BADGP Reviews: Charlie Murder
Charlie Murder (Ska Studios, Microsoft)
Released: August 14, 2013
September 28, 2013
Review: Competent but Uninteresting
Charlie Murder is a lot like Castle Crashers. It puts a little bit more effort into the progression and RPG aspects of the game though. Charlie Murder looks very similar to Ska’s previous work: The Dishwasher, but with much more color. The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile is one of the best action games of the generation worthy of much admiration and praise, whereas, Charlie Murder is rather unremarkable. It is a very solid and capable four-player brawler with a nice upgrade system and a series of skills that may be acquired, but overall it fails to stand out. This is not for a lack of trying. There is also a loot system and players are constantly upgrading their gear. Each class has their own abilities. The biggest pro of the game is the bosses and the diversity of the enemies and situations. The problem is that the core gameplay is a little dull and bland.
As previously stated, Charlie Murder’s biggest problem is its core gameplay is a little on the dry and boring side. That is the most negative I can say about the game. Everything else is at least good to great.
The bosses are fantastic and varied. There are some weird rhythm-based quick-time events much like those found in The Dishwasher and vehicle sections that break up the monotony of the core gameplay. The depth of the RPG mechanics is a good addition to the genre and it one-ups Castle Crashers by adding loot and skill systems (though it has nothing on Dragon’s Crown’s level of customization). Coop is fun and good time with four players. There is also a weird beer-brewing mechanic that is a little throwaway and unnecessary. Some of the enemy design is creative and cool to see as well.
Charlie Murder is a good time for four people, especially people who like the genre or cooperative experiences. It does not make for a good single player experience like The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile. Charlie Murder attempts to innovate in a genre that has seen a slight revival this year with Dragon’s Crown and Foul Play, but ultimately does not stand out from the crowd enough to be a “must-play.” It is still plenty enjoyable and I am glad I experienced the game, but it will not maintain the same place in my heart as The Dishwasher or Castle Crashers.
7.8 out of 10