Drawn to Death is the latest game from controversial video game director David Jaffe. Jaffe is mostly well known for his involvement in both the Twisted Metal and God of War franchises, both of which were a success critically and commercially. These games were over the top in their personality but they had good gameplay to back up the flashy visuals. This is where Jaffe’s latest effort fails.
Drawn to Death has a striking art style and the idea of playing Deathmatches within a school kid’s jotter is a neat idea but the core gameplay is lackluster at best, and the game is covered in a rotten sense of humour that does a brilliant job of pushing you away.
At its core, Drawn to Death is a fairly straightforward multiplayer arena shooter played from the third-person perspective. The game has somewhat of an old school feel to it as the flow of the game is fast-paced. There are plenty of big, ridiculous weapons to use, and success in matches comes from learning the different spawn points throughout the level. It’s also only a 4 player game, which reminds me of the days when you had to play multiplayer games locally, before everything went online.
At the same time though, the game does have a lot of different playable characters, all of which have their own special attacks and mobility options. This helps make the game feel a bit more modern and gives the game a little bit more depth, as you will be rewarded if you take the time to learn the nuances of all of the characters.
However, I didn’t play long enough to learn all of these nuances. I got bored of Drawn to Death extremely quickly. I like arena shooters but this is not a particularly good one. I thought the controls weren’t precise enough for a twitch-based shooter and there’s an overly floaty feel to the combat that just feels bad.
Another thing that really hurts the game is the weapons. Sure there are a lot of them, ranging from conventional weapons like assault rifles and shotguns to a poo flinging monkey and a used videogame console, but generally, the weapons feel and act very underpowered. I did have some luck with the sniper rifle in the game, as it is a one shot kill if you manage to score a headshot, which creates a weird dichotomy between weapons that hardly do any damage and weapons can kill with a single shot. Firing a high powered chain gun at some bizarre looking enemies should be a gratifying experience but it’s just not in Drawn to Death.
On top of all that, the game has a really horrible sense of humour, which the game feels the need to shove down your gullet at all times. I don’t even know how to describe the games humour succinctly but it’s like if you took all of the worst aspects of internet humour and all of the worst aspects of juvenile humour, mixed it all together and this is the final result. The game is really upfront with all of this stuff early on and it never really gets any better because online matches have a horrible announcer that goes on about boners (because that’s hilarious, clearly) but thankfully, you can turn the announcer off. The humour's really off putting and it helps make the game seem worse than it really is.
So I really did not enjoy playing Drawn to Death that much but I will give some credit to the overall style of the game. I think the character designs are pretty out there, but in a good way. To give you an idea of what to expect; there is a weird shark lady, a vampire zombie man and a chainsaw teddy bear person. I also think that the random doodles, come to life aesthetic is actually very well executed and it’s a decent looking game overall, though the art style results in all of the levels looking the same.
Drawn to Death is one of those games I got bored with after a few hours, but I can see most players giving up on it well before then. There is plenty to unlock if you do like the game but for me, the shallow and unsatisfying gameplay really does very little for me and the sense of humour that Drawn to Death just makes me close the application and delete it forever. It’s a good thing that Drawn to Death is currently free if you are a PlayStation Plus member because no one would ever buy this game for $20. Stay away.
TWO OUT OF FIVE
(A bad game with an abundance of flaws which outweigh its positive aspects)