For the past couple of years, my wife and I had a side-job cleaning a condominium complex. It was basically easy money for little more than a couple of hours of work each week, so it helped pay the bills. Doing that kind of work teaches you a lot about human nature, and the two things I learned from doing this job are:
1. If you are any kind of cleaner, people assume you cannot speak English.
2. People are disgusting.
I digress, but I feel this information is relevant because it speaks to the level of real-life experience I bring to this review of Viscera Cleanup Detail by RuneStorm.
Viscera Cleanup Detail is essentially a janitorial simulation game, but with a sci-fi twist. The basic premise is that you exist in the aftermath of the epic battle between a video game hero who has wiped out an alien invasion. The threat has been neutralized and everyone is off celebrating victory. You, on the other hand must get to work cleaning up the mess left behind. It is at its most basic level a cross between Super Mario Sunshine and Dead Space.
And what a mess you are cleaning up. The level of blood and gore is very highly detailed, and it’s on par with the Dead Space series for triggering your gag reflex on a regular basis. In fact, it almost feels worse here because in a conventional game, you can blast an enemy apart and move on. It is an entirely new experience having to pick up his/her remains one chunk at a time. The game consists of seven zones, which are mostly similar with the exception of the Zero-G chamber.
This is a game tailor-made for the type of gamer who obsesses about collectibles and going for 100% completion of zones. The levels you encounter are absolutely littered with blood, body parts, and other grossness. I gave it my best effort to completely clear out at least one area with my trusty mop and bucket, and actually made some progress…until…
People think it’s frustrating building up a bunch of souls in Dark Souls only to lose them all. Try cleaning up an entire space station, throwing bits of human into the incinerator, and then knocking the bucket over and creating another mess to clean up. I’m not the controller-breaking type, but let’s say I clutched mine very hard upon realizing that all my hard work has been undone by my own carelessness. Indeed; this is not a game that you should go into expecting to accomplish anything.
Viscera Cleanup Detail is another in the increasingly long line of humorous ‘simulation’ titles. As a straight-up janitorial game it’s not too bad — if that’s your kind of thing. Along with that, it has a satirical bent which deftly provides a clever perspective on the ridiculous nature of the violence in modern video games. As a single player experience however, it doesn’t really hold up as something you’d want to commit to playing save for the most dedicated. Even then, the level of attention those players would need to give the game would border on the obsessive. As a multiplayer party-type game however, a lot more fun can be had with this game’s physics and varied levels. While ‘Slop Bucket Tag’ isn’t listed as a specific feature, the right combination of players could turn this environment into a transgressively fun playground.
[+Funny twist on video game conventions] [+Decent janitorial simulator] [+The perfect game for people with OCD] [- Novelty wears off quickly] [-Who’s going to actually ever complete an area?]