't do any favours for this title, but fun co-op modes and an overall RPG flavour do well to rescue this title.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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