High on Life: We tried the fun first person shooter from the creator of Rick and Morty

High on Life: We tried the fun first person shooter from the creator of Rick and Morty

Original surprise of the Xbox & Bethesda conference in early summer, High on Life was able to immediately capture the attention of a double audience: on the one hand, all the admirers of that incredibly funny animated production that responds to the name of Rick and Mortyon the other hand that people of gamers who, alongside productions of enormous importance, also take pleasure in enjoying some products with a reduced budget and who perhaps simply aim to entertain without overdoing it.

If for some reason you do not know anything about this title and do not want to take a look at the trailer positioned a little further down, we use these few lines to better explain what it is. High on Life is a first person shooter made by Squanch Games, a small independent studio founded by one of Rick and Morty’s co-creators, as well as one of its historical voice actors, Justin Roiland. It only takes a few seconds of the aforementioned presentation film to find the points of contact between the two productions: the rhythm, the foul-mouthed and politically incorrect jokes, a certain madly sci-fi imagery, being completely over the top in every single moment. All this within an independent production, a Triple I as its creator has enjoyed saying over and over again. In short, we are not faced with a competitor from Call of Duty or Battlefield, but rather we are faced with a shooter that does everything to not take itself seriously and that seems to have the conditions to tell an extremely funny story.

At Gamescom 2022, inside the Xbox booth that hosted the developer, we had the opportunity to try the entire High on Life demo from which the final fight shown during the Opening Light Live was extracted. About twenty minutes positioned after the narrative incipit and following the tutorial, a sort of mission 2 to be clear, with a good part of the gameplay useful for becoming familiar with the controls and the style of play. Before telling you what we have discovered and describing our impressions, we advise you to take a look at the rich special on the game published a few weeks ago, where you can find more information on the story and the setting.

A simple and straight to the point shooter

Don’t be fooled by appearances: the protagonist of High on Life is a simple, naive student

The first element of the game that emerged from our test concerns the extreme reduction to the bone of the shooting dynamics by High on Life. In the game you move, jump and shoot. At least in its early stages, the ones we tried. There do not seem to be more complex dynamics of movement such as slips, runs on walls or strange dodges and at the same time there seem to be no elements of role progression, if we exclude some form of enhancement of the weapons and the resistance of the protagonist that we only glimpsed before launching into the mission. In this “preparatory” phase it was in fact possible to wander around a house, chat with our sister and the absurd alien owner of a portal with which it is possible to move from scenario to scenario and also, precisely, access screens of equipment improvements, which were not active in the demo.

Once we accepted the job, we found ourselves wandering through the streets of an extremely colorful alien metropolis and then infiltrating its sewers in search of the enemy to defeat. In this way we could slowly become familiar with the first two weapons of the game: the gun dubbed by the co-creator of Rick and Morty and a dagger with a marked murderous fury. Both offense tools have two firing modes: with the lama we can in fact deliver a close shot that seemed able to immediately kill any common enemy, or use it as a grappling hook to reach very high areas or jump from one platform to the next, hooking ourselves to some flying insects. There pistol instead, in addition to firing “classic” shots, it can be used as a mortar complete with a parabola of the shot and slowdown of the action during the aiming phase. In this way, for example, we can target undercover opponents or defeat groups of enemies. The affected aliens, among other things, fly through the air for a few seconds remaining at the mercy of our shots and making it much easier to take them out.

High on Life's talking gun is one of the most successful comic elements

High on Life’s talking gun is one of the most successful comic elements

The continuation of the mission was absolutely standard with a long pilgrimage through the sewers interspersed with some platform stages and a handful of story-related dialogues and it all completed with the boss fight shown during Geoff Keighley’s event. If on the front of the shooting High on Life really seems to do the bare minimum both in terms of artificial intelligence and variety of fights (and among other things it also presented too much assisted aiming, we hope for balancing issues related to the demo), it is in the ‘area of ​​dialogues and situations in which we found ourselves involved that the game really enjoyed us.

Constantly listen to the talking gun comment on situations or try to explain us where to go and what to do, stay involved in crazy dialogues of the dagger that invites us to slaughter anything that stands in front of us, with continuous appreciation and various enjoyments when we find ourselves killing an opponent, sometimes made us feel embarrassed as we realized we were laughing out loud in the little room with the demo stations.

In short, we can say that High on Life did not really impress us for its gameplay or for the graphic realization which, although cute, colorful and really very inspired in the character design, does not present a noteworthy technical sector and indeed had numerous uncertainties about the front of the frame rate accompanied by some inaccuracy in the management of the phases in which it was necessary to launch from grip to grip with the knife. However, we cannot hide that we are there have fun like crazy and to be really curious to find out where the story will go, and what other strange characters and absurd weapons the title will let us know and “force” us to listen during our epic to save the human race.

High on Life is colorful and very distinctive

High on Life is colorful and very distinctive

However, we will have to wait a few more months since the game has been moved forward in these days and will arrive on the market at the end of the year, to be exact on December 13 on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S, at launch directly on the Game Pass. Among other things, the developers have confirmed to us that they are working on localization in Italian which should also concern the dubbing and, if this turns out to be true, it will be excellent news considering how much the dialogues are fundamental to enjoy all the humor of High on Live.

We have to admit it: the guys from Squanch Games were very good at selling High on Life to us with the Gamescom 2022 demo. finished, but the madness of his characters, of the situations encountered and of the constant dialogues that underlined our every action, have entertained us as we have not done for a long time and our hope is that the rhythm of the jokes is constant throughout the adventure. In the midst of so many serious and realistic cinematic experiences, a digression of this kind could please a lot of players.


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