In Party Animals a strange party is celebrated. Instead of dancing and drinking, they smash each other's face. But this is mighty fun.
Party Animals Review: Blunt But Fun Violence Against Cute Animals
Originally, the multiplayer spectacle Party Animals was supposed to be released last year, but developer Recreate Games postponed the title several times, partly without announcement. But now the wait is over. After several beta phases, Party Animals is finally here and invites you to a merry match among cute animals. We've also been busy throwing punches and now reveal our impressions.
Party Animals doesn't dwell on long preliminary skirmishes. We just choose a name, a user picture and the party can start. However, it is recommended to play the short tutorial to get familiar with the basic mechanics. These are not particularly complicated, but still differ somewhat from other multiplayer titles. Namely, the characters in Party Animals move with a slight delay, almost as if the body already wants to go, but the muscles haven't received the command yet. This is part of the concept in this game and contributes significantly to the game's fun, as we quickly discovered.
ONLY THE TOUGH GET INTO THE GARDEN
The basic goal in Party Animals is to be the last survivor. To achieve this, up to eight human players compete against each other online on different maps to smash each other's faces. However, not only the other players themselves pose a danger, but also the weapons used and the maps themselves. The choice of your own character has no effect on the gameplay itself. It's really all about what you personally like best or what's particularly funny. For example, we chose the grim looking husky or a borderline stupid cow. The wackier the better. If we want to give our character a more personal touch, there are numerous costumes and other customization options. Partly we use earned money for this or we use real means of payment.
HEAD THROUGH THE WALL OR THE ENEMY
As already mentioned, the main mode "Last Stand" is about being the last survivor. In order to achieve this, we have to eliminate other players from the battlefield. So, we'll fight away, give out headbutts or grab one of the numerous weapons in order to really bust the balls of our opponents. After a few well-placed blows, they are usually knocked out. Now just quickly throw the person or animal into the abyss and the problem is solved. Well, what sounds so simple, is not. The other players aren't just fallen fruit and the ponderous course of movement doesn't really contribute to a quick battle decision. On the other hand, extremely funny situations arise. For example, if one of the other players turns away at the last moment, our headbutt might land on an iron bar or something else and we are knocked out for a few seconds.
WEAPONS AND OTHER NASTIES
But not only your own fists can be used in battle. Jumping, kicking and holding are also part of the repertoire. Things get really chaotic when we also resort to weapons. Whether we freeze our opponents, hit them with a hammer, whack them around the ears with a plunger or shoot them with suction cup arrows depends on which weapons keep appearing on the map. Also, the map plays an important role. Each map has its own mechanics that, used correctly, can be used to our own advantage (or disadvantage). For example, if you are polishing your face on a submarine, it will dive further and further in the course of a game. Whoever doesn't hold on then has lost. Or we use a catapult to catapult other animals away effectively. Whoever manages to be the last to survive three times wins the round.
TEAMS AND SPORTS ARE ALSO PRESENT
However, even as an eliminated player, we can still decisively influence the course of a fight. The longer we watch, the more projectiles in the form of fish, banana peels or bombs we can throw onto the map. With a bit of skill, opponents can be decisively hindered and even knocked out in this way. In other words, we can really bust the balls of the remaining participants and don't have to stand idly by. There are also two other modes, but they don't quite match the chaotic gameplay of the main mode. In Team Score, for example, things are a bit more sporty. Here, the focus is not on the knockouts, but on the points scored when we try our hand at modified sports like basketball, soccer, field hockey or American soccer. In addition, there are other activities such as collecting coins or hauling coal to get a train up to speed. This is quite nice for a change, but can't be compared to the Last Stand mode. In Arcade, on the other hand, we compete in teams and share a certain number of lives with our teammates. This feels like the main mode with a dash of Team Deathmatch, but only two maps are available here.
THE DEVELOPERS MUST HAVE PARTIED A LITTLE TOO HARD
As fun, chaotic and hectic as the game is, it suffers from some questionable design decisions. Party Animals can be played online with up to eight players. If there aren't enough human players, the rest are filled in with AI colleagues. But especially a game like Party Animals is predestined for a whimsical evening with friends on the couch. This is also possible, but only with four players. However, the mode is extremely well hidden and isn't really mentioned anywhere. In fact, to play offline, a private online match has to be created, which no one can access without a password. After that, additional controllers can be registered. If you want, you can expand the squad by four AI players.
Why the developers have hidden such an essential mode is beyond us. In addition, the whole thing is presented in split-screen mode, which is also incomprehensible considering the size of the maps. A camera perspective including zoom would have done the trick and would have been much more comfortable. The same applies to the custom matches. It is possible to create your own games and change some parameters, but things like point limit, number of rounds or the like cannot be set.
VISUALLY CHIC, BUT WITH ANNOYING CAMERA
Technically, Party Animals knows how to please. The animals are lovingly animated and thanks to the ragdoll physics there are always funny and curious situations. A stumble here, a hook to the chin there or a strong blow with the hammer and the animal characters move physically correct, but always with a certain degree of slapstick. Sometimes you feel reminded of old Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies. There was always a lot of punching without being too brutal. The environments themselves are sometimes more and sometimes less appealing, but they are all equipped with a lot of details.
It's just a pity that the camera doesn't really play along. We can adjust and rotate it ourselves, but a dynamic camera with a slightly more distant viewing angle would be desirable. When we're just trying to make an enemy a head shorter, there's no time to readjust the camera. A big part of the fun to silly atmosphere is the sound of the game. All actions, such as punching, kicking or whatever, are accompanied by the appropriate sounds. At the latest when your own head hits a metallic surface for the third time, you can't help but grin. There is no voice output or epic melodies, but there are shallow songs that spread a certain party atmosphere.
Party Animals stands on its own despite obvious similarities to Gang Beasts, Fall Guys or Human Fall Flat. The combination of weapons, varied maps and overly cute characters is simply successful. We've rarely had so much entertaining fun with a multiplayer title in recent weeks. The gameplay is funny, the visuals are just right, and the fun is increased even more with friends sitting on the couch with us. In stark contrast are the lack of settings, a suboptimal camera and the fact that the local multiplayer mode has been incomprehensibly hidden. Nevertheless, Party Animals is a successful multiplayer experience. However, the developers still have to tackle and improve a few things to make the title a real hit.
- cute animals
- funny gameplay
- great designed maps
- easy entry
- couch co-op mode
- annoying camera
- hardly any settings options
- couch co-op mode hidden