Published on May 8th, 2017 | by Sean Warhurst
Butcher PS4 Review
Summary: With gleefully chaotic viscera-soaked combat and an arsenal at hand that’d make Rambo weep, Butcher is a bombastic throwback to the games of old that perfectly nails its core objective
Butcher can best be summarised as “Doom, but in two dimensions”, so it’s no real surprise that this is exactly how the game is being marketed, especially after the return to form for the classic ID series with last year’s release.
Developer Transhuman Design wear their influences proudly on their sleeves, with the gung-ho, tongue-in-cheek “Badass” attitude of Nineties games perfectly captured in pixel form; for Doom fiends or anybody who enjoys that grimy, metal album cover aesthetic Butcher is an ideal, bite-sized time killer.
Upon loading up Butcher, you’re informed that “the easiest mode is HARD”, which sets the tone for what’s to come. In a nutshell, you are a space marine who needs to slaughter all manner of cybernetic and demonic beasts and that’s all the explanation you’re going to get.
Gore-soaked carnage is the name of the game here, with myriad weapons and the trusty old staple of the chainsaw to use to your advantage. The enemy selection is fairly varied and as you progress further and encounter stronger and better armed foes, you have to really start implementing strategy into how you approach conflict.
Initially you can get away with blindly running and gunning through the stages, pausing to catch a breath only when you have to seek out a keycard and access the next area, but as the amount of enemies increase you’ll soon discover that, regardless of their distance from you, enemies will spot you and open fire, filling the screen with bullets. You have to start using the environment to obscure visibility and methodically pick off enemies as you move through the stage.
Despite how it sounds, however, the gameplay evolving in this manner doesn’t slow the game’s frenetic pace at all and you’ll soon be using the environment to your advantage, luring foes into traps and unleashing a barrage of bullets upon any hapless soul who gets in your way.
Butcher can get a little hairy at times but the challenge never becomes tiresome or too hard; the pick up and play nature of the game also ensures that it never outstays its welcome.
The heavily pixelated graphics manage to effortlessly evoke the desired style and the music is all pumping, industrial tracks designed to get you kicking asses and taking names.
The level design can feel a little limited, basically being restricted to your generic rusty and lava filled ship corridors, but this lack of environmental variation can be excused considering the source of inspiration.
Butcher never demanded too much of me, which is something I can’t say about many games these days as responsibilities pile up alongside the years. Perfect for quick bursts of gaming, Butcher worked best for me as a palate cleanser between other games.
That’s not to detract from the quality of the game at all – The fact that I kept returning to Butcher when I became weary of other games really speaks volumes.
It also helps that I’m unashamedly drawn to the over-the-top, fist-to-face style of games like Doom, so Butcher really hit that nostalgic sweet spot.
With gleefully chaotic viscera-soaked combat and an arsenal at hand that’d make Rambo weep, Butcher is a bombastic throwback to the games of old that perfectly nails its core objective and offers up hours of side-scrolling shotgunning goodness.
Primary Format – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PC, Xbox One
Game Genre – Action
Rating – M
Game Publisher – Crunching Koalas
Game Developer – Transhuman Design
Reviewer – Sean Warhurst