The Party Hard series is a curious one. It’s ultraviolent with a laid back pixel artstyle. The original was released back in 2015 to critical acclaim and now it’s time to look at Part Hard 2.
As is the case with the last game, the protagonist is on a mission to shut down parties that are doing his head in. The only way he can do this though is to kill those involved.
Gameplay wise, it’s incredibly straight forward. One of the things that has changed from the previous game is that there are additional objectives involved. Likewise, in the first game every map had to have every NPC killed. This isn’t the case in PH2. However, should you wish to bump off everyone ,you can do so and you’ll get a pat on the back for doing so.
Party Hard 2 also borrows a key element from Hitman in that the Instinct mode from the later makes an appearance in the former in the guise of Party Vision. This is actually a pretty neat feature and it allows you to not only see where the mandatory victims are, as well as seeing any potential methods for eliminating the targets. You don’t need to use it, but the fact that it is there is a nice bonus.
Tread carefully, it’s a bumpy ride…
In terms of difficulty, it’s still a pretty tough game at times. Unless you’re extremely close to an exit when the police are chasing you, it’s going to be an instant failure. This was also true of the previous game. The game itself is actually smarter which is a help and a hindrance. The AI as a whole seems much more fluid and therefore NPCs will interact with other NPCs and roam around in such a way that you can get a chance to use an implement of choice to bring about your goal. The hindrance though is that because it is much smarter. On the second mission, it wasn’t the first time that I got caught twice killing a target and I couldn’t understand why. The answer hit me on play through number 3, there was a small window that other NPCs could see what I was doing. It’s great that the game has this level of depth because you really do need to think about all of your surroundings. This makes it feel more like a top down Hitman which is never a bad thing.
A nice touch though is that if another NPC is around a dead body and someone walks in on them, it can result in them being carted away, wrongfully. It was a great feature in the first game, and it’s great to see that it’s returned.
Added to this is the ability to craft items. The best by far is the Molotov cocktail. It comes in pretty handy in wiping out a large number of targets in one go. The game is a real cracker and is geuniely fun. It’s got the Tetris effect to it in that you’re always up for one more go. Before you know it, it’s half 3 in the morning and you’re still playing.
Since it is so open, there are numerous ways to bring about your end goal. One method in particular involving a motorbike is pretty fun, actually, and it was one of the few times I was able to successfully outrun the police.
Visibly the game is a real treat. The original looked great, but 2 is even better. It has that neon party vibe to it and it really does fit the game perfectly. The frame rate is consistently stable as well, although to be fair it’s not particularly taxing. The music is what you would expect with one revolved around parties. It’s up beat and jaunty and certainly fits in well with the overall vibe.
Party Hard 2 is now available on Steam. If you’d like to support charity as well, it’s is also available on the Humble Bundle Store.
Party Hard 2 is one of the best games that has been released in 2018. Not only is it highly challenging, but also extremely rewarding with a more gradual learning curve than its predecessor. Definitely worth picking up.