If assassinating security guards, drug dealers, and banana mascots is your idea of a party, then Party Hard 2 is your game. Set in the neon nightlife, Party Hard 2 is a stealth-strategy title that involves murdering anyone and everyone who supports the party lifestyle. Losing your stealth will trigger the police to respond and hunt you down, while killing your targets and escaping without a trace is your main objective. Just as in the Hitman games, discovering creative methods to go about your business is all part of the fun. A bass-fueled killing spree is always guaranteed in Party Hard 2.
The preview version of Party Hard 2 contains three different scenarios where your job is to learn the environment through trial-and-error. Only then can you complete your goals and win the level. I definitely felt shaken up in my first go-around, as there weren’t any cutscenes, intro, or tutorial sequences. After walking around for a bit, I ended up accidentally killing myself by an exploding gas tank. I’m sure the full release will have all sorts of preliminary content, but it definitely took a while to get the hang of the controls and such without it. Luckily, gameplay is pretty simple and a solid killing strategy is your direct path to success. Developing said strategy is what takes some time though, especially with so many tempting distractions around each map.
There are a number of ways to kill your enemies, from creating explosions to hiding in a bathroom and gradually killing anyone who has to take a leak. Traps are conveniently located around each location and can be strategically triggered to kill bystanders. In most games you’re supposed to avoid obstacles, but in Party Hard 2, your job is to set them up. The rule of thumb is simply that more explosions equal more chaos, and that’s exactly want you want. You aren’t really punished for killing civilians, so it’s fine to go all-out as you please. In fact, I kept losing concentration and found myself experimenting with different booby traps and murder methods. Beating the first stage took almost an hour longer than it needed to, just because messing around is highly amusing in Party Hard 2.
Now back to playing seriously. Even though you are able to accidentally kill yourself, the police are your main enemy. If anyone sees you attacking someone or holding a dead body, they will immediately call the police. Although you can try and stop them from doing so, such a feat is practically impossible, so it’s best to either try and kill your remaining targets as quickly as possible or hide from the cops. I felt like it’s actually too easy to go into hiding, as merely standing in a bathroom stall or running around a corner will be enough. Perhaps there shouldn’t be any guaranteed safe zones to continually keep players on the edge of their seats. Still, the difficulty ramps up incredibly once the authorities inevitably arrive.
The game’s soundtrack is a jolt to your ears in a good way, with a techno-feel that fits perfectly with the nightclub vibe of Party Hard 2. You immediately feel some dark humor in the synthesis between a serial killer and an energized dance party. Graphics here are nothing too special with a pixelated isometric design, but the pixel art itself is colorful and detailed. Party Hard 2’s OST might be the crown jewel of the game, topping graphics, design, and gameplay. However, everything fits together very nicely in the three alpha-version stages I had the chance to experience. Party Hard 2 looks to be a blast upon release, so get ready to don your hockey mask and party like never before.