Developer Ska Studios is back with another beat ’em up title that is this weeks Summer of Arcade title. In this RPG/dungeon crawler/beat ’em up title has lots more to offer than previous entries from Ska.
Charlie Murder is the story of the title character and his woes of becoming a rock star and falling to nothing. With a great story told though various flashbacks and button hitting music puzzles mixed with wonderful RPG elements and side scrolling glory Charlie Murder surprised me with just how much I wanted to keep playing it.
The game has a very Ska Studios look to it and if you’re familiar with other titles such as The Dishwasher you’ll feel right at home as soon as you start playing. With five characters to choose from you are left no shortage of choices for how you want to play the game. Each character has multiple offerings and will affect the game based on what abilities you use and how many and who you are playing with. Characters level up in a RPG way giving you skill points for things like speed and strength. You also can pick custom moves you can perform throughout the game as you evolve. Things like violently stomping an enemies head in or you can pick team up abilities to take advantage of while playing online with friends. Being able to find different clothing and even the ability to buy pets, Ska went with a very RPG/dungeon crawler option that fits very well in the type of game that has been delivered. The game featured 4 player co-op online or off.
One of the things I like most about the game and the thing that oddly caught my attention was the soundtrack. Solid work with the audio in this one. Everything from the ambient background sounds to the metal soundtrack that plays throughout the game are nothing less that perfect for the environment and the mood the game puts you in. I found myself playing the TV louder than I normally do, just because the game, due to it’s unique look and fitting soundtrack I felt more involved with this title than any other Ska title thus far. This coming from a guy who loved The Dishwasher games. All this mixed with a tight control set up makes for an almost perfect game.
The controls are tight and feels right. Special moves are easy to do and combos are fun and entertaining to watch. The game features a variety of enemies that keep changing as the game continues and even though there are a few times that the game becomes incredibly difficult, you’ll find that the tight controls are what always get you through the hard parts. If you’re familiar with other Ska titles, then you should know exactly what I’m talking about. These controls mixed with the level up system and the more you play the more fun that you can squeeze out of the game.
The game features four player local as well as four player online co-op. There are very few issues with the game and not really much to complain about. Every now and then you may have an issue signing into LIVE while in game, but it’s only happened twice to me and an easy fix is just restarting the game. I also noticed in areas where a lot of enemies we would get connections issues a lot. That could have been one of us and no way to really know for sure. For the $10 price point on this Summer of Arcade title it’s one you don’t want to miss. Charlie Murder is another gem from Ska that will always stand out as unique to me. With titles like this and The Dishwasher, you really can’t go wrong with Ska thus far. I recommend Charlie Murder as purchase and you won’t be disappointed.