It’s not very frequent that Sony decides to gift PS+ users with brand new games. Last time this happened, we were graced with Rocket League, a game which became one of the most played online games of this entire gaming generation, across all platforms.
Sony has decided to gift us with yet another free game, this time being a third-person arena shooter created by David Jaffe (the man behind Twisted Metal and God of War) featuring paper-drawn visuals that have never been seen before in a videogame. In theory, this could have become quite a hit for the PS4.
Drawn to Death certainly has a positive aspect at first glance: it does look like you’re inside a notebook full of doodles. Credit should be given where it’s due, so kudos to David Jaffe & co. for actually delivering a game that, visually speaking, looks like nothing else out there. If only the character animations weren’t so archaic (especially for a mid-gen PS4 game), and if only there weren’t attempts to mix elements of the notebook world with actual human body parts (you can “summon” your own hand during gameplay, a poorly textured hand at that), the visual elements would have been considered an even bigger positive for it. Sadly, the exotic looks are the only commendable points in the game. Brace yourself, it’s going to get ugly.
One big gripe I have with Drawn to Death is its sound department. It’s not much about its soundtrack (it’s generic punk rock set at such a low volume you’ll barely care about it being there), but about its voice acting, and it’s not much about the characters (which, granted, talk way too much and are very unfunny), but the game’s announcer. There are many, many, many occasions in which the game’s announcer (think of it as a second-rate Killer Instinct announcer, voice-wise) will just start talking about your character grabbing a power-up or being on a killing spree. That wouldn’t be such a negative aspect weren’t for three main flaws. First of all, the frequency in which this occurs. Second of all, the length of those “monologues”, sometimes being more than minutes in length. Third of all, a main issue that brings the entire game’s enjoyment down: its immaturity and (lack of) sense of humor.
Drawn to Death tries to act like it was created by an angsty teenager, and its humor styles shows it. This is game’s sense of humor is downright immature, imbecile, and above, all, definitely not funny. Unlike franchises like South Park or Conker, which use crass humor and immaturity in a smart way, Drawn to Death just acts like a dumb 14-year old teenager ranting about your mother during an online session of Call of Duty.
The amalgamation of this game’s lack of taste can be seen in its tutorial segment. At first, you might find it quite amusing that a poorly drawn frog cartoon makes fun of you being a newbie in this game, but after the seventh mom joke, eleventh “kill yourself because you suck” joke and the seventeenth trolling attempt at trying to convince you that the game has a gameplay feature when it reality it doesn’t, you tend to get incredibly fed up with those imbecile jokes. You need to be way too young and immature to find enjoyment in Drawn to Death‘s “humor”.
This is not about a game being offensive (to be fair, I couldn’t care less about it being “offensive”, as I would have to be 12 in ordered to be triggered with mom jokes), this is about its themes being so unfunny, and being thrown in your face so constantly, that you can’t stand playing it for more than a few minutes.
And I haven’t even talked about the proper gameplay yet…
When it comes to the actual online gameplay, well, the game showed even more flaws. Matchmaking was abysmal, taking nearly ten minutes for me to find yet another poor soul (just one, bear in mind) for a brawl match. The amount of lags, glitches and overall lack of enjoyment was phenomenal. Not even the fact most of my online adversaries weren’t even able to hit me due to them suffering with glitches against their favor could make me grin during gameplay. Sure, it’s always good to win in an online game, but not like this. It also doesn’t help that the combat is very floaty and the controls are very sluggish and unresponsive, feeling way too archaic even for a PS3-era game.
That’s basically what you’ll get in Drawn to Death‘s online gameplay. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll manage to get three other players to fight against you in its arenas. Yup, 4 is the maximum amount of players in each session, and before you ask, no, there isn’t any option of splitscreen multiplayer.
Have I also mentioned there are microtransactions? Because that’s everybody’s favorite modern videogaming staple!
In the end, Drawn to Death might have sounded good on paper (no pun intended), but the end result turned out to be a technically mediocre arena shooter trying to ride on the Overwatch hype train, so painfully unfunny and obnoxious anyone mentally older than 13 won’t find its “sense of humor” even remotely amusing.
It might be free, but you wouldn’t say yes to a free kick in the groin, would you?