We’ve all been there, bored at school. You remember that teacher that kept going and going? No way out of the classroom, you’re forced to pay attention to a subject you couldn’t care less about and there’s literally no escape. That is until you discover your old notebook and start creating one of your most insane ideas. Like a new shooter where strange demon-like characters shoot each other in the bloody face. Yes, that seems like a great solution if you ask me!
Style is everything
At its core, Drawn to Death is a very mediocre arena shooter/brawler but its presentation really tilts it to a new height. In a world where shooters seem to all look alike and play it safe, comes developer The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency, delivering a game with unique visuals. As you see in the screenshots, the game is set in a notebook of an edgy teen sitting in the back of the classroom. We all know somebody who does that, right? The teen doesn’t seem to care about the subject of the class and decides to bring Drawn to Death to life.
The aesthetics of the game really match the setting. Everything you see and hear is so over the top and perfectly fits the mind of an edgy teen in the mid-90s. The characters are over the top and look like something you could see in horror movies in the past. Besides the aesthetics, the soundtrack and match commentator only add to the atmosphere.
As you might expect, the soundtrack consists out of loud guitars and other typical 90s influences but the best part is without a doubt the match commentator. The humor is clearly over the top and filled with foul language and fourth wall breaking moments but strangely enough, it works. It took me by surprise really, since I normally can’t laugh with edgy ‘look how cool this game is’ humor but in Drawn to Deat it actually works. The commentator is full of self-awareness and even complains about pre-recorded commentary during matches. I’m sure not everybody will like the idea of a commentator insulting you if you perform badly but it’s something I started to appreciate in this game. Without the commentary, it would be way less fun.
The best part about the visuals and sound is that they both stay consistent all the time. There’s no lag at all so you’ll be able to enjoy the game without the smallest hiccup. We didn’t expect anything else, of course, since David Jaffe (God of War) worked on this game for years.
The actual game
This brings us to the actual gameplay. As said before, Drawn to Death is an arena shooter/brawler where you can select one of the six playable characters. Just like Overwatch, it’s important to understand your character and eventually select your main. Each character is over the top in its own way and has two special attacks that vary from giant floating hands to drones. Six characters aren’t that much and honestly, the game would benefit from more fighters but for now, it’s a good start. Each character feels balanced and I never had the feeling that playing as a certain character gave me a huge advantage over my opponents. That’s not the way you play Drawn to Death.
The game is very fast-paced and the maps are filled with health packs and powerful weapons to take down your enemies. Unlike other shooters, there’s always a possibility to evade your opponent and return to the safety of a health pack. At first, I thought this was a good thing, not being gunned down seconds after I entered the scene, but eventually, this system results in rather long matches, taking away the momentum multiple times. It’s a shame really since the game really focusses on fast action.
To make up for this frustration, the developers did add some of the greatest weapons ever. Like a Super Nintendo shooting explosive cartridges that inflict massive damage. The weapons are without a doubt a big plus in the game since they all feel original and different. Sure, you’ll have a shotgun as well if you like it more old-school, but you’re never forced to use a weapon you don’t like. Just like the characters, the weapons are well-balanced so you’ll never be disadvantaged that much.
This brings me to the major complaint I have, lack of content. Besides a free for all match with a maximum of four players on the map, the game doesn’t have that much to offer. There’s a 2VS2 and 1VS1 mode but those couldn’t save the game from becoming boring after a while. I’m sure more modes and perhaps more characters will be added at some point in the future but as for now, the game feels a little too shallow to really justify getting it. But, since the game is currently free for download if you have a PS Plus subscription, there’s nothing holding you back from trying it!
Drawn to Death has a great style that stays consistent from the moment you start a match to the moment you end it. The six playable characters all feel different and the weapons are just so over the top that they are incredibly fun to use. Too bad the game doesn’t offer more modes and it just feels a bit too shallow at some points. It’s not the best arena shooter for sure, but it’s a game that can result in some fun nights. It’s definitely worth trying out!