FUNNY is subjective. We all have our own taste when it comes to comedy, and High On Life is certainly it’s own brand of funny.
In an interview Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland has said that they “know that not every joke is going to “hit” with some players, but if someone wants to continue on through and just enjoy a different aspect of the game, they won’t hold it against them”. Squanch Games moves to the beat of their own drum with their games, and it’s honestly a breath of fresh air for gaming in 2022.
From the moment you step into the game you know the story is wacky and I am here for it.
You play a nameless teen bounty hunter paired up with various talking weapons, travelling the universe attempting to free humanity from an alien crime syndicate that wants to use us as drugs. Expect to do a lot of shooting in this first-person platformer-shooter, while also solving problems and completing the most intriguingly grotesque missions I have ever experienced. The combat options are extremely fun, like a ricocheting sawblade that you can knock back baddies, or a shotgun that vacuums protective slime from your foes.
From my experience so far, everything you see and hear in this game is handcrafted to stimulate and entertain. From the environments to the NPC design, it is clear that there has been so much love poured into High On Life – Every rock and plant and pipe and grate feels meticulously created to help tell the story.
This game has the most dialogue I have ever experienced, this can be adjusted in the settings, and around every corner there is something interesting. This is consistent throughout the 12 hours (approximately) of gameplay and the entertainment only ramps up as you continue the story.
Out of all things, the most entertaining things for me in High On Life is the way you move. To begin with it’s pretty standard with running and crouching, however this soon changes. The Slide and Dash upgrade soon became my favourite move in the game. You receive a knife that extends out and can be used to pull you along rails providing Bioshock Infinite-esque battle scenes. Combine this with the jetpack, and you have the perfect recipe for an extremely fun time. The transversal mechanics are all implemented to create dynamic and exciting gameplay which is genius.
Overall, I am impressed by the how they have used Unreal Engine to create a beautifully alien world – almost like playing an animated movie. It is a game that is extremely self aware, breaking the fourth wall with it’s dialogue to remind you that it knows you’re playing a game.
It isn’t a massive innovation in gaming but the combination of the small, intricate details have created an interesting and dynamic world, fit for any thrill seeker gamer. High on Life doesn’t take its self too seriously, which brings a down-to-earth charm that, as an Australian gamer, I can certainly appreciate.
The game’s humour and references are meant to shock and awe players, so please keep that in mind if you decide to play this game. You can access High on Life on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC as part of Xbox Game Pass and on Steam.