A rockin good time!
Charlie Murder is a beat’em up, but with a few twist. Throughout the campaign you and your friends whether it be local or online will be able to craft beer, get better gear, and of course level up all the while beating the snot of any poor souls that get in the way. These RPG elements help keep the game above water adding incentives to continue on then just go beat the bad guys up which isn’t a bad thing it just gets old quickly. Gladly this isn’t the case SKA studios added enough flair to make this brawler stand out.
The game follows Charlie and his punk band as they face the hordes of the undead and their masters. It’s an alright story, but it won’t win any awards. The art style of the game is familiar with the studio previous game the dishwasher and its sequel. The look provokes a hand drawn style as if the game came straight out of a high school student note book…..and that high school student is really into Alice in Chains it’s dark and colorful it fits perfectly for what this game is trying to be. What also fits is the soundtrack. Its punk riffs blend well with electronic beats in a way that makes it very pleasant to the ears.
The gameplay is simple it isn’t the deepest brawler out there, but it has layers. Each character has their own roles which are simple RPG archetypes (i.e. tank, shaman, or mage). They fight pretty much the same when it comes to tossing blows it’s when you level them up when the layers come in. Not only do you just raise your stats, but you unlock perks. There are common perks such as evades and counters then you’ll start unlocking character specific perks. Charlie for example is the berserker of the group he is able to dish out damage especially when you unlock his dual wield skill. Then you have Tom who is the shaman he is able to give out an A.O.E. (area of effect) using stakes with your fallen enemies impaled on them that will heal or buff other players. To break up the tedium of just punching dudes in the face. The game will have these sections that offer different gameplay like a shoot’em up or a rhythm game where you have to hit the right buttons to keep the music from skipping. There welcome breaks since the game doesn't over do them.
Then there is the gear as you’re beating foes to a bloody pulp sometimes they will drop articles of clothing which add certain bonuses like poison or leech you can also go to the store to purchase gear as well. The gear is broken up into color tiers to show you the value of the drops much like in others games such as broaderlands and diablo. Relics work the same as gear when it comes to giving buffs there just equipped in a different slot. On top of all that you’ll pick up items for health and mana which the game calls its magic “anar-chi” yup you just read that. Anyway you’ll pick up ingredients to craft beer at brew stations which will give you temporary bonuses. While your out and about in the levels QR codes will be tuck in the background. You must scan these codes using the in-game phone. Doing so will unlock more relics, gear or some other bonuses. In fact there is a lot you can keep track of using the in-game phone. It will keep you up to date on how much experience you need to reach the next level up and on a side note the game calls gaining experience “ gaining followers” that will follow you and make comments in the games fake twitter feed it’s pretty funny. Also in the phone you can check email which is basically the games hint’s system as well as delve into the skill tree which is the main method for leveling up and picking perks.
The game is not without faults. When playing solo it is very easy to get gang up by the sheer number of minions on screen. There also a few cheap deaths here and there, but nothing the will deterred you from playing the game it’ll just be annoying from time to time. Another flaw is when playing with a group you can lose yourself within the mayhem also online doesn’t have the most stable connection so you may get drop from a few sessions again these flaws are minor.
To say that this game has a lot of stuff to unlock is an understatement. There are so many secrets to find, difficulties to unlock, and multiple endings to see. You’re getting a lot of content for well worth the asking price of $10.00. If you and your friends are done playing the fantastic brawler that is castle crashers then give Charlie murder a shot it will be your new addiction.