Well, there’s a game title for you. From developer DoubleMoose and publisher Curve Digital comes the rather aggressively titled, Just Die Already. Honestly I knew nothing about this game going into the review, I just loved the title and wanted to play it. So what is it all about? I’ll let the devs themselves answer that with this blurb about the game:
“You are an old retired person in a near future where people aren’t having any children. There isn’t anyone to pay for pensions due to those ungrateful millennials who prefer playing video games instead of doing actual work. With no one to cover your living costs, you – just like all other old people in this world – have no other choice but to survive on your own.”
Finally, I can play as an old cantankerous bastard getting annoyed at the youth of today. So, after picking one of four OAPs to play as, you start out in an old people’s home and want to escape your mundane life, not wanting to die in a nursing home. You yearn to go looking for some excitement and crazy ways to end your own life. So you try to get kicked out of the home, you do this by creating a little disruption, ruin a birthday party, annoy the other residents. Before you know it, you are turfed out to fend for yourself and this is when the game begins proper.
If you are familiar with Goat Simulator from 2014, then you know exactly what you are getting into here. This is basically Goat Simulator, but with old people and a lot more blood. In fact, the two games are from the same creator, Armin Ibrisagic. Just Die Already gives you an open world, a realistic physics defying game engine and an old person to use to cause OTT destruction and havoc. Civilians walk the streets, hundreds of objects and items to pick up an use, vehicles to control and much more. You are free to do whatever you want with whatever you want, go wherever you want. Described as an ‘old people mayhem sandbox game’. Yup, that pretty much sums the entire game up nicely.
There is no story to follow, but the game does give you a bucket list of things to do, with different areas of the map having their own lists. Tasks range from something as mundane as eating some food or taunting someone to far more elaborate tasks such as ride a hobby horse while holding your own decapitated head or hack an NPC up with an axe. With each completed task, you unlock a new item that you can grab from the vending machines scattered around the map, many of the items even have their own bucket list entry too. There are some very amusing hidden areas to find and a multitude of ways that you can discover to bring about your own death. Though when you do die, you can just respawn fully healed at the press of a button. Still, your OAP can take some serious damage before they do finally kick the bucket. You can break limbs (which heal over time), even have limbs removed completely, including your head and still stay alive. I was even reduced to just a pair of hips, no legs, no torso, just hips and I was still rolling around on the floor alive. This really is Monty Python’s Black Knight levels of absurdity in terms of body damage. Pretty much any and everything in the game will bring you serious injury and death, I mean, you can freely piss on electrical outlets. That’s the type of game this is.
The map the game takes place in is impressively big for a indie game. Split into seperate areas that each offer their own bucket list tasks and unique environments and items too. From the main city with shops and skyscrapers, to the docks area where deadly fish swim in the waters and more. There is a multiplayer mode, which I never tried, but I think that could add a lot of extra fun if you have a few friends to play with. Just Die Already also features cross platform play, so you can play with friends regardless of what machine they have.
Quite honestly, Just Die Already is a lot of nonsensical fun. There’s a lot to do and a huge variety of ways to do it too and the game gives you complete freedom to do whatever you want. But, I also found myself getting a bit bored quite easily though. I played it for a couple of hours just to get a feel for the game, making a few notes for this review and really enjoyed myself. Then I played it again for another hour or so, after a break, just to get more of the gameplay under my belt so I could start to write this review proper… And that was when I started to feel the gameplay got a bit tiresome. Then I played for an hour while actually writing and finishing this review, that was when I became utterly bored by the concept. You do kind of see everything the game has to offer within an hour or two if I’m being honest.
Now, it is not that Just Die Already is a bad game, because it really isn’t. More a case of, even with the openness of the game and the variety or weapons/items it does have, it is still very one-note. You just cause all sorts of destruction and die a lot… And that’s really it. It is a very shallow gameplay experience, even at its most madcap, Just Die Already is really very basic under the OTT physics engine and big map and despite the bucket list of things to do, they are all pretty much the same thing over and over with very little variety along the way. Plus those purposely bad controls and OTT ragdoll effects eventually become more of a hindrance than a joy.
As I said, I certainly had fun with this game, even if it was short-lived. Perhaps playing it in shorter bursts is the way to go instead of trying to cram in as much as I could to write this review? I do think I’ll return to it now and again when I want to unplug and just feel like being a bit silly and want some utter nonsense and fun. Just Die Already has a very reasonable price tag of £11.99 and you do get a lot of game for your money too, so it’ll hardly break your bank balance or cut into your life savings. It just needed a bit more variety to the gameplay and perhaps a bit more depth to keep people coming back for more. Fun for a while, but shallow. If you enjoy these type of Goat Simulator, physics defying games, then I do suggest that you give Just Die Already a go.