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High On Life Review

High On Life Review

High On Life is a single player FPS game from developer Squanch Games (founded by Justin Roiland of Rick & Morty fame). Like Squanch Games’ previous efforts such as Trover Saves the Universe and Accounting, there’s a lot of improvised dialogue, vulgar humour, black comedy, and just sheer weirdness.

You play as a human who is forced to escape Earth because of an alien drug cartel who wants to use humans as their new product. With the help of a Gatlian (an alien that is also a gun), you become a bounty hunter to destroy the G3 cartel and save everyone they’ve captured. The set-up serves its purpose as the start of a galaxy spanning adventure, but you’ll probably find more enjoyment with the variety of aliens, weirdos, and alien weirdos you meet on your journey.

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The game is really pretty, even on medium graphic settings.

The writing is also damn funny, and the game doesn’t stop you (or fully expects you) to just be a terrible person. Shoot a kid (who's actually an adolescent brat so it's okay), stab a helpless clone of a crime boss (who will also commit more crimes), or destroy a happy little city (just for fun). Not a lot of games these days focus on comedy, so it feels refreshing that everything is not taken seriously most of the time. Heck, you can hear the voice actors break sometimes. It’s all in good fun, and I can just laugh at the absurdity of it all. However, comedy is subjective, and not everything lands. If you like dialogue, there’s plenty of it. But if you hate it, you can adjust how much the enemies and your guns talk in the Audio settings.

Speaking of which, one of the more unique aspects of the game is that all your weapons talk. From your pistol, to your knife and shotgun. They’re all aliens with different personalities, and each one has lines for when you’re speaking to people, and if you switch between them mid-conversation, they’ll pick up where the last one left off. I liked each and every one of them. However, they are still guns and kill stuff when you need them, and you can upgrade them and add a mod to change how they function. They all have special abilities and a secondary function called a Trick Hole, which helps both in puzzles and in combat. For example, Gus the shotgun sucks enemies up close and shoots a giant disc that can be used as platforms. However, Trick Hole shots take a long time to reload in combat, so you need to use them at the right moments, or use consumable Gatteral fruits to recharge it instantly. You can also dodge, slide, and fly around in a jetpack for more manoeuvrability, however they all use the same fuel so you can’t use them all at once. I really liked the combat. It was fun and fast-paced with interesting varied environments to fight in with every encounter. The movement could use some work though, as I found myself missing some jumps or being unable to mantle up some ledges.

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The bosses aren't complicated but are fun to fight.

Onto the technical aspects of the game. For my PC, which I reviewed High On Life on, I have a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, an AMD Ryzen 7 3800X Processor, and 8GBs of RAM. Not exactly the best of the best, but it can run most modern games pretty smoothly at 60 FPS on medium settings. From my time with the game, I noticed one or two glitches involving NPCs, occasional stuttering, audio issues, a crash and a freeze. However, it was nothing that made me annoyed, it didn't detract from my enjoyment. What did annoy me were the load times. Travelling to different levels, respawning after falling down a bottomless pit, and reloading after dying from the last checkpoint all took longer than it should. Each one is about 20-30 seconds, which isn’t bad but it kinda kills the pacing. And if I wanted to explore previous levels and attempt to get all the collectibles, it feels like more of a hassle than what it’s worth. However, that could just be me being impatient.

As for the graphics, they can be pretty damn good even on medium settings. Sure, the humans look like Unity assets from the asset store, but the aliens and environment you explore in are much better, if a little more jarring. Some aliens look more cartoony, like they were ripped from Rick & Morty, while others are much more detailed and horrifying. For the levels themselves, they’re varied and interesting to look at when you’re not blowing the heads off the G3, full of colour and life. However, there aren’t a lot of wandering NPCs around the hub, which makes it feel kind of empty in some areas.

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I think I'm gonna stop here...

Overall, I strongly recommend High On Life if you want an entertaining joyride around the galaxy. It’s a fun game that does what it sets out to do well. It’s funny, with some great action and good movement, and so much optional dialogue that you’ll need to do a few playthroughs to hear all of it. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it doesn’t need to. The only real gripes are its technical aspects and that there isn’t much to do outside of the main story other than get collectibles. This is just a purely good time, and only takes 10 hours to beat. I wouldn't ask for anything more, other than a few patches.

High On Life is available now on Steam, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

8.50/10 8½

High On Life (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

High On Life is a fun and humorous FPS that, while not innovating on the genre, is a joy to play all throughout its main story. However, it lacks a little technical polish and optional goals.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Dylan Pamintuan

Dylan Pamintuan

Staff Writer

An Australian-born guy whose trying to show everyone why games are awesome.

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