Review: Jazzpunk: Director’s Cut (PS4)

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Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC, Mac, and Linux

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV
Title: Jazzpunk: Director’s Cut
Format: PSN (4.58 GB)
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Necrophone Games
Developer: Necrophone Games
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: T
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
The 2014 PC adventure Jazzpunk has made its way to consoles and the quirky comedy game comes with some extra bells and whistles to make a two year old game still relevant.

At its core this is a comedy adventure game about espionage, but the espionage part does not hold a lot of weight with the humor being at the forefront of the game.

The comedy styling is comparable to that of Monty Python in that the humor is surreal with absurd scenarios and characters scattered all over the world. The game throws jokes at every turn so sometimes they hit and other times they fall flat or they may just go right over your head. It’s almost overwhelming how many jokes, sketches, and easter eggs are packed into this simple game.

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Gameplay is basic with very little work required from the player to move on to the next level. You are tasked with one or two goals like infiltrate a building or recover an object. The beauty and fun here is in just poking and prodding the environment to see what the developers have hidden.

Outside of sketches and jokes there are a fair amount of minigames and side missions that are as absurd as the rest of the game. There are first person shooter minigames, a bizarre end game that involves a Virtual Boy, and a bunch of other randomness.

… the look of 1950s and 1960s spy thrillers …
Visuals:
In terms of the visual presentation Jazzpunk is simplistic with a polygonal design where, despite this, the game creates its own unique style. It’s very charming and almost every little bit of it feels like it was made with a joke in mind.

The world is able to capture the look of 1950s and 1960s spy thrillers with a bit of noir thrown in for a great result.

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Audio:
The voice work borders on bad in some instances and figuring out if it was done on purpose is hard to decipher. Regardless of some spotty voice work, it comes across as entertaining and adds to the game’s charm.

Musically Jazzpunk takes bits and pieces of jazz and influences from spy movies and noirs and puts it together into what cumulates in a nice soundtrack and score.

… reminiscent of Goldeneye, but with worse controls …
Online/Multiplayer:
Surprisingly there is a multiplayer mode included here in the form of the offline shooter called Wedding Cake. Wedding Cake was originally just another throwaway minigame hidden in the original release of the game, but now it’s a separate offline split screen mode.

It’s a first person shooter reminiscent of Goldeneye, but with worse controls. It is a nice feature I guess, but it’s not anything I could see myself or anyone else really jumping into. But for those that wanted more, there are more maps and characters to choose from than in the original version.

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Conclusion:
I was not expecting to enjoy Jazzpunk as much as I did. The humor didn’t always click for me, but when it did I literally laughed out loud. And even when a joke fell flat, there were so many being thrown at me that I had no time to focus on a failed comedy bit.

The game is pretty short and can be completed in under two hours, I believe I clocked in a little over ninety minutes, but I missed a lot of side missions and bits apparently. I started the game a second time and found a ton of things I missed and I am seriously considering going through multiple times to find all the things I missed.

This experience will not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a lighthearted game I would consider giving this one a try.

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 Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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