01st Jun2017

Digital Shorts: ‘Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator’ Review (PS4)

by Phil Wheat

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator – an indie game making the move from a very successful PC release to PS4 and Xbox One.

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One thing that always confounds me about the current generation of gaming is that, despite a healthy indie game scene (at least on the PS4), there’s a plethora of games released via Steam, GOG, etc. that never make it to consoles – even when they find success on PC. Well things look to be changing in that department as finally PS4 (and Xbox One) owners can take part in the smash hit that has sold over 250,000 copies on PC alone, and magically cure all insult-related woes with the console release of Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator, a really rather British take on the likes of Cards Against Humanity.

Whilst the insults may have the feel of a rather more subdued and decidedly more “British” version of the aforementioned hit card game, the game itself plays out like an insult-hurling version of Street Fighter II – but instead of the harder the hit, the more the damage; it’s the worse the insult, the more the damage. And not only to the health bar if you’re playing multiplayer: you can bruise players egos easily too, as I found out to my chagrin. Especially if someone, aka your digital opponent, takes that well-crafted, VERY personal insult (something you’re awarded bonus points for) to heart. You also, unbelievably, get combos for insulting the same “target” in succession! On a roll against my opponent (arguing, Monty Python-style, over a dead parrot in a pet shop) I managed to insult his sister not once but THREE times in a row, beating him down with ease for my sheer audacity!

The very Britishness of this game doesn’t stop at the insults either. The cast of characters, ready and willing to hurl insults at your behest, are the most stereotypically British caricatures you could imagine (FYI, I *love* Sir Knight) – though I’ve got to give it to developers Vile Monarch for including H.P. Lovecraft as a playable character, complete with spooky slow-spoken voice. You even get to use some of his literary works as insults too!

The single-player mode sees you take part in player vs cpu arguments (essentially battles but where no-one dies, merely secede – tail between legs – in defeat), in which you pick from a selection of phrases and conjunctions to craft a sentence which will have enough impact to knock your opponents health bar to zero. Each sentence is awarded points, which are removed from your opponents health a la a traditional beat ‘em-up… Though constructing your sentences can be something of a challenge, just when you think you’ve got a great sentence all ready to go, your opponent will pick that one sentence strand you needed to finish the greatest insult ever constructed! Luckily you have choices – to either pause, and take a breath whilst your opponent hurls his insult and the well of phrases etc. is repopulated in the next round or… you can – here comes that Britishness again – take a sip of tea to reload your personal stash of insults (you have two choices of insult at any one time).

There are also a variety of multiplayer options within Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator too. You can battle players online – be they friends or complete randoms that game matches you with – and, best of all, you can battle player-vs-player from the comfort of your couch in an old-school 2-player mode. Interestingly, I found that it’s playing with together with friends in front of the TV that brings the most fun. Mainly due to the fact you can tailor your sentences to not only hit the in-game character but also your friend… there’s nothing like tailoring a perfect sentence to leave your pals guffawing with laughter beside you.

If I had any qualms about Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator it’s that I can see where the phrases, conjunctions and sentence structure(s) might get repetitive after playing the game numerous times. Other than that, this is the perfect party game for those that like there humour a tad sharp and oh-so British.

**** 4/5

Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator is available for download now on PS4 and Xbox One.

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