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Playstation Experience: Hands-On With Drawn to Death
New IPs are a tough sell. Talking heads all over the internet scream at developers and publishers for not being original, all the while these same people spend their days yelling at these same developers and publishers for not making the next installment for their favorite franchise. It seems like everybody wants everything, but nothing will make them happy. David Jaffe has a pedigree that could go up against almost anyone in the industry. A man who flexes director credits for multiple Twisted Metal and God of War titles, the man is as close as we have to a living Playstation legend. With Drawn to Death, he looks to create the next entry in his long list of over-the-top Sony exclusives.
Drawn to Death’s art style is astounding. The world you’re dropped into really comes to life with all of it embracing the look of pencil-drawn sketches. The creators stated that the inspiration for the art style was school children’s notebooks, and they lay it on thick in this aspect. There is no shortage of potty humor all throughout this game and you can’t look twice before seeing some sort of offensive object, phrase or action in front of you as you try to blast away your enemies by sinking bullets – a ton of bullets – into them.
There are 4 classes in Drawn to Death. For my time with the game I was assigned to the character known simply as Alan. Alan would be described best as a heavy class. He was incredibly strong and had a ton of life, but he wasn’t able to pick up health nor did he have the ability to evade. He also had a class-specific chainsaw which could be used as a melee weapon to cut up your enemies into pieces, or thrown across the screen into incoming traffic. You begin a match being literally dropped onto the map from a skydiving perspective. Once you’re in the map it’s up to you to collect weapon upgrades and any other supplementary devices such as grenades and all-powerful human hands that spread terror throughout the map.
Shooting felt fine, nothing out of the ordinary although it does take about three or four times the amount of bullets to kill someone compared to that of a conventional shooter. Melee is a bit stiff and platforming is floaty and tough to control. Running was frustrating and tough to control because the game forced you to hold down L3 instead of the standard click-and-release. The art style is amazing to look at from a spectator’s view, but once you actually get yourself behind the controller the maps depth perception feels a bit off and the color pallet could use a little more variety. All in all the 2 matches I played were high energy and hilariously violent, and I really didn’t take much stock into my performance. I just know I enjoyed myself.
Drawn to Death was presented to the public in a unique circumstance being that it is currently pre-alpha. When I finished my matches I was directed to meet with the developers for a Q&A about the game and they asked for our impressions as well as recommendations to improve their game as they continue development. I was impressed with their straight-forwardness. They believe in their product and they want to see it succeed. The developers are fully aware that they’re not going to have any success going up against the Call of Duty, Battlefield, or Halo crowd, so they’ve set out to make a more accessible shooter to appeal to the more casual crowd. I’ll be looking forward to looking for all the craziness to follow.