High on Life hands-on preview: It might just be what the FPS genre needs - IGN

High on Life hands-on preview: It might just be what the FPS genre needs – IGN

High on Life, the upcoming comedy first-person shooter from Squanch Games from Justin Roiland, isn’t set in the Rick and Morty universe. But it looks like it might be. It has goofy and crude aliens, fantastical settings and a 100% Roiland sense of humor – cable-style interdimensional animated shorts that act as TV commercials in the High on Live universe at your talking gun by default, a gun named Kenny that looks exactly like Morty.

I played it for a few hours, the developers being careful not to spoil the first few minutes, but otherwise giving me free rein to pick whatever bounty I wanted in whatever order I wanted during my hands-on time. In short, there’s more to High on Life than I expected, in the best way. I expected a fun FPS with beautiful game worlds. There’s that, sure, but gameplay-wise it also includes upgradable weapons and skills, side quests, and literal hours of comedy in the form of commercials, movies, and dialogue with NPCs that you can simply hanging out and having fun, should you choose it. Add that in and it’s a refreshing change of pace for a genre that normally takes itself far too seriously.

Let’s start with what will certainly be High on Life’s calling card: its sense of humor. I’ve always thrilled with Roiland’s comedy – from Rick and Morty to Solar Opposites to his utterly shocking short film made for Seth Rogan’s Hilarity for Charity event in 2018 – and I laughed many times while playing this.

There’s a surprising amount of combat depth here.


The fight is more complex than it seems. Sure, you’ve got four unique weapons, but it’s the abilities you can buy from in-game shops – like dash, forward slide, and health and weapon upgrades – that make you feel more powerful in firefights the further into the game you get. Use Sweezy’s time-slowing secondary attack to create a pocket of molasses-slowing enemies, then ignite them with his primary fire that embeds explosive crystals into your targets, then slither in and melee the stuck baddie to make explode the crystals, taking out all nearby enemies. Or maybe you’d rather attack those time bubble baddies by tossing Kenny’s alt-fire blob grenade into the bubble to send your targets flying, then move around with Gus’ shotgun-type main attack for them. finish. Unless of course they still don’t die, in which case you can use a melee finisher. There’s a surprising amount of combat depth here.

It is also organically replayable. Roiland pointed this out to me during my long practice play session. It’s not specifically designed to keep you playing over and over, looking for a better item. No, this is a single-player story-driven game, but a natural side effect of having four main weapons – each with a distinct personality and a deep well of bespoke dialogue – is that you can replay sections and enjoy NPC conversations all over again, as they will go very differently depending on which gun your mute protagonist has equipped at the time.

You can replay sections and enjoy conversations with NPCs again, as they will play out very differently depending on which gun your mute protagonist has equipped at the time.


I’d like to take a minute to talk about the art style next. Quite simply, High on Life’s Unreal Engine-powered alien worlds are vibrant and fun to watch. It’s a far cry from the grays and browns we’re used to seeing in many first-person shooters. The Zephyr Paradise biome in particular – home to a village of adorable bear-like aliens called Moplets – was filled with a gorgeous array of pinks, blues, and greens. And that’s perhaps a subtle way that High on Life amps up its humor: by contrasting the pretty scenery with its unabashedly coarse language. Visually, this game is somewhat reminiscent of Oddworld, an influence Roiland readily admitted.

Let me get back to comedy before I go. While yes, humor is subjective, to my ears High on Life is funny. It’s also relentless. You can (and should) wait for NPCs to say funnier things, because they absolutely will. Roiland told me that he and the Squanch team have written a ton of material for this game, and it’s obvious after playing a few hours. The comedy comes to you from all sides: from your guns, from your enemies. Heck, you can find whole B-movies hidden here, licensed and riffed, Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. The big question is whether or not High on Life has the gameplay to back up its dizzying pile of jokes, and so far it looks very promising.

#High #Life #handson #preview #FPS #genre #IGN

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