Join the sociopathic kleptomaniac that is Randal Hicks as he gets stuck in a time loop in a Groundhog Day type scenario. Play the same day over and over with a few twists and turns thrown in every time Randal does something he probably shouldn’t. This game had the potential to be something engaging, fun and really interesting but instead it’s fallen flat on its face with sad humour and unexciting puzzles which can be easily beaten by simply using the hint tool (even though the game tries its best to get you not to use it, explaining that “a kitty dies” every time you use a hint and also gifting you a ‘Chicken’ trophy to show off to all your friends.)
Randal as a character is everything you don’t want to be in life – a lazy, “good-for-nothing” bad guy who seems to live by a sort of ‘if you don’t get caught you’ve done nothing wrong’ philosophy. He doesn’t care if he gets himself or others into trouble and that is what is supposed to be his charm. However, what was intended to be his charm merely ends up emphasising this anti-heroes two dimensional personality. In the prologue when I attempted to go to the bathroom and Randal instead said “I don’t need to use the restroom right now. Well actually I do, but this is prologue so let’s get to the point already.” I thought that was reasonably amusing and was under the impression that this guy would have a humour similar to the likes of Deadpool or something, but he instead just progressively got more annoying to listen to (even with fourth-wall moments like that spattered throughout the dialogue).
Something engaging about the game was the optional dialogue that the player gets to choose. You’re having a conversation – be it with your landlord, your creepy roommate who communicates only through growling or your best friend, and you get to choose exactly what Randal says… well, not always exactly. Sometimes the player will choose one option of dialogue but Randal will say something completely different or he’ll say it word for word, there’s no telling really. But it’s fun and keeps you engaged enough with the story to continue playing.
For a game that was originally published on the PC, the point and click genre makes sense and surely works better than how it does on the PS4 – but I did play the game on the PS4 and can say that this control system was not my cup of tea. The sensitivity was too high using the left stick so there was a lot of fumbling in trying to click what I wanted but with the right stick the sensitivity was so downright low and the cursor slow that by using it, the game probably would have taken me a year to complete – which I do not have the attention span for nor the interest.
The game’s not without its sweet spots though. The art was decent enough and made the game nice to look at while you’re dragging yourself through it and there’s always a lot to engage with on every screen – even if most of those engagements are “I don’t want to take that” or variations there upon. I love a game with a distinctive style, and Randal’s Monday definitely had its own flair. The design looks similar to a 90’s Cartoon Network show and a comic book and the use of weirdly curved buildings makes the world interesting enough to look at; along with grey blurred items in the foreground of most shots to give the environments some layers, the art is the one thing in the game I can’t really fault.
Nexus Game Studios seemed to make an effort with Randal’s Monday – and while there are a few things in the game I did like, this game just didn’t do it for me. This game probably works a lot better on the PC and honestly I think if I had played it on PC this review wouldn’t be nearly as negative, but the whole thing just didn’t work on PS4 and I did not want to carry on playing after half way through the first level/day. If you really want to try out Randal’s Monday go right ahead, but play it on PC and don’t waste your money on the console version.
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