Originally released in 2015, Party Hard was a pretty original game about slaughtering partying neighbours. It featured an amazing soundtrack and pretty good pixel art graphics alongside interesting mechanics and an enticing gameplay loop. Back in 2018, a sequel was released, bringing to the table more from the same team.
Party Hard 2’s story starts identically to the first game, with noisy partying neighbours waking the protagonist up in the middle of the night. The similarities end here though; after crashing the party and slaying everyone, the story shifts to revolve around drug trafficking, human testing and overall messiness.
Whereas the first game was just about a psycho killer slaying people at parties, the second attempt to be deeper. Sadly, it completely fails by having a ridiculous plot and providing no reason for a lot of things. It doesn’t help either that every zone the player visits is hosting a party for seemingly no reason; after justifying a pair of them, the player runs into parties at drug factories and human testing sites, destroying any suspense of disbelief.
The graphics of the game have had a significant change, going from pixel art to a combination of this and 3D graphics, making for a very interesting although weird look. All new areas designed for the game are unique in their own way while still being a nice throwback to the original. Cutscenes also have their own graphic style, which can be hit or miss depending on the scene but is overall high quality.
As it was to be expected knowing its predecessor, Party Hard 2 has an amazing soundtrack with a huge amount of songs. These are varied and unique, though the autoplay system in-game often makes the same few play over and over. Voice acting during cutscenes is also quite good, though at certain times the delivery can seem pretty forced and out of place.
Gameplay hasn’t really changed for Party Hard 2; it’s more of the same formula. The mechanics remain the same with a few new ones added, move around killing people and avoiding detection. The main differences are the crafting and inventory systems and how some other things are handled. While in the first game only a single item could be carried and all were active, in Party Hard 2 up to three can be carried, with some only serving as components to make other things. Curiously enough, most of the new items only affect individuals, making them unreliable besides for particular things.
Several completely new characters have also been added to the game, each with their own unique properties and abilities. These abilities vary from character to character, ranging from invisibility to area attacks. Most of the new characters can be unlocked through the points granted by fulfilling extra objectives, though three of them are locked behind DLC.
A huge departure from the first game is the addition of mission objectives, which players can fulfil instead of slaying everyone. These objectives are way easier than anything else, usually requiring a few specific people to be killed and little more. There are also secondary objectives which give the previously mentioned points and are pretty varied, though poorly explained. An example could be one paying for a striptease, without specifying, who has to be paid in an area filled with people.
There are also a lot of bugs and questionable decisions taken in the game, such as including bosses and maps without police. On the one hand, the first barely work, requiring the player to run around dodging attacks waiting for things to trigger and deal damage. On the other hand, the second does work but plummets in difficulty; with thugs instead of police, the player can just shank person after person without consequence, since said thugs also die in one hit.
Another worthy mention would be how, instead of getting tired after a moment, policemen in Party Hard 2 have a timer on top of the screen. If the player has been detected by a witness, the policemen will look around for him, not leaving until the timer has run out or they’ve been killed. While it may sound simple enough, it is not; killing policemen can only reliably be done with traps, which still require precise timing. It is true these policemen can be knocked out with stun guns and attacked, although it is still a big risk for the player, putting them in range to be captured. This makes being seen a death sentence in most cases; with two policemen tailing the player and a huge amount of time until their departure, escaping is extremely hard.
Some of the previously mentioned bugs include detection mechanics being pretty messed up. Players can sometimes run in front of groups of people and start stabbing away without witnesses, and some other times someone will see from half a map away. Tying into this, the newly added vehicles seal the deal; the forklift basically ignores detection and the bike usually does as well.
Another bug worth mentioning involves policemen. After killing one of them in certain ways, such as with a vehicle or balloons, the other will stand still for the remainder of the timer. This means no new police will appear and the current won’t act, allowing players to freely slay people. There are also collision bugs that make cars go flying, broken glass with colliders and jumpable platforms.
The game includes a Co-op mode, which is way easier than anything else for several reasons. Besides having two killers instead of one, players can just revive each other. Once one of them is captured or killed, the other only needs to slay 5 people to resurrect them. This makes the difficulty plummet, even if the amount of damage to kill people has been doubled.
Overall, Party Hard 2 is the same as the first one with a worse story, a few changes and a lot of bugs. While it is not bad, it definitely isn’t polished or good enough for its price tag of £15.49/$19,99/16,79€. Those who still crave more Party Hard may be interested in it regardless, but waiting for a sale would be a good idea.
I’d like to mention as an extra note that, while I have a decent computer with only a few years, Party Hard 2 was making the fans run as if I were playing Monster Hunter World at max settings. I also had to deal with constant FPS drops and crashes up to 3 in just a few hours. This may possibly be a compatibility issue with my PC in particular, but it’s worth acknowledging it regardless.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Party Hard 2 Review
Gameplay - 6/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 10/10
Replay Value - 6/10
User Review( votes)
Originally released in 2015, Party Hard was a pretty original game about slaughtering partying neighbors. The game featured an amazing soundtrack and pretty good pixel art graphics besides good mechanics and an enticing gameplay loop. Back in 2018, a sequel was released, bringing to the table more from the same team.
- More of the same for lovers of the first game.
- Bad story.