This year’s Summer of Arcade has started with a bang with the exceptional Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Charlie Murder provides another good reason why Microsoft’s content curation is so exceptional. These games are so unique in execution and visuals that it’s no secret that most of the games released in SoA have gone on to become major names.
Charlie Murder is a beat-em-up and is very simple when it comes to core gameplay mechanics. The twist here is that it has been mixed with great music because the main protagonist is in a rock band. You will get to play mini-games like the ones you can find in Guitar Hero games, and it’s quite fun too.
Ska Studios are specialists in zombie games and this follows the same formula. You can punch the hell out of enemies and use plenty of weapons available at your disposal to kill them in unique ways. That’s one of the best things about this game. Once you smash a bunch of zombies you can pick up their body parts usually bones and stuff like that and use it to kill other zombies.
You can also fight bosses at the end of each level, and it won’t be easy because the difficulty can be high. You have a limited amount of health which you can replenish by pick up hearts after killing enemies. Of course, all that is pretty straightfoward, but the game has a drop in drop out co-op which can make it really difficult to tell new players what to do.
The game offers you a lot of choice due to the way it is designed. You can level up, pick classes, and basically learn some fun moves as you keep playing the game. It’s not that difficult to comprehend the basic mechanics.
The game has an incredible soundtrack which gives a good sense of urgency and pumps you up as you use every weapon and offense in your arsenal to defeat hordes of zombies. The punching sounds may remind you of Bollywood fake sounds but that’s the charm of the whole thing.
The visuals are pretty good too with a very pleasing artstyle. The zombies look like zombies and the way some major bosses charge at you can really be an intimidating thing. The game is quite lengthy as it took me a lot of time to go through it considering the difficulty spike that can occur.
The checkpoints aren’t generous at all and dying at a wrong time will result in your playing a lot of content again, which can really reduce your motivation to beat the game. It’s not that difficult but sometimes you tend to get ganged up on, which reduces your health and makes it difficult to run around considering it’s a side scrolling game.
Overall, Charlie Murder is a very good game but dragged down by poor design decisions which could have been avoided. However, there’s fun to be had here considering there’s a lot of weapon and enemy variety on offer, and sometimes it can be really challenging and satisfying to kill them all. This combined with great customisation options, provides a lot of content but the execution is a bit flawed.