There has always been a constant theme when comes to brawling in video games. Sometimes it’s the number of combo moves you do in the right order, sometimes it’s jumping from platform to platform, and sometimes it might be going through a town to clean up the streets. So does developer Zatun show give us that pick me up for when you are feeling down? Let’s find out with Down & Out for PCVR.
Down & Out is an open-world fighting game with a twist on the classic Brawler. You will put up your fists and get ready to experience the mean streets of the city where you must fight to prove yourself. So before going in like you rule these streets, there are a few things that you will want to know about. First, stretch. You will be throwing punches and other activities, so you don’t want to pull anything while playing. Second, make sure your controllers are fully charged. You don’t want to go into these streets about to defend yourself when your controllers die because you didn’t feel like charging them. And lastly, just go in with a carefree attitude and some time to kill, and before you know, the streets will be all yours. With that said, let’s continue…
One of the first things that you notice about this city, is the art style. It’s grungy and really gives the illusion that you small fish in a big pond. I felt like when I first entered, it could be a nice town. You could hear some vehicles going by and just really sounds of the city all around even with the overcast of the smog up above. You really do have just your two hands throughout the game where you will be using them for different activities and of course, fighting. The first part of the game is really all about getting you accustomed to your new life in the city, and what better way than walking up to someone who is peacefully facing the wall, throwing some things at them, fighting them, only to then get a spray can so you can paint a wall and have a cop show up? Oh, the city life.
You start Down & Out with $0.00. So it’s up to you to do a variety of activities in order to earn money. Some of these tasks include things like finding a wallet in the dumpster before the times runs out, standing your ground to defend your spot, Basketball, to even chasing the pizza delivery guy on a bike all before the time runs out. But sometimes, it’s just trying to walk through the streets and minding your business when someone has to come up to you to start trouble.
As you keep moving through the city, new activities will become available, and where the fights become more of a 2 vs 1 to an all-out city gang fight vs only you. Once you survive and you have earned enough money, you can visit the store where the clerk was masked up and I was able to choose my selection of a variety of gloves before I headed across the street to play some hoops.
Let’s look at the graphics and sound. The part of the city that you are in does make it feel like the not-so-good part of town. With the strange characters that walk around that look like some could be on some type of illegal substance that you really want no part of. Items from the different activities really looked clear and the outer parts of the city had this art style that really works in VR. Sound-wise, hearing the different sounds of the city really helped bring in the immersion. Punches had some bass along with using the bat (R.I.P. pizza delivery guy). I did also liked how the music would kick in during the fights. I mean, might as well have some tunes in these city streets.
There are some things that I hope to get updated and added. For one, more activities. There are a handful of activities, that even though you can keep doing, I just wanted more of them to do. Second, riding the bicycle. I am not sure what was happening, but the activity where you have to chase the pizza delivery guy while throwing things and using a bat, I tried to reset my view a couple of times, but it was almost like I was riding sideways until I turned around and nothing else I would do would correct this. Also, there was no way to speed up while riding so I hope this can be added to the controls. Third, more boss fights. I think having more activities while ranking up to become the boss of the city would be a nice touch. And finally, more of the city. By the looks of it, the city is big and just being able to visit a portion of it made me want to explore more of the city.
Down & Out gives that VR experience to brawl through the streets of the city while leaving us wanting more. It shows us that even when we may feel down, our lives could be much worse. And when you look at everything going on in the world, are our lives really as bad as we make them out to be?
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have to try and clean up these streets.