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PEOPLEDOWN Review

Official Score

Overall - 50%

50%

PEOPLEDOWN wears its inspiration on its sleeve, blatantly copying Hotline Miami’s homework down to the letter. It’s just a shame they didn’t do a good job at it; the overall sloppiness of the presentation makes this a faded photocopy of the classic gamers have come to love.

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In the gaming world, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – there is no shortage of Soulslikes, Breath of the Wild-like open worlds, and battle royales out on the market today. However, one genre that fell by the wayside was the kill-em-all nature of Devolver Digital and Dennaton Games’ Hotline Miami.

Yukihiro keeps the spirit alive with their new title PEOPLEDOWN, a “cruel slaughter” game with plenty of bloodshed. Does it do enough to stand out, or have players seen what it has to offer done better before?

PEOPLEDOWN Review

Those looking for justification for the wanton murder rampages of PEOPLEDOWN aren’t going to find it, no matter how many people they kill. Rather, players must clear out houses, offices, factories, banks, and gang hideouts of any and all threats in these slaughter scenes, all while using the weaponry they find along the way.

And weapons you shall find. Pistols, baseball bats, assault rifles, and katanas might not be too out of the ordinary, but the game makes sure to give your tools of destruction plenty of impact. The way the game shakes and blood spurts makes for quite the sight, and really hammers home that you are doing something absolutely brutal.

It’s just a shame that the gameplay isn’t there to match. PEOPLEDOWN is an almost carbon copy of Hotline Miami and its kill-them-all nature, right down to its masks and the questionable inclusion of breakable windows. For one, everything seems to have far more wind-up and weight to it – even the seemingly fluid act of kicking down a door feels like it drags on for a bit longer than it should. The same goes with its overall control scheme – while it uses a WASD and mouse setup like its inspiration, the overall slower pace makes the whole package feel cumbersome. The end result makes it feel like a poor imitation of the real deal, one that will make players just want to play Hotline Miami instead.

Players are judged by the amount of people that they kill and the clear time for each level, with most successful runs clocking in at around a few minutes. There is a bit of replayability with the six different masks one can choose from at the beginning of each run; players can imbue themselves with perks that reduce the amount of gunshots or make it harder for them to be noticed. There’s also a Ranking system in place for those that want to show off their prowess.

Just be warned that this isn’t the most polished package around. There are a number of different typos and the Escape button doesn’t always register. Not dealbreakers, mind you, but they do take away from the overall package.

PEOPLEDOWN wears its inspiration on its sleeve, blatantly copying Hotline Miami’s homework down to the letter. It’s just a shame they didn’t do a good job at it; the overall sloppiness of the presentation makes this a faded photocopy of the classic gamers have come to love.

This review of PEOPLEDOWN was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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