Rising up from Hell, take control of one of five different characters, and seek revenge against those in Gore Quaffer! That is the story of Charlie Murder, the latest game from developers Ska Studios, who also brought you The Dishwasher. Roam the landscape on your quest for revenge, battle hordes of the undead and unlock the secret to your “Anar-Chi”!
Ska Studios followed the tradition started by The Dishwasher and brought back the cartoon style graphics with a much more overall gritty feel to it. Whether you’re in Hell or running through a derelict cemetery, the cartoonish visuals don’t take away from the darkness of what you’re seeing. Streets are filled with cars, bars are dark and dirty, the landscape is ever changing and each area of the map has a different theme as you progress. Not to mention all the heavy metal playing in the background, the perfect music for fighting of the unholy. Although I did find that some levels lighting were a bit too dim, but it wasn’t that big of a problem.
You get five characters to pick from at the start, each with their own subclass (mage, shaman, tank) and this plays the role of determining how best to play, but more on that later.
This reminded me of the first time I played Streets of Rage 2, X is your light attack, Y is heavy and combinations of the two result in some fearsome combos and even juggling of your enemies. But using the right trigger brings up your spell menu and this is where the RPG elements shine through.
All of your spells are powered by your “Anar-Chi”, your inner metal power, this is drained by using your spells and replenished with food and other items found throughout the maps. Each character has a set of specific spells which are unlocked by getting tattooed. Your first few are free, but soon you’ll find you’ll need a lot of money to get tattoos and more spells down the track.
Each member of the band has a set of spells used by their instruments, Charlie screams his enemies down, Tommy strums his bass, etc. And in true RPG style, some spells will buff your parties speed, defence or attack up.
While you travel the world on your quest for revenge, you will level up from combat, gaining followers and becoming more famous, finding mythical relics and even changing your clothing. Hats, jumpers, masks, gloves, they all buffer the stats of your character and can even knock cooldowns, add various types of damage to your attacks or raise your elemental defences.
Now not all of your loot will be useful for you, but luckily you can sell everything you don’t want to help you save up for your next tattoo! Now well playing alone is great, the real fun comes when you take your character online. You play with up to four people, taking on the unholy, gathering rare loot and gaining massive amounts of experience. This is how the game was meant to be played, and it’s huge amounts of fun. And when you’re done with that, why not enter the PVP arena and see who’s the best?
Charlie Murder is a great new take on a classic style of game, It’s dark and at times even humours, but most of all it’s fun to play. Ska Studios have made looting, grinding and exploring rewarding. The game is easily worth the download for the amount of time you’ll be able to rack up on the way to melt glory.