From the creator of Rick and Morty, High on Life features drugs, a fight to save the world, and a talking weapon. All this in the fight to save humanity from the drug cartel.
Creating a game while under the influence of drugs is not uncommon, but few use it in almost all of their work. Justin Roiland and his team at Squanch Games must have gone through a few hallucinogenic sessions, but wow, some ideas do work.
You outsmarted your man
Humans are the best drug in the galaxy, prompting the G3 crime cartel to execute a nefarious business plan and conquer Earth. The protagonist, who trains on video games thanks to the “no life” lifestyle, becomes the last chance for the survival of his race. Although his sister is unsure if cocaine has a second wind, he finds a gun on Earth that flops down on him and makes him laugh. After the introductory action-playthrough, you find yourself on another planet, move a homeless alien med Gene into your house and go on the hunt for the leaders of the G3 cartel.
The homeless alien Jin is actually a former bounty hunter. He becomes your fat and grly coach, hands you a suit with an expired software license (you need to update it so it doesn’t skip ads), and helps you organize crime sprees while watching B movies. He also argues with your sister, who started dating an alien. History is as old as humanity itself.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the crazy ideas that the creators have created. The straight-line story is enriched with an abundance of ideas. You’ll meet an annoying kid who can be shot with the “You Can’t Do This in Fallout” achievement, an alien who sells sperm and doesn’t judge you for not wanting to buy it. If you’ve watched Rick and Morty, you know the style in which a character explains something that seems awfully logical but makes as much sense as putting a pineapple on a pizza.
The game will feel tedious at times, it’s incredibly chatty, and you’ll want it to shut up for a while…actually, the ability to chat less is in the settings. But somehow he tricks you into having fun and always comes up with something new. Warp discs that will take you to a place with some activity, best of all – “Cute City”. Or being able to literally watch the entire movie while the alien commercial is on. Someone knows how to bring these ideas to life.
Combat follows the same spirit. All your weapons are the so-called Gatlians, they are all living organisms that can shoot. Each weapon is really different from a regular pistol to a shotgun, to a Halo-like “needler” to a “mother” of biting children. In addition, each has its own character. The gun that talks like Morty is a jovial talker, the mother of the kids is a benefactor, and the hammer is a complete satik who loves to stab, stab, and stab! You can also customize each weapon.
Enemies are few and far between, but varied enough to make for fun when combined with a playful setting. Overall, the combat system is still Doom from Wish. The gunplay works, however it could use more variety and complexity. News in the game is rather slow, and while episodic variety like boss fights works, it’s still about the best average.
Speaking of locations, I should note their diversity. You are in the jungle with teddy bears ala colorful Endor and suddenly in the space wild west. The world is a joy to explore and chests are full. However, the biggest beauty lies in the locations themselves. Everywhere there is another twisted or otherwise crazy idea that will entertain.
The technical problems with the costume in the game amused them, not so much with the game itself. I don’t know if Jin himself optimized it from his couch with his laptop on his vel. Although the game is origil and fun, I was disappointed that the detail is often worse and the game could be “sharper” and despite all this, the optimization is worse.
Although I have a powerful gaming PC with an RTX 2070 and an Intel Core i7, I haven’t missed fps drops or even game crashes. Although the patch improved it partially, there are still problems at the level of spoiling the gameplay. The best gunplay has the worst pacing with fps drops.
Regardless, High on Life is a unique experience. It has many disadvantages and is not suitable for everyone. However, Justin Roiland didn’t hold back and seems to have created the game he wanted. If you have become the target of his jokes, there is nothing to be ashamed of.