Never have I played a game where I'm shooting stray animals, depressed clowns, laid off police officers, crusty hobos, mini Wall-Es, selfie hookers, and miserable mascots while I evade various types of incoming projectiles and life threatening ground obstables. At least not until I played indie developer Groovy Milk's game known as Creep Road.
The game is a 2D, run and gun, side scroller where you have to take on the role of a man named Flint Trucker who finds himself lost in different chaotic environments as he searches for his girlfriend, Angelina. I know how strong love can be, but honestly I'm not sure she was even worth all of the trouble it took to save her. To elaborate, the game does infact have a beautiful artstyle and sense of fluid animations as you venture through it and you can really appreciate the pop of the vibrant colors as you're plowing down all the enemy types. The music of the game is one of its redeeming factors because they really set the tone and all of the scores are catchy, almost like they knew that if this part of it wasn't enjoyable then the game would be even less memorable. The main problem here is that the controls for this game are lacking any substance. It felt so...stiff? Like, Flint can shoot in every direction at a single time (with some weapons) and jump while doing it, but there's this vibe where you're playing and it's like, "When do I get more agility options and abilities?" and well, you don't get any, so don't expect any. That can be frustrating as there are times when the enemies literally pile up and you can't help but drown in the midst of it.
Needless to say, the game seems to reward you with trophies for how many times you end up dead, which is a good thing because well, expect that a lot. Why? Well, aside from what's been previously mentioned, there are a few boss battles that are enjoyable to play, but can be frustrating and difficult since you have to really sit there and learn the patterns of the boss, like with any, although you have such a lack of mobility with Flint that it just seems like a pain in the ass sometimes. I would have enjoyed it more if I could roll or double jump ,or if they could even somehow manage to squeeze some melee into it. It's unfortunate because some of the bosses are funny and fun to face, such as Hyperman, a severely obese superhero who Flint seems to admire, but because of the plot convenience, he's now your enemy.
Now, I'm aware that this game has been released originally on the PC and it has been ported to consoles for exposure as well, so I felt fairly good about the playthrough since its had time to adjust before coming to the PS4. That is, until I ran into so much lag that I kept pondering the thought of throwing my controller out of my window. In particular, lag struck me by the time I played this mission where Flint has to ride a missle across the city, and for whatever reason, there's concrete in the sky for enemy clowns to stand on and electrical traps placed there to compliment the Dumbos that shoot toxic snot at you. It's an all over the place mission, but it's pretty repetitive to say the least. I died on that particular mission because of the lag more than anything, and that's the kind of thing that makes you want to give up on the game. Let's not even forget about the fact that sometimes it feels like there aren't enough health drops for all that you deal with, so when you die you end up respawning all the way back to the last checkpoint that feels like it was reached 10-minutes ago.
On the bright side, the weapons themselves are fairly dope. You start off with a revolver type of pistol and you eventually acquire other weapons per level. The shotgun is probably the main weapon you'll be using since it's the most useful really, aside from the AK-47 for more ranged situations. My favorite gun is probably the same as a lot of people's favorite gun with the game if they've played it, and that's the alien blaster gun that turns all of your enemies to shit. No, really, it turns them into shit. You blast them with the hoop looking beam and they turn to freshly made brown, swirly goop. There's also grenades and molotovs that are handy when there's massive pile up, but they bring collateral damage , so you'll need to know when and where they're appropriate.
The enemies themselves from an AI perspective are nerve-racking as well because sometimes they go through you and you can't harm them. Of course, you'll get trophies and what not for how many enemies you kill and vehicles you destroy. At the end of each level you will receive a grade with letters that tell you how much carnage you've dealt from the amount of points and the time it took you to do it. I for one had never played the game or even heard of it before my current experience with it, but I went into it not knowing what the hell to expect. It turns out, I was supposed to expect Hell. After all of the spontaneous frustrations you have to endure in this short game, you probably would of never even considered that it was made by the Devil, because it turns out it was.
After Flint goes on a goose chase to find more information about his beloved Angelina, he learns that his girlfriend just so happens to be an angel. Angel? Angelina? Pretty straightforward name-wise, but unexpected when you just assume the game is only about a guy looking for his girlfriend. I guess the overall plot of the game from that point on is to rescue your girlfriend who has been abducted by the Devil himself because he wants her to be his spouse, and it's up to YOU, as Flint of course, to delve into the depths of Hell and rescue her from him. Like I said, I'm not sure she's worth going to Hell for, even if she did actually look like the kind of woman that most men would love to come home to after murdering animals and people throughout the day. In short, she plays the damsel in distress and you're the hero. Like Mario to Princess Peach to Bowser. Only, this is for a more mature audience based on its tone and humor.
I couldn't really understand how on some parts there were dialogue boxes, but the dialogue that's actually spoken is different. It put me in a situation where I was there like, "Do I-Do I read or just listen???" Regardless of which or both, you do get the general message of what's going on because it's not a complex story, it just switches up on you in the last parts to become more compelling and interesting.
The game will be out on the console of your choice on March 1st, but you can play it now on the PC if you so please.