TRAVIS NORTHERN | email@example.com
VIA NEXTLEVEL GAMING
“Drawn to Death” opens with a first-person scene of sitting in a high school science classroom. You endure the dull drone of the teacher for only a few moments before looking down at your sketchbook. You sink into the world of its pages, delving into the drawings of an imaginative, eccentric, and sophomoric teenage boy. This is where the game begins.
A rocky opening
The opening tutorial is an optional lesson on the premise of the game, and frankly, we wish we had skipped it. The gamemaster is a quippy frog that could be an interesting comedic companion, but he is the biggest reason to put down “Drawn to Death” forever. The less-than-amicable amphibian brags about encounters with your mother, lies to you about the gameplay, and calls you an idiot more times than you can count. Some jokes are genuinely funny, but the game frequently mistakes “crass” for “hilarious.” The aggressive nature of this tutorial seems serious about wanting you to stop playing, and it is a real shame, because there are features to enjoy here.
Full of character
One of the game’s great successes is its art style. The environments resemble folded paper and scribbled sketches, and character models, which stand out from the fray with their distinct builds and dark color palettes. The visuals meld nicely with the dynamic maps, and this atmosphere is easily the best part of the game. Health, buff and item pickups also create a retro experience that harkens back to some classic 3rd-person shooters. The weapons, characters, and special abilities are joyously destructive and often very funny, and it is a blast to create your build and plan your strategy.
Buried under flaws
While it can be engaging and competitive, this title is dragged down by its mechanical issues. Jumping feels so floaty, as if everyone moves through molasses. The game just does not respond fast enough while players careen through the air, and combat slows to a grind with players hopelessly flailing to find their aim. Additionally, the game crashed on us almost once per play session. Load times are too long and come too often for simple four-player matches and basic menus. There is only one queue for all game modes, and they only last for one game, making it difficult to meet new friends or make new enemies.
Melding into mediocrity
“Drawn to Death” has an entertaining tactical shooter within its artistic pages, but the game is hindered by its mean spirit and mechanical faults. The game holds a little quality and it could attract a cult fanbase, but there are many reasons for most demographics to avoid the game. It may be cheap–clocking in at $20 on the PlayStation store–but it often feels even cheaper.
This review features the communal opinions of NextLevel staff members Kenneth Tabili, Jacob Farris, and Travis Northern.
NextLevel Gaming Online (NLGO) is an online magazine and podcast, centered on the gaming industry. NLGO covers video games, tabletop games, hardware, software, internet news, and anything tech-related. For full reviews and more game news, visit their website at nlgo.net.