Stop a demon army with punk rock in 'Charlie Murder'

Written by: Carlos Zotomayor

Games | May 15, 2017

Charlie Murder Ska Studios

Being in a band isn't as easy as it sounds. Apart from writing songs, handling groupies, and picking the next crappy abstract painting for your album cover, the biggest problems band members have to deal with are each other.

Even if you started out as childhood friends, everything you go through, from horrible managers to figuring out which way to put in a toilet roll, will ensure that your lifelong bond lasts as long as Mini-Me in a basketball game.

So it helps to have a shared goal.

The protagonists of
Charlie Murder, Ska Studios' 2013 side-scrolling beat 'em up which is now on Steam for $9.99, have learned this the hard way. After firing one of their band mates, the pissed-off former member decides to lead a metal band of his own to rival Charlie's punk posse.

And no metal band would be complete without a little Satan worship! Gore Quaffer (as the long-haired metal group is known) seeks to make its claim to fame by summoning an army of fallen angels and undead to exact murderous revenge on the members of Charlie Murder.

But everyone knows that nothing short of a catchy pop song can stop the power of easily-composed rock. So after giving death the middle finger, the dysfunctional family set out to save the world in a battle of the bands against their backstabbing Judas and his horny friends.

While the day-to-day activities of a normal band are fun, the way these characters control are a bit more fiendish. 

Like old school titles Double Dragon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you and your friends guide one of the members of this illustrious fraternity as they make their way to the right side of the screen because this is the endgame of every side-scroller. While doing so, hordes of enemies will come at you like rabid fans fighting over a cheap T shirt that is two sizes too small.

Instead of combating the demons with guitar picks you made from your mom's expired credit card, players utilize real instruments, weapons, and a sneaky energy called "Anar-Chi" to return the denizens of Hell to whence they came. Team attacks and a loot system are also in place; letting you outfit your rocker with their own personalized look that grants you special bonuses that are attuned to you and your friends' playstyles.

But if you're that lone rebel in a group of outcasts, then there's no need to cut your wrists over it. Charlie Murder also comes with in-game arenas where you can settle once and for all who gets to talk to the press during interviews.

Though none of these features stand out from other like-minded titles, the unique selling point of Charlie Murder is that it incorporates punk rock into the video game like the two elements were Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz (that is, if Pete Wentz was talented). The soundtrack is a no-brainer, but everything from the graphics to the game mechanics feature contrasting colors, direct combat, and that rebellion which is required in every young anarchist.

With full multiplayer support both online and offline, Charlie Murder is obviously a better use of your time than trying to convince your one tone-deaf friend that you don't need to be musically-inclined to play the bass.

About the author: Carlos Zotomayor

Zoto can see your underpants. Mmm... tasteful.

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