Overview – developed by DEKLAZON and published by Eastasiasoft, Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover is a physics based brawler where the player controls a drunken rocker fighting through a zombie filled city. Take on hordes of the undead, swinging wildly while stumbling through the apocalypse trying to find more beer and make it out. This title is available on PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One/Series and the Steam platform, with links to each version at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank eastasiasoft for providing the copy of Drunken Fist 2 that was used for this piece. the provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.
Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. I will be skipping the story segment as there is little in terms of plot and moving directly into the gameplay segment.
Gameplay – Drunken Fist 2 is a physics based brawler, where the player must control the inebriated rocker, trying to fight their way through the zombie apocalypse. The game is made up of stages, where a specific number of zombies must be defeated in order to progress. Each of the stages are fairly open where the player can roam around and explore the space to an extent, finding items and collecting weapons to fight back with.
There is a preset number of enemies that will appear in a level, with new variants appearing over time. The undead that populate the areas range from the residents of the towns to stronger entities that have become infected, including firemen and soldiers. The difference between basic and special zombies is their behaviors, as the standard enemies can just attack with their fists whereas the special variants have weapons and unique attacks.
To get past the hordes of undead that are roaming the streets, the player must engage in combat with them. However, while this is the core focus of the title, it is also the biggest stumbling block for the experience. In battle, the player has access to three attacks, a punch, kick and sweep attack, which can be combined together but these attacks can be inconsistent. This is because attacks can cancel each other out and the damage dealt can vary even when using same attacks.
The issues with combat aren’t just tied to the combo system, as the ragdoll physics that the game uses can cause the player to get caught in the environment or even miss attacks. There is also what feels like a delay to the inputs, which is caused by a momentum system when the player tries to move and is made worse by the camera whipping around to lock onto enemies. Weapons can also be found in the stages, which will break after several uses but they also suffer from physics issues.
There are also healing items that the player can use to recover their health in the form of beer bottles, which will refill the player health by drinking. The health items are important as the player will need to heal regularly, due to taking damage or letting the bathroom meter fill up. Speaking of the bathroom meter, there is a meter in the corner that will fill over time and deal damage when the bar is full. To empty the bar, the player will need to urinate which can cause a slipping hazard afterwards.
The overall experience feels clunky and does have the unfortunate flaw of being inconsistent when fighting, which is made worse when surrounded by enemies. There is a defensive measure that can be used to make battle a little more bearable, a jump back escape mechanic can let the player get out of danger, but it is fairly clumsy when used in battle. This is due to the potential for the camera to swing wildly around or even slipping on patches where the player has urinated.
Now with the gameplay covered, it is time to move onto the other aspects of the game, starting with the controls.
Controls – there is a feeling of lag when moving and fighting enemies, with button presses that can feel unresponsive and movement that feels very slow. The button inputs also feel delayed, which interferes with the instinct that players have with traditional brawlers, where rapid button presses often result in dealing more damage. This instinct does not mesh well with the actual combat, as repeated button presses can cancel out previous ones.
Difficulty – there isn’t really much of a difficulty curve at the start as most enemies are easy to deal with, however in the later portions of the game there is a difficulty spike. This is due to the introduction of projectile attacks, which are difficult to avoid due to the rather slow movement of the player when trying to gain momentum after being still. To compensate for this, the player can remove limbs holding weapons if they are lucky as well as there being an abundance of health pick up in stages.
Presentation – visually the game has a charm to it, with the low poly models, the exaggerated body proportions and the gore that is splattered across the stages in slow motion during kills. But there are some unfortunate flaws, due to the way that the models interact with the environment, causing wild glitches to occur and models to freak out. The sound is pleasant enough with music taken from pre-existing libraries from Kevin Macleod which works well with the game.
Final Thoughts – I had played the previous title and have reviewed it (HERE), so I went into this hoping for some of the kinks from the previous game to be ironed out. I can say that this is an improvement in several aspects, but not in the areas where it was needed the most. The gameplay is streamlined, with there being less of a hindrance getting into the combat, however the combat itself is as clunky and flawed as the previous which is unfortunate.
The overall experience does have value to it, with gameplay that can be fun and entertaining at a modest price point even if it is relatively short. It is just unfortunate that the combat itself which is the games main selling point can be so inconsistent, which really does hinder what is otherwise an enjoyable concept. I am unable to make a recommendation or not for this title, but if you like physics based games, this one may be for you.
In the end, I give Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover a final score of 3/5. This title has the potential to be a very fun and entertaining brawler, with lots of comedic action and bloody effects. However, the overall experience is sadly marred by the inconsistent and potentially frustrating combat mechanics. If you want to check this title out for yourself, a link to each version of the game will be below.
Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)
Link to PlayStation version (HERE)
Link to Xbox version (HERE)
Link to Steam version (HERE)