Old fashioned & rough
The crazy, combat and puzzle-heavy VR game Trover Saves the Universe (83% in the 4P test) caused comparatively little attention – High on Life, the new title from Justin Roiland’s game studio Squanch Games, already plays two classes in this respect higher. In June of this year, many gamers were happy about the unveiling trailer, which made the Xbox showcase look even more colorful and wild. Bright colors, weird aliens, the promise of Ricky & Morty humor and above all the talking guns made me immediately curious – and of course I had to think of the 2005 Xbox shooter Oddworld: Strangers Retribution. Even then, talking crossbow ammunition was used, the funny little animals were the hallmark of the successful title. With its shrill alien setting and acting characters, High on Life is somehow reminiscent of the spirit of college films or house parties of the 90s. Add to that the fact that there are few high-quality-looking first-person shooters that deviate so significantly from the standard formula these days — and that alone makes High on Life feel a little out of date. In 2004, on PS2, Cube and Xbox, I wouldn’t have turned my head in amazement at a game like this…
Who cares about the 1994 movie “Tammy and the T-Rex”? In the living room of the game you can give yourself the strip completely.
This approach is joined by really rough, dirty humor, which should make fans of Rick & Morty or South Park chuckle. There is a hail of curses and insults, many gags revolve around drugs or bodily functions and fluids – the talking guns are really into killing. If you don’t get warm with it and don’t feel like playing a shooter where the guns constantly chew your ears off, please give High on Life a wide berth. You shouldn’t just be able to get away with its garishly colorful look, you should also really like constant noise, chaos and stressful characters. If you can do that, walk in – I really enjoyed this component of the game. I found it amusing that my house was warped into an alien world and there a rude, handicapped ex-bounty hunter squatted on my couch to insult my sister nonstop. On top of that, there are funny meta gags, such as B. annoying advertisements in the helmet of my Bounty Hunter suit, and a few features straight out of Absurdistan: In the local cinema you can watch the 90s horror film Demon Wind and on the HD TV in the living room – as a kind of chatter – and mission hub – airs the horror comedy Tammy and the T-Rex, starring Denise Richards (Starship Troopers, James Bond 007) and Paul Walker (Fast & Furious). In full length!
Say hello to Kenny!
Early in the game you will meet the first so-called “Gatlian” – these are talking guns! Kenny babbles, babbles, scolds, explains, negotiates, insults. Without end! Even if the humor is good for you, it could be too much for you – after all, you can turn down the comment frequency in the options menu. Luckily, Kenny can shoot too: he’s a standard laser pistol with a secondary fire function that levitates enemies in the air for a short time. Hope you have fun with Kenny because you’ll only be with him for a while.
That bothered me quite a bit: Because honestly, in which other first-person shooter are you only on the road for two or three hours with a rather weak pistol? I agree! For reasons! If the shooter Sweezy (only really with eyelashes!) joins the weapon wheel, things get a bit more varied: Sweezy is strongly reminiscent of the Needler from Halo, with the second function you make projectiles in enemies explode – and she also has a time bubble at the beginning. I don’t want to tell you what the rest of the guns are at this point – but be warned that you will play almost the entire game with only four Deathbringers. That’s okay because of the sometimes creative additional functions (suction, controlling enemies) – but I would have preferred ten guns. Also because the game world and the fights actually call for two or three guns that offer more power and a higher shooting frequency. In short: The shoot-outs feel good, but I lacked really rattling weapons and variety.