Review – Party Hard 2
The original Party Hard launched in 2015 and was a surprisingly fun game where you have to kill everyone on a map without being caught. It didn’t make much sense, but it didn’t need to. What it really mattered is that it was a ton of fun to play. Three years later, Party Hard 2 has finally arrived, bringing with it a lot of new changes and gameplay mechanics.
The story follows the Party Hard Killer’s quest for revenge against his ex-employer. I stopped paying attention to the story after a few levels because it wasn’t interesting. It’s intentionally vague, as the focus of Party Hard has always been on the gameplay; the story only serves to move the action to a new location.
Each of the game’s fourteen huge and diverse maps will provide you with plenty of opportunities for you to murder you victims. You will visit places ranging from a nightclub to a motel, and even some drug labs. The distinctive look and feel on each level keeps it fresh, though it would have been nice to have every level open to you at the start, letting you tackle them in any order. There were a few levels I definitely wasn’t a fan of.
Unlike the first game, the main objective isn’t just to simply kill everyone on the map, though that is still an option. Instead you will have a handful of targets to take out silently. It gives the game more of a Hitman feel which I really like and makes an already replayable game even more replayable. The big problem with these targets is they can often stay away from potential kill opportunities and stay in large crowds for a long time making it much more difficult to bait them away. It drags levels out way longer than they should. It’s amazing how 60+ people can be brutally murdered in a level and everyone else keps on partying, but that’s beyond the point.
One of my favourite moments was infiltrating a drug lab party: the area is scattered with guards that will notice you and basically one hit you if they see you. My first thought was to simply avoid them but after a few failed attempts I decided it would be too much to take out my targets and avoid all of them at the same time. It was then that I found a way to call a stripper in which would lure all the guards into one position. In a few moments of improvisation I decided to fill the room with water and then electrocute it taking out everyone in the room. Party Hard gives you a lot of room to get sadistically creative: if you can think of something, you can probably do it.
I’m not a big fan of these security guards, especially when there’s a bunch of them on the same map. If you get caught you won’t be able to escape them and it feels like a really cheap game over. The same applies to other AI characters around the map: if a civilian sees you doing something suspicious, he/shewill sprint insanely fast away from you to try to call the cops. It doesn’t help that the AI behavior is incredibly inconsistent, sometimes not seeing you murder someone right next to them and other times seeing you whilst looking the other way. It can be frustrating to be so far into a run and for you to fail near the end of a level for something so silly or unavoidable, you will be restarting quite a lot. It’s a bit too harsh since it’s almost impossible to recover from a slip-up.
Your main character, “The Party Hard Killer”, has a special ability that allows him to take out a number of targets in his radius. I ended up rarely using this mechanic outside of a few key story moments, but that doesn’t make it useless: I’m sure other players will have a blast with it. Each character has the ability to highlight points of interest around the map, it’s a streamlining feature that I appreciate as I can immediately tell what I can and can’t interact with. There’s also a basic crafting system that allows you to combine a couple of items to create more effective weapons.
Visually, Party Hard has had a large face lift. Whilst retaining the originals visual design the sequel has managed to create art style that looks incredibly unique yet immediately recognisable. Though they are issues mainly with the camera being positioned in a way that walls can block your view. Much like the first game the soundtrack is equally as great and fits the settings of the game perfectly. But it is still overly repetitive, I recommend turning it down just a touch .
Overall Party Hard 2 is a fun stealth puzzle game that really allows the player to get creative with their killing spree. For fans of the original title this is a worthwhile sequel, and for newcomers this is well worth checking out if you know what you are in for.
Distinctive art style that improves on the original without losing its charm. Just a few nagging issues that do impact gameplay.
The core gameplay is as fun as ever, but there are a few annoyances here and there, especially regarding the AI.
A good soundtrack if a little too repetitive, and the sound design elsewhere is passable.
Fun Factor: 8.0
Party Hard 2 is a great stealth “puzzle” game but difficulty inbalance can be annoying at times.
Final Verdict: 8.0
Party Hard 2 is available now on PC.
A copy of Party Hard 2 was provided by the publisher.