Just Die Already (PC) - ReviewPaul Broussard , posted on 20 May 2021 / 1,379 Views
Just Die Already comes to us from Curve Digital, a relatively small British developer. The creator of the game, Armin Ibrisagic, has stated before that he feels the elderly are often badly mistreated in modern societies, and so naturally here comes a game where we play as a group of senior citizens who will be repeatedly beaten, dismembered, stabbed, electrocuted, eaten, and run over. To balance it out, you can do pretty much everything stated above to younger generations too, so if you need an opportunity to work out some frustrations on whichever age groups you feel are responsible for ruining society presently, this may be your chance.
The premise, such as it is, involves controlling an elderly person and... well, killing people. You control one of four senior citizens and go around murdering passersby with an assortment of odd tools. You can grab people and throw them into traffic, hit them with an axe, shoot them with guns, and more. Thankfully, the game has a cartoon vibe, which keeps this at a nice level of wholesome murdering rather than the psychotic kind.
It doesn’t take too long to realize that just running around and hacking away at otherwise non-threatening members of society gets a little old after a while, and to that end the game tries to extend its runtime by introducing a series of challenges that usually involve either killing or being killed in some unique way. Completing enough challenges allows for new weapons to be unlocked, which range from utterly useless (salami) to so absurdly overpowered that the game becomes immediately broken (the standard gun).
A big fun murder spree with a variety of wacky weapons certainly does have the potential to be an enjoyable way to kill time (and people). The operative word, though, is “fun,” and this is where things start to go south for Just Die Already. If you plan to make a game based solely around murdering people, then you also need to make sure that the act of engaging in that murdering is fun to do. And, unfortunately, it’s just not fun here.
A big part of this can be chalked up to the weapons, none of which are particularly satisfying to use. The melee weapons all have exceptionally wonky hitboxes and swinging them always feels less reliable than just running up to someone and waiting for them to get damaged by eventually touching the weapon’s point. Guns are more reliable and kill extraordinarily easily, but don’t have any impact behind them and the sheer ease at which they take down people means there’s no effort required.
Adding on to the unsatisfactory aspect of the game is how quickly your victims respawn. It usually takes only about 15-30 seconds for a person you just murdered to respawn, which takes a lot of the impact out of the equation. It makes your reckless crime spree feel less like finally letting loose on an unprepared society and more like taking some time out to mildly inconvenience a group of consistently replaced blow up dolls.
Your murder rampage is also pretty hampered by the small “sandbox” on display. It takes about 15 minutes after leaving the tutorial area to explore the entire map, and there’s very little to discover besides more people to kill. And even the small areas that do exist feel like missed opportunities at points; there’s a Jaws-sized shark patrolling the city canals in one area that will eat the player character if they fall in, but which will ignore NPCs unfortunate enough to be knocked into the water.
The larger point in all of this is that Just Die Already has enough content to be amusing for maybe a half hour or so of gameplay. Even at the initial temporary asking price of $12, that seems like a questionable proposition. Killing people (in a completely wholesome way) stops being fun fast, and the limited space available means that you can’t rely on new locales to spice things up. There just isn’t enough to Just Die Already to justify a purchase.
One area worth at least a modicum of praise is the cartoony graphics, which suit the general tone of the game well. The rest of the presentation, however, misses far more than it hits. NPCs will often glitch out and sometimes float in mid air; there are only a couple of scream sound effects voiced by NPCs who are attacked, which gets old exceptionally fast; and music is non-existent, with the exception of a few objects in the environment that play short loops.
At the end of the day, all you need to know about Just Die Already is that it’s a game principally about killing people but which fails to make the killing fun or satisfying in any way, and as a result presents about as much utility as a power drill made out of wet cardboard. I could only possibly recommend buying this game if you’re in the very specific demographic of desperately needing to watch an old person get eaten by a shark before respawning and murdering a bunch of insufferable millennials... in a completely wholesome way, of course.
This review is based on a digital copy of Just Die Already for the PC, provided by the publisher.
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