Butcher is a blood soaked love letter to the 90’s era of gaming, will The Butcher come out as a prize pig? Read our review to find out….
It’s no secret that Butcher was heavily influenced by the likes of Doom and other games of the pixelated 90’s, I was brought up gaming in the 90’s it’s what set the path to owning an Xbox One and even starting XGR, in this time I guess I’ve forgotten where I came from, Butcher has just brought me back! I have to admit when I watched a trailer for The Butcher on youtube i let out a sigh and uttered “oh look another pixelated 2d platformer” alas i was wrong, I judged a book by its cover and I shouldn’t have, I’m going to start off this review by tipping my hat to Crunching Koalas and Transhuman Design for taking me back to my early days of gaming in a 2D platform shooter bloodbath.
Back in the 90’s I for one didn’t really care much for a storyline or how good the texture on this piece of cardboard looked in game, all I wanted was a gun and to be nudged towards the enemy! The Butcher does just that, when you first load up the game and select your difficulty be it casual, hard, harder, the hardest or impossible you’re then greeted with a small cutscene giving you the gist of what’s occurring, after that you’re dropped straight into your mission with a shotgun in your hand and basic instructions of how to open doors, you can figure out the rest yourself and crack on shooting anything that moves creating an extremely large amount of blood splatter on the way to the exit. The campaign is split up into 5 “worlds” consisting of 4 levels per world and one finale world which has 1 boss level, as well another area known as the space station in which you access all of the worlds once unlocked through a blood sucking stargate sg1 style teleport gate. Each world is a different theme, you start off at the ironworks facility moving on to the following: Old Military Base, Jungle Outpost, Volcano Research Station, The Last City and then Finale which consists of the Guardian boss level, with each theme comes additional enemies, without going into too much detail you’ll see a decent selection of soldiers, flame throwers, jetpack soldiers, robots etc etc each enemy comes with a different weapon whether it be a shotgun, assault rifle, flamethrower or a missile you have to use your skills to avoid being shot whilst taking out as many as possible, throughout the campaign you will also come across areas which lock down and spawn in multiple enemies, a bit like a horde mode although in The Butcher it’s called “Extermination” this helps mix the game up a bit. Although you are basically doing the same thing over multiple levels with a few changes I for one didn’t become fed up or feel it was repetitive, The Butcher kept me sucked in wanting to shotgun the face off as many pixelated soldiers as possible although I didn’t have to only use the shotgun, it was my weapon of choice but you collect a selection throughout the game including a railgun, an assault rifle, a grenade launcher and a flamethrower etc with The Butcher being a bit of a blood bath you can choose whichever one suit your needs, ammo is available from either killing an enemy or being spawned in selected areas throughout the levels as well as your chainsaw which has unlimited ammunition.
As stated earlier The Butcher is a 1990’s pixelated 2d shooter so graphically it won’t stand up against the likes of Call of Duty or Battlefield but as you can imagine the developer isn’t going to write a love letter to Doom and give it the most amazing fantastic graphics around, for what it is the artwork is perfect, I did say I wasn’t impressed when I watched a trailer and I will admit I was wrong to judge. A game doesn’t need the best artwork to stand out it simply just needs to be addictive and in this case a blast from the past, along with its pixelated artwork it’s complemented with an industrial soundtrack throughout, loud screams from enemies and an even louder gunshot. All of this adds to the 90’s feel and works very well, on top of everything stated above you also have a speedrun mode for each level which does have an online leaderboard as well as collectables consisting of skulls in secret areas, 35 to collect throughout the campaign, health drops from enemies depending on the difficulty as well as armour for your cyborg human hybrid character.