I want to talk about a little game that came to Gamepass recently, High on Life. For those of you who don’t know about this game, let me break it down for you. This is a game made by Squanch games which is a studio co-founded by the co-creator of Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland. You play as a teenager- turn bounty hunter who is on a mission to save the human race. If you’ve seen Rick and Morty then you get the type of humor, writing and the gist of what this game is. So should you play High on Life? Is this a good Single Player Experience?
So right off the bat let me just say that this isn’t a game that’s going to redefine gaming or blow most people away. That said though, there is a lot to like here. High on Life feels like a mixture of tons of different games, like Saints Row, Ratchet and Clank, and Doom. In some aspects that mixture pays off. In others not so much.
Let’s dive into it.
The strongest aspect of this game is by far its story and its writing. If you’ve watched Rick and Morty then you know that one of the best aspects of a Roiland project is the world-building. High on life is no exception.
The game does a masterful job of throwing you into this universe and explaining how this universe works. A trait of good sci-fi is balancing wording building and lore with telling a good story and this game does that in spades. In High on life, the game does a masterful job at displaying the lore but making everything feel familiar. Very quickly you get how this universe works.
The characters in High on Life are a real highlight. If you’ve seen the trailers for this game, the. You know that you wield talking living weapons. Each weapon has its own power and personality. The weapons talk to you and other characters throughout the game. I often found myself laughing out loud at the dialogue from my weapons and other characters throughout the game. Sure some of your weapons lines of dialogue are stronger than others, but it’s a feature that feels unique and well utilized here.
Another significant aspect of the game is its cast and the voice acting. In addition to Justin Roiland, this game is filled with great voice actors like Nolan North, Tara Strong, JB Smooth, and Michael Cusack to name a few.
In High on Life, you are free to explore the areas your in outside of combat. Just like games like Ratchet and Clank you are roaming around mostly linear areas to get to your objectives. The game challenges you with some decent platforming and puzzles obstacles that you have to overcome.
The game allows you to use your jetpack, your suit to dodge dash in a direction, or your knife to swing from designated grapple points. This is helpful because there are a fair amount of extra items and collectibles that you have to use these abilities to get to.
The combat plays like a Rick and Morty take on Doom mixed with Ratchet and Clank. You run and gun trying to take down waves of enemies before they take you down. Just like the traversal mentioned earlier, in combat you can use your knife to swing, use your suit to dodge or use your jetpack. It is nice to have the options, but in combat, these aspects feel more disorienting than helpful.
The combat is fun, but gets old and feels tedious quickly. This is disheartening when you take into account that you can change guns that grant you various abilities. The guns aren’t the problem though. It’s the repetitive nature of the action that is the problem. It boils down to you having to takedown waves and waves of the same 5 enemy types repeatedly. The gameplay is fun but this loop wears thin quickly.
Overall/Should You play High on Life:
I’ll be real with you. I only think High on Life is for a specific type of gamer. It boils down to this question. Are you a fan of Justin Roiland’s style of comedy? If you are a fan of the animated shows, Rick and Morty or Solar Opposites then your probably going to dig this game. You might have faults with the repetitive gameplay, but you’re probably going to really vibe with High on Life’s Narrative, its characters, and the lore. If you are not of fan of this type of comedy then don’t play this game. It’s not going to change your mind. If you love Roilond’s comedic style then you should definitely check out High on Life.
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