ASTERIX & OBELIX: SLAP THEM ALL!
Asterix & Obelix is a brand that has been afloat for several decades now. A couple of months ago, a new comic book about the adventures of funny Gauls was released in Europe, in which they even managed to add light references to the coronavirus pandemic. The audience, however, met the comic coolly, but this is unlikely to put an end to the future adventures of Asterix and Obelix. And not only in comics these heroes appear – new games, as well as remasters of old ones, are also coming out. For example, fresh Asterix & Obelix: Slap Them All!
In the five hours to be spent on the passage, the characters will visit many locations. They will start in Britain, and in the final chapter they will visit Egypt, and they will meet Cleopatra and Caesar. History in Slap them All! sometimes overlaps with what was told in the comics. So all the familiar characters with ridiculous names from Krasovax to Full Auto will appear here sooner or later.
The game retains the charm inherent in the Asterix & Obelix universe, also thanks to its funny dialogues. But there are so many replicas (and heroes) that the budget for full dubbing, apparently, was not enough – you can only hear the voice of one narrator, who, in between plot tasks, tells about the next steps of the Gauls. Outside of these loading screens, you only have to read comic-style subtitles, but even here the problem is that they are not translated into Russian.
Such a frame is easy to imagine in a comic book.
The emotions of the characters in the dialogues are conveyed by their two-dimensional models, which change facial expressions and postures depending on the situation. They are drawn amazingly, but most of all, the locations are pleasing to the eye. The game resembles an interactive comic with a bunch of beautiful pictures – the way the colors are chosen, how the volume is conveyed with numerous strokes, how the objects are detailed – for this alone one could put the highest score.
Only the artists tried
But Slap them all! First of all, the game, and the novelty has huge problems with the gameplay. This is the case when after a minute you know everything about the game – then it will not change at all. More precisely, there are timid attempts by developers to add variety, but they will not save you from boredom.
No matter how the enemies look, they are all defeated the same way.
The game is a beat ’em up – two playable characters, between which you can freely switch, go from one end of the map to the other and defeat crowds of enemies. There is really no difference between Asterix and Obelix – both can perform a normal strike, accelerate and knock down opponents, grab them and spin them over their heads, and also use special attacks that require energy.
All these skills are available from the very beginning, and new ones do not appear. Therefore, as at the first hour you deal with the Romans, so at the fifth hour you beat them with the same methods. Opponents seem to be different: someone is armed with a shield, someone throws spears, someone scatters and sweeps across the map area in a whirlwind. However, the approach to all is the same, even to the bosses, which are more like enlarged copies of ordinary Romans with a huge supply of health.
Many problems are solved this way.
There are an absurd amount of fights following the same scenario (I remind you that the game lasts as much as five hours), and they get bored by the beginning of the second chapter. There is not even a way to add variety yourself – the locations are linear in the best traditions of the genre, and there is no point in collecting coins and breaking barrels for them, since the points issued at the end of each level are not needed for anything.
The authors tried to come up with at least something other than dull fights, but it didn’t get any better. Sometimes you will have to participate in races with a friend – non-stop press one button and come to the finish line first. Sometimes you will chase wild boars to get meat and celebrate the victory over the Romans – you are doing exactly the same thing, only you still need to move in different directions. Every time you rejoice when the developers offer to do something new, but after a second you are disappointed.
Mini-games like racing are probably designed for co-op, but even in this case, pressing one button is not very entertaining.
Asterix & Obelix: Slap Them All! is so primitive in terms of gameplay that even local co-op support is unlikely to save it. Most of all, it’s a shame for the artists who put their souls into animations and elaboration of the environment, really managing to convey the atmosphere of comics. But their hard work does not help the game become at least a little interesting – there is a desire to skip all the fights and just read funny dialogues. And when you try to avoid gameplay in a game, with rare exceptions, it does not deserve high marks.
Pros: wonderful visual style with detailed environments and great animations; nicely recreated comic book atmosphere.