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High on Life Review – Hilarious FPS Romp

High On Life is a futuristic FPS developed and published by Squanch Games, and it quickly became one of the most popular games on Xbox Game Pass. Releasing on PC and Xbox on December 13, 2022, and from the co-creator of Rick & Morty, Justin Roiland, this is a hilarious romp through a neon-filled cyberpunk city, a dusty wild west town and lush colourful alien landscapes with weapons that have a life of their own.

Literally, the guns look back at you most of the time which in itself is disturbing, but then they also have a life of their own and talk to about how they’re feeling, how you’re feeling, how you haven’t used them to their fullest potential, how they want to stab someone, and so on. If you’re familiar with the Rick & Morty humour, you will be right at home in this game as the humour and puns are rife and had me cackling in my little space boots. There were times where the talking weapons just talked too damn much, and there is an option to reduce the frequency of their comments which may suit some that don’t find the humour as funny.

Fresh out of high school with no job and no ambition, you play as a teenager who has really nothing going for him until the alien G3 drug cartel crashes onto the planet and kills your elderly neighbour across the road from you. One of the aliens is killed, and its corpse starts yelling for help. This is the first weapon you come across, a blue-skinned pistol called Kenny and boy does he have a lot to say, voiced by Roiland himself. Kenny is not too sure of himself but wants to help you get to safety by grabbing an alien device and taking it back to your house to put it in the microwave.

This turns your house into a spaceship able to warp to distant planets, and thus our journey of exploration with sister Lizzie caught up with us too. The colour palette of the game is reminiscent of that in Journey to the Savage Planet. Lots of bright and vibrant colours, and the aliens are all sorts of weird and wonderful shaped creatures, each with their own personality and voice acted to perfection. We are sent to meet up with a retired bounty hunter who teaches you the bounty hunting ways, giving us a few targets to take out and build a name for ourselves, as well as earn credits we can use to upgrade our arsenal.

Over the next few hours in High on Life, we visit lush, forested alien landscapes taking out bounty targets and the armies that protect them. Along the way, we help out other alien species get their lands and villages back, and there’s one sequence that has us completing a pretty mundane task, but the humourous dialogue in the background makes it fun as heck. Also in between missions back at home, there would be lengthy dialogue sequences between our sister and the bounty hunter, and they became a chore to get through as all I wanted to do was move on to the next mission.

There are six weapons in total we locate throughout the playthrough, and Knifey is the second one that wants to stab pretty much everything. After taking out a few bosses, we then come across Gus, a shotgun voiced by JB Smoove, Sweezy is like the needler from Halo, voiced by Betsy Sodaro and then Creature who is voiced by Tim Robinson and fires off small baby aliens that jump onto and chew enemies. These baby creatures can also be fired into little portholes to explore rooms we ourselves can’t reach. The last weapon we get to use is Lezduit and he’s a powerful unit.

Aside from Lezduit who is only available in the final mission, I found I was switching between all weapons constantly which is a great thing. Though I found Kenny was my rock as he is accurate long range, especially for flying aliens, whereas the others all had negatives to them. I used the shotgun of Gus the least as it had to be used close range and while it can take out a couple of lesser aliens at a time, I was just more efficient shooting with Kenny and stabbing with Knifey. Sweezy’s needles were alright but were only useful if there were a couple monsters left at long range.

All weapons have a secondary use, so Kenny can shoot a ball of goop that can bounce and stun enemies into the air but also knock over obstacles. Gus shoots out platforms from specific terrain to help navigate the landscapes, and Creature can spawn a greater pink baby alien to do more damage. We also unlock a jetpack, mag boots and a grapple which then allows you to reach all places to collect trading cards and find hidden chests that previously had been out of reach. This gave the completionism side of my gaming brain an opportunity to slow the game’s pace and explore every corner of the fantastic locations, all the while listening to the great soundtrack that didn’t get too repetitive.

The gunplay is decent despite me sticking mainly to using Kenny, and most enemies were a relative breeze to dispatch. It was the boss battles that were more intense, each taking me a couple of attempts to learn all of their mechanics. Again, I tended to stick with using Kenny but often switched out to other weapons depending on the fight. If a monster was able to be stunned with Kenny’s goop, I could then shotgun them with Gus or stab them in the face a few times with Knifey. Once a boss is defeated, Knifey takes great joy in cutting them open to retrieve evidence of the kill.

Overall, High On Life is a great FPS with vibrant and exciting worlds to explore, all backed up by outstanding voice acting from the weapons and characters we meet. The humour was my style despite not watching a single episode of Rick & Morty, so I had a great time in the game. If that humour is not your thing, I still think the gameplay and environments to explore are worth the purchase price. It will be interesting to see if there is DLC planned or even a sequel as I would definitely keep playing games like this.

This review utilised a key provided by Microsoft/Xbox ANZ and High on Life is out now on Steam and Xbox.


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