08th Jun2016

‘Party Hard’ Review (PS4)

by Paul Metcalf


The life of a serial killer can be a hard one, especially if you are caught too soon. Party Hard is now on the PlayStation 4 and gives you the chance to stealthily kill off partying neighbours just looking for a good time. Are we getting sick of these “retro” looking games about mass murder, or does Party Hard add a little something new to the ultra-violence?

While it may be fun to go play a game like Doom where you can see the effects of a chainsaw in its full gory glory, Party Hard is more about planning. You must stealthily work your way around each level doing away with party guests without being noticed. This means you must find ways of causing accidents, or picking off the few idiots who have strayed off away from the others. Timed right though with a good strategy, things will go well.

When you are inevitably seen, the police will be called and unless you are lucky, they will arrest you. This is one area where there is a weakness in Party Hard as the A.I can’t be off at times and you are spotted a little too easy. It is fun though to cause as much chaos as possible, and the more you play the more you see the little traits that the guests at the party have. You’ll also learn how to best handle the security guards (bouncers) who can be annoying.

Where Party Hard shines is when things are going well and you see the slaughter unfolding. Whether it is tampering with the dance floor to cause mass electrocution, or poisoning the drinks and watching people slowly die, there is a real feel of accomplishment to actually killing everybody off. With a choice of playable characters and a nice selection of levels, there is a feeling of immersion at times that pulls you into the action.

The problem with the game at times though is this immersion doesn’t always hit the player enough to keep an investment in the game. Often you’ll get caught a little too easy, or things won’t go to plan, and the unforgiving sudden death style of the game has you start the level again. This repetitive nature can get a little old at times and you probably won’t find yourself playing this for too long. Saying that, it is a game that will keep you coming back.

When you see Party Hard for the first time you’ll compare it to Hotline Miami straight away. There is a lot of inspiration from that game, especially the look, and the music style which is one of the highlights of the game. The problem of course is that Hotline Miami is a superior game, even though it is just as punishing in its gameplay style. If you like challenges though, Party Hard is another Hotline Miami style violent adventure that will grab your attention.

I’m a horror fan who loves the slasher icons like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Party Hard  has enough gore to make it feel like a serial killer simulator, and this will work well with horror fans. You’ll soon be clearing out parties, perfecting your stealth kill skills, and enjoying those moments of setting up the impressive deaths. Just don’t expect to come back too many times to this one as the fun can be a little too short lasting to keep you invested.

***½  3.5/5

Party Hard is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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