Charlie Murder, a game from Ska Studios was featured in this years xbox summer of arcade. Yes, this all out dark rock side scrolling game was featured in the pretty bright lights of the summer of arcade. Wake up and smell the sweat ‘cos we’re cranking this up to 11 and stage diving right into the thick of it!
Fallen punk rock idols Charlie Murder must face off against rival death metal band Gore Quaffer and their army of the damned in an RPG brawler hybrid inspired in equal parts by coin-op beat ‘em ups and dungeon crawlers.
The game begins with you selecting a member of the Charlie Murder band, each character is different with a different look, fight style and killer finishing moves. You can start by yourself or with three other friends in a co-op frenzy. Once selected your player starts in hell and gets a quick tutorial on how to rock the undead apocalypse. Once your little tutorial in hell is finished you find yourself top side. Dead. Once the paramedic revives you its business as usual and with your fists of fury you have to fight some of the most unusual undead enemies. I was a particular fan of the small fat zombies, I just wanted to *boop* them on their noes. Instead though I just punched them till they were no more.
The game itself reminds me of Scott Pilgrim meets Jane Wilde with a couple of amps, some guitars and the gods of rock added in for good measure. But it works, it’s fun and there’s plenty of variety with the fighting to save from getting a bit repetitive. As the player you can punch, kick, and jump your way through the levels but early on you get the addition of special moves, weapons and being able to throw enemies into overhead transformers, cooking them to a crisp. As I mentioned weapons within the game vary from Grenades to Shotguns and Bin Lids to a Katana.
Another cool feature of Charlie Murder which I enjoyed was the customization of your character, you can pick up items or buy them from shops spread across the levels. Your upper body can be adorned with the likes of shirts or vests that can give you added protection or speed boosts. Hats that will have similar bonus’, but my favourite was wrapping a chain around my characters fist to add a poison bonus to enemies you hit with the old one two. Along your adventure you’ll pick up items such as barley which can be used to make alcoholic beverages to fuel your war on these undead punks.
The levels are varied and fun and there’s always something going on, enemies are varied and like your potential players come in all shapes and sizes. You can also tattoo yourself up to get even more special moves, some include fire balls from the neck of your guitar or even a lightning strike turning you to a Punk Rock Thor. One of my main concerns with the game is the length of levels, they can be a little long but this is counteracted with the amount of enemies you deal with, it sort of makes you loose track of how long you’ve been progressing though a street.
You can grab Charlie Murder for £9.99 on the Xbox Marketplace or try out the Demo for free!
If you’ve played the game let me know in the comments below what you thought of it!