A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Party Hard 2 is a stealth action game available for download on Windows-based PC. Players take on the role of a serial killer whose goal is to infiltrate and disrupt various nightclubs and parties in brutally homicidal ways without being killed, witnessed, or arrested. The game's action is presented in a pixelated 2D style, which keeps the violence from being too explicitly gory. But there's still a steady stream of violence, with players setting traps, luring in and ambushing victims, disposing of bodies, etc. Characters in the game occasionally have lines of dialogue pop up on-screen that include profanity and sexual references. Many characters in the game are also shown drinking or drunk, smoking, and buying or selling illicit drugs.
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What's it about?
PARTY HARD 2 picks up 10years after the brutal spree of murders committed by the infamous "Party Hard Killer." After the killer's eventual capture, things seemed to return to normal, especially in the neon-fueled party scene. Once again, nightclubs are filled with thumping beats, flashing lights, and, more importantly, partygoers itching for an opportunity to lose their inhibitions. It's what drew the wrath of the Party Hard Killer a decade ago ... and now it seems to have drawn his wrath once more. As the latest incarnation of the Party Hard Killer, you'll stalk the club scene and bring the party to a homicidal end with a variety of weapons, traps, and special abilities. You'll use a little extra creativity to craft deadly new tools, sabotage equipment, and discover new ways to hide any trace of your gruesome handiwork.
Is it any good?
Let's get something straight right from the start: Despite the fun sounding title, this is NOT a party game. In fact, Party Hard 2 could best be described as the "anti-party game." From the subject matter to the gameplay to the presentation, this is about as far as you can get from being a party. For starters, the whole purpose of the game is to infiltrate various nightclubs and parties, and then either kill a number of specific types of people or simply kill everyone in sight. It's a bit of a hard sell, especially considering the amount of real-world violence in venues just like this. That's not to say there isn't a niche market for those with a darker sense of humor, but the retro style and campy atmosphere almost feel like it's trying to hide its true nature and appeal to a younger crowd.
From a gameplay perspective, Party Hard 2 is a bit of a buzzkill in all the wrong ways. The keyboard controls aren't very responsive or precise. Many times, killing or stunning someone will cause them to drop an item. You might try to pick up the body to hide it before it's seen, but you'll pick up the item instead. Also, trying to aim and throw certain items is a finger-twisting chore. It just makes everything more difficult than it needs to be. Speaking of the difficulty, outside of the occasional tip, there's no tutorial in the game, leaving players to figure things out more through trial and error. All of this is before the technical glitches come into play. While these aren't usually too bad, it was impossible to exit out of the settings menus (and that happened more than once), forcing a hard reset of the game. None of these issues make Party Hard 2 unplayable, but they all come together to make it a very dull party to attend.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of Party Hard 2 affected by the pixelated visuals of the game? Would more realistic imagery intensify the impact of the gory content, which focuses on killing other people?
What is the appeal of playing a character that has little to no moral compass? How can characters like this affect younger gamers' behavior?
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