Review: Filthy Lucre (PS4/PSVR)

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Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PS VR Optional
  • PlayStation Move TBD
Title: Filthy Lucre
Format: PSN (6.18 GB)
Release Date: September 16, 2016
Publisher: Fabrik Games Ltd.
Developer: Fabrik Games Ltd.
Original MSRP: $17.99 (US), €17.99 (EU), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 16
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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Gameplay:
Played in a top-down isometric view Filthy Lucre tasks you with the retrieval of your boss’s belongings, plus a few other bits of swag along the way. You must infiltrate various enemy locations and grab as much loot as you can, preferably, without alerting any guards.

I was usually spotted in my first attempts and had to dispatch the surprised goon before he could call in backup and make a break for the alarm. More often than not, someone else would stumble upon the unlucky corpse and then all hell would break loose.

I could either try to take out any reinforcements, or get the hell out of there with whatever loot I had ‘alf inched (pinched) before it all went tits up (very badly wrong) and the SCO19’s get called in. Therefore, planning and timing is the key to success in this game.

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You can distract a guard from their patrol route by turning on one of the many machines or radios, throwing a noisemaker, or even shooting a car to set off its alarm. This allows you to creep by unseen, be a tea leaf (thief) and grab a key card from their skyrocket (pocket), or just sneak up on the inquisitive guard and snap their neck.

All of the items you can interact with are outlined with an identifying color and you will quickly learn what things are there to make a sound and what is to be ‘alf inched. You will have to keep an eye out, as some things are cleverly hidden or inaccessible until you activate a hidden door or move another object out of the way.

… you can do whatever you want …
My obsessive compulsions have meant that I keep going back to the same missions to collect everything without being spotted. This is helping improve my place on the leaderboards and get a few more nuggets (pound coins) along the way.

One thing I have found to be seriously enjoyable is kicking in a door instead of slowly picking the lock. If a guard is stood behind it, they are sent flying and do not get back up. You can also place traps or just charge in with a sawn-off. That’s the beauty of Filthy Lucre, you can do whatever you want.

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One word of warning, your past actions have consequences. The things you do are not only mentioned in news reports blaring out of radios but also spoken about by the guards. Others might be called in to fortify an area if you laid waste to the thugs earlier in the game.

Each of the fifteen missions are spread over five distinct areas and they get progressively harder as you advance. You will encounter tougher enemies that require more bullets or need be stunned before a silent takedown can be performed. They carry bigger weapons and even notice when something goes missing.

Optional PlayStation VR Content

There a few things that spoil the immersion and one or two game breaking bugs, the most annoying being that when I attack an enemy just as I leave a hiding place, more often than not my character is frozen in place and I have to quit or restart the mission. On two instances upon loading the level, I was unable to move and then when I returned to the hideout the entire game froze.

Aside from the troublesome bugs, I also found my character would occasionally become snagged when trying to creep around some corners. A small adjustment to the direction was all that was needed to free my moonwalker. I doubt any of the issues I have endured would ruin the desire to obtaining the Platinum Trophy.

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Visuals:
Light plays a part in the game. Flicking a light switch allows you to move around much easier, but the guards could also turn on their torches. Ducking into the shadows could save you from most henchmen, but some investigate those areas too.

Just because you cannot see the henchman’s visual cone doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Learning how far they can see is paramount, plus you can also lure someone away from their post if they spot something just out of their visual range. It’s handy but risky as they might just start to look around and stumble upon something they shouldn’t.

… walk over areas bathed in light and cast no shadows …
Each area has a very distinctive theme, from the nasty and dirty scrapyard (or junkyard for you Americans) to the stylish penthouse complete with its own helipad. Most of the levels are split between one or more floors and you can even creep through a few vents. Some of the ducts seem to be architecturally impossible and even invisible in one mission.

Disappointingly, you cannot drag or carry bodies but can use a Body Hider that makes them disappear in a cloud of smoke. The impossible vents and magical Body Hider take you out of the experience a little bit. Why not let me hide a corpse in some shadows or stuff them into garbage bins or lockers?

Filthy Lucre has a good level of detail to each area but often fails to fully immerse the characters. They are not reflected in nor do they even produce a ripple in the puddles, and they seem to walk over areas bathed in light and cast no shadows. These are minor quibbles and overall the game looks very nice, just take a butchers (look) at the screenshots.

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Audio:
Authentic London banter and the occasional soliloquy can be heard from the guards as they patrol the grounds and dimly lit hallways. The distant sound of a boy racer or the bark of a dog will break up the quiet London night as your character creeps about, stifling the cries for help as they snap a guard’s neck.

As you study the routines of the henchmen the talk of more rain and a recent daring raid at the waterworks echoes out of a portable radio, a muffled conversation can be heard in the next room as two people disagree on the amount of money one owes the other.

Music only kicks in when the action ramps up and it helps to keep the tension raised as you blast the enemy with all manner of weaponry. While the weapons sound good enough, they lack some of the punch I like to hear in a game like this.

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Online/Multiplayer:
You can easily set up an online co-op game when loitering around in the hideout. You can also have a friend play in local split screen and they even get their own cash and upgrades. It is immensely fun (for me) to continually speak in a poor attempt at Cockney rhyming slang and a London accent to my wife as she runs about making a pig’s ear of it all.

“You can’t stand arand like one o’clock ‘alf struck, you ‘ave to look lively me old trouble.”

I found the local multiplayer very good if you coordinate attacks and stay close enough to help if the other player gets in trouble. It splits the screen down the middle, even if both characters are side by side. There aren’t any fancy blends and split camerawork like in the recent LEGO games.

“Blimey luv, what you gone an dun naa!”

You can create or join a public or private online game but after many attempts, I have yet to play with anyone else. Being unsure if I had to wait in the hideout for others to join meant I was stood around with nothing to do for a long while.

“Get up them apples me old treacle.”

One feature that impressed me was the guards interrogating my wife’s downed character, asking where her partner was as they kicked and threatened the injured victim. I managed to get back and revive her after taking out the goon with a few crossbow bolts to the back.

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Conclusion:
Ducking and diving has never been so much fun. Filthy Lucre manages to be a fun and dynamic stealth game. Playing the same missions with my wife in a split-screen co-op game was both tense and hilarious.

The couple of glitches and bugs that scurry around occasionally frustrate and only spoiled two games mid-mission. The weapons and gadgets that you unlock and equip in the hideout are varied and fun to use and filling up the vault with all the loot you find will take some doing.

If you enjoy the stealth genre then you could creep round the entire game without killing a single person. Alternatively the action junkie could go in armed to the teeth and wipe everyone out, I preferred to do a mixture of the two, usually because I made a blunder and had to quiet the commotion.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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  • HayaruKawai

    Reading the name of this game all I can think about is Ronnie from Dragon’s Crown saying “Filthly Lucre!” – LOL