Noisy neighbours can be a huge pain in the butt. You may ask yourself, what's the best way to deal with them? Write a letter? Confront them directly? How about murder them and all their friends? Yeah, that'll work.
Before I started playing Party Hard, I figured it would be something like Hotline Miami. The visuals are similar, both have cool soundtracks, and they star sadistic murderers. Boy, was I wrong. You play by controlling a dude who just wants a good night's sleep. When his neighbours keep partying late into the night, he decides on a permanent solution to a temporary problem by picking them off one by one. You can't just rush in and kill people as you please because others will gang up on you, call the cops, and your rampage will be over before you know it. So, you're forced to play slowly and carefully while hiding bodies, setting up traps, poisoning the punch, and dancing to blend in to the crowd. If he can do all of this then I don't understand why he can't cut the phone lines because that would ensure that no one can call the police. Unfortunately, that's just one of the many gripes that I have with this party.
At first, Party Hard seems like a decent looking retro-inspired game but the static screens, uninteresting character sprites, and frequent inability to find your character will quickly start to get on your nerves. That being said, many humorous moments add some levity to the experience such as making a horse kick someone or seeing another murderer doing the work for you then getting dragged away by the police. The best part of the presentation is the soundtrack full of electronic dance music that'll have you tapping your toes as you methodically stab partygoers. Overall, it may not look like much but the cool music and occasional use of humour are welcome.
Of course, killing dozens of people has a twisted sense of satisfaction to it but the gameplay is full of problems. First of all, getting into the groove of how to play takes a very long time. This is due to the fact that people's behaviour is incredibly unpredictable. Sometimes, you'll murder people in secluded areas of the house with the door closed, hide the bodies, walk to the dance floor to blend in, and have a cop arrest you for no logical reason whatsoever. Other times, you can stab away and everyone around you reacts so slowly that you can kill a handful of people with no problem. For reasons like these, it all ends up feeling both tedious and annoying at the same time. Whereas games like Hotline Miami keep your adrenaline pumping, Party Hard will keep your eyes rolling.
You can already tell how bad the AI is from my previous examples, but I really must show how blatantly dumb they are. To outrun the police, you can simply enter and exit a window until the cop gives up and says something like, "I'm too old for this..." Really? He couldn't climb out of the window, too? Also, you can spike the punch or set something on fire in front of a crowd of people and no one notices. One thing I like to do is stand in front of a phone and stab someone then another person tries to call the cops so I kill them before they get the chance. I understand that most of these people are drunk but even the most intoxicated dummies aren't this stupid. As if the poor gameplay and idiotic AI isn't enough, Party Hard actually lags, too. Believe it or not, when you do something big like set off an explosion that kills a bunch of people, the screen can stay still for a few seconds. I even thought it crashed a few times.
Party Hard is a very difficult game to recommend. If you have a craving to murder loads of partygoers then it may be enough to fulfill your needs but gamers with stable psyches will probably shake their heads as they crash these parties.
- + There's a certain sadistic satisfaction for murdering rooms full of people
- + Cool soundtrack of party tunes
- - Gameplay manages to be both tedious and irritating at the same time
- - AI is dumb and nonsensical
- - Severe lag occurs regularly