In 2015, Party Hard was released, a curious indie game that took some ideas from Hitman but took it to the surreal terrain of a serial killer willing to end the annoying noise of the parties. It’s sequel has arrived, which starts from the same concept and polishes various aspects of it’s gameplay and graphics. It can be considered a reinvention of the original, with a larger budget and a better developed approach.
This time the story makes a little more sense. There is a plot that unfolds between levels about our dismissal from a company. It’s a bit more interesting to progress through the scenarios where, of course, there are parties with people dancing carefree. Obviously the soundtrack uses catchy electronic party beats.
Essentially, Party Hard 2 once again puts us in front of a stealth game in which we take advantage of the traps on the stage to finish off our victims. It isn’t a Hotline Miami clone or an arcade shooter. Every death we cause in front of people will cause fear and if the police are called, we’ll be persecuted for a while. If you don’t have escape routes prepared, that will be practically the end of the game.
What to do then? Well, the most basic tool is our knife, lethal at short distances. Eliminate a partygoer, drag his body to some container and prevent a witness from calling the police. The interaction with the environment to locate electronic devices or those capable of being sabotaged to cause an explosion, electrocution. There are traps that cause massive deaths and usually give us time to flee. This is the aspect inspired by the IO Interactive saga; we can be creative, if we can draw attention to a point.
Once Again, Let’s End The Party With Blood.
So far, nothing new regarding Party Hard. The sequel makes some changes and one of them is the objective system per phase. This objectives normally consists of completing a series of missions, you can choose which to complete. In the first one we had to eliminate the entire population of the map. In the sequel we usually have groups of objectives (of which it is enough to choose one to achieve victory).
For example, one option may consist of killing all the characters and burning a certain place, but if it seems too complicated, we should accept another series of objectives – which would include hiding a body, killing a number of enemies of a specific gang, destroying some boxes, etc.
There Are Several Ways To Overcome A Mission. What’s best For You?
This objective system makes the game more varied than in the first one and allows you to introduce new mechanics. It is no longer just about party people, in these phases there are bouncers that impede the passage, bikers, thugs. These characters go after us as soon as they see us, even without causing deaths. This mechanic avoids reducing the monotony of the original.
There are other new mechanics, such as a new attack that allows to eliminate several enemies in an area, and the management of a small inventory. You can store weapons and items to use at any time, including grenades, stun guns, gasoline, and more. In fact, you can craft Molotov cocktails if you find the ingredients, there are multiple ways to meet your goals. Do you prefer the stealthiest and slowest system, or take risks with the big incidents?
Another of the renewed aspects is the graphics, instead of the 2D aesthetics we now have to a 3D engine. The point of view is similar, and that the pixel-art touch is maintained thanks to the textures or 2D elements. This brings together the best of both worlds – an indie aspect, which doesn’t seek to compete with the big blockbusters.
Although artistically Party Hard 2 is very attractive, along with many spectacular lighting and animation effects that weren’t possible in the 8-bit aesthetic.
This view causes two small problems. The first one is that with the increase in detail, it now becomes more difficult to detect interactive objects. The developers have managed to implement the Fiestavision, the typical special vision that highlights our objectives or any useful furniture.
Thanks to it, you will be able to know if the bottles on the floor are simple garbage or alcohol for your homemade weapons. The second problem is that the view is a bit low, sometimes we do not see clearly the doors of a room, or the character is hidden behind a wall, something that has only bothered us in times of urgency due to escapes.
It has a somewhat limited co-op. It’s local and also the characters must be on the same screen at all times. It is fun if we play with someone who doesn’t cause constant alarms, but this game is mainly designed for one player, co-op is a bonus mode.
Party Hard 2 is a game that penalizes players a lot for mistakes. This can be considered both a positive and a negative aspect according to our patience. Each level is designed to last 5 to 10 minutes. It can last a little more if we intend to kill all the characters in the party. Restarting a level when you were about to complete the list of objectives has it’s charm in fast-paced games, such as the aforementioned Hotline Miami, but here the duration is much longer and bordering on frustrating. With many retries you will learn not to lower your guard, although it never feels fair.
The sequel loses the surprise factor of the original, as it usually happens in these cases. Party Hard 2 makes up for it by slightly improving each aspect to an update; be it a story with a little more meaning or a gameplay with more options thanks to the small inventory, new types of victims and the optional targeting system. It’s an evolution, even if it’s small, you will almost always trust your knife and the usual strategies.
A more attractive presentation that doesn’t totally deny the retro feeling, offering a more cheerful and lively atmosphere of the parties. At least until our deadly party pooper arrives, of course. Party Hard 2 renews the graphic aspect and adds some new features to the gameplay, without changing the formula too much. A good stealth game in the indie style.