Party Hard is now over 3 years old, so it comes as of no surprise that there will be a sequel soon. Especially given how good and popular that game is. Addictive, hard-to-master gameplay, distinctive art style, and a kick-ass soundtrack have ensured its success. As Party Hard 2 is coming out at October 25, I’ve got my hands on the second part, we’ll see how sequel holds that high bar up.
This article is an opinion piece on some aspects of the game, not the full review, which I’ll post later. Today we’ll talk about the graphics and why I think that new perspective is not great for the game.
As you probably know, Party Hard was a pixel-art 2D game with a top-down view. It wasn’t much, but it worked well for the game and helped to create a distinct style. Party Hard 2 continues to try and distinguish itself from the other games and to keep that style intact while adding something unique to the mix. That’s how we get a more isometric graphics with a faux-3D looks and stylized pixel art. Which is fairly unique and looks interesting, but ultimately fails at organically working with gameplay.
Why, would you ask? Let me tell you: in the first game, top-down view was a great tool, almost critical for your success. It helped you to plan and react to the challenges of the map. That worked both style- and gameplay-wise, organically mixing together and enhancing player’s experience. Sure, it had its annoyances and flaws, but it fit.
That new look? Not so much. While looking good, it hinders you as much as it helped in the first game. In fact, I haven’t realized that there were two levels to the map until I’ve played it for three times. Although me being topologically challenged is partly at blame, game’s presentation hadn’t helped. This is where my bottom line on styling lies: if it hinders your players, then don’t put it in the game. Even if it looks cool and distinct, don’t do it. Especially if your game presents enough interesting and fair challenges already, so there is no need for an unfair one.
That’s what gives me a mixed feelings on Party Hard 2. I loved the first one and I desperately want to love that one as well, especially since addictive gameplay and cool soundtrack that I fell in love with is still here. The game is good, there is no doubt about it, but that only makes this issue looks even bigger.
Of course, this all is just my opinion, so tell us if you like the new graphics or not. You can watch the game trailer below and I’ll see you next time in the full review of Party Hard 2!