By William Shelton
Release Date: August 31, 2016
Developer: OddChicken Studio
Publisher: Black Shell Media
Obtained By: Review Copy Provided by Black Shell Media
According to Metacritic there are over 90 levels in Dumb Chicken 2. I made it through the first 24 before abandoning it outright. With the possible exception of the original game this is the worst thing to happen to chickens since someone discovered how tasty they were when chopped up and fried. This is a game so bad it made me hate the fact that the phrase “choking the chicken” is not about actually going out and strangling the damn things. This is a game so bad I’ve actually been putting off reviewing it just so I didn’t have to think about it.
Dumb Chicken Two is a stealth game where you try and rescue kidnapped chicks who were abducted when taking a selfie. I could point out how stupid the story is, or how much the opening cinematic resembles the one from the original Angry Birds, but I don’t want too. So lets just say the story is as much a failure as the rest of the game and move on, shall we? We shall. The biggest issue the game has is the gameplay. The game tries to be stealth based, but it’s mechanics just don’t work for it. First complaint is the movement.
Each level is grid based, but your movement isn’t. You don’t move from square to square, you have to actually move through the space of each tile. Because of this, when I needed to get the hell out of dodge I’d often find myself getting stuck on random objects in the level. Adding to the frustration is how often this caused me too need too flee in the first place. In almost every other level I would get caught as I made my way into cover by getting snagged on a corner only to die as I got stuck on another trying to run away. This alone would have ruined the game for me, but this is far from the games only issue.
The games stealth is based on patterns and learning enemy routs, but once again the game manages to fail on nearly every level imaginable. Patrolling enemies somehow manage to get their routs muddled up, ruining the already choppy flow. Then there are the Owls: the single worst enemy type in any game I’ve ever played. See, like in most stealth games you can see the vision cones of the enemies to know where to avoid going. And also like most stealth games, enemies have varying sizes of vision cones. The owls have, at least in what I’ve played, the largest lines of sight. However, they are placed in areas that are near barren with no real cover, plus they don’t have a real pattern to their rotations. So in order to get from one side of a map to another when an Owl is present means waiting until it turns and hopping that there isn’t even a sliver of vision cone blocking your way. If there is, every enemy on the map will know exactly where you are in seconds. But, don’t take too long figuring out where you need too go or calculating the risk of moving on, because if you are in a position too be seen by the Owl, it will rotate right towards you the next time it moves. I mean that literally. 100% of the time, if I could have gotten caught by the owl, I did.
The game became a lot less insufferable when I found what all the collectible items did. However, I did that through a menu I don’t even know how I got too. How do you fuck up that bad? Information like that is so important too knowing how to play the game that it should be one of the easiest things to access. Yet, I cannot recall how to find that information again. If I get any new items, I may just have to use them to know what the hell it does.
The music is also pretty awful as well, but it’s mostly a volume issue. Don’t misunderstand, the music isn’t any good on its own, but even having the music at “1” had it too loud. I don’t drink, so I don’t know what its like to be hungover, but the stereotype of everything being too loud even at normal volume, that’s what the games audio feels like too me. And I blast fucking death metal at full volume with headphones on. For fun. That is something I enjoy.
There is nothing in this game worth the time and energy I spent on it. I hate this game so much I want to eat more chicken just to make the damn things pay for the games sins (and PETA, give me any shit for that and I will fucking eat you too you hypocritical shitlords). Guys, look. I do this whole “game journalism” thing because I love games. I love talking about games and writing about them. With most of the games I play I can can usually knock out the first draft of the review in an hour or two. I’ve been working on this for three days now because I hate spending the mental energy on it. I’m not going to say this is the worst game I’ve ever played because I’m beginning to think that’s becoming a dare to developers. What I will say is if there is a subset of gamers like movie fans who enjoy watching movies like Troll 2 and The Room, then I just found your new favorite game.