Quick Thoughts On: Splatter – Blood Red Edition

For reasons unknown to anyone, my final moments with Splatter saw me facing off against Cthulhu and his many rocket launching penises as I danced around acid pits trying to chop off his alarmingly phallic artillery.

I suppose then it goes without saying that Splatter is incredibly, impossibly dumb. It goes far beyond the point of reason with its violence and scenarios, giving you access to an outrageous arsenal and filling the screen with hundreds of enemies at a time, and yet remains entirely blank faced the whole way through. It even tries its hand at juvenile social commentary, which is almost cute in its earnestness. Anytime our gritty, social outcast of a protagonist would open his mouth to growl through a few lines I couldn’t help but burst into laughter, amazed at how all the worst elements of video game narratives had come together in front of me to put on a delightfully awful show.

Splatter makes a good case for ironically enjoying media, but underneath the pitiful writing it’s also one of the best twin stick shooters I’ve played in ages. Each weapon feels uniquely powerful and fun to use against the torrents of enemies assaulting you at any given time. There is no greater complexity here than aiming in whichever direction the most enemies are coming from, but it’s a satisfying simplicity that is switched up enough through boss fights and different level designs to stay engaging for the three or so hours the campaign lasts. The impressive lighting effects definitely help, with the splashes of gunshots and explosions completely distracting from the more rudimentary texture work which gives good cause to have most levels take place at night when they are most eye catching.

I hadn’t initially intended to play through all of Splatter, and yet I’m more glad to have finished it than even many games I’d consider better. It’s an excellent shooter, and there really isn’t anything quite as hysterical as watching our gruff lead clutch at his fedora and make meaningless asides on the dangers of science and industry. It’s one of the few games I can say I enjoyed both ironically and genuinely, for very different but equally entertaining reasons.

"Quick Thoughts" is a subset of my normal reviews for smaller games which might not fit into a full review but I still have something to say about.
Splatters – Blood Red Edition was developed by Dreamworlds and is available on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam.

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