One of the many dives in New York City has been a murder. Four bodies, two very incriminating evidence and a lot of blood. You sneak around behind the pool table, turn on the jukebox and throw limbs to distract the crowds that roam the area. As you manage to work your way through the bar, you whip up the most important tool in your kit, a vacuum, and start doing what you came here to do — clean.
The main hook of serial cleaners is that whoever was here before you is already having a whole lot of fun, by wrapping you up in body wraps, wiping up pools of blood, and getting rid of any dislocated limbs. It was left to turn around and clean up behind them. around the place. You’re essentially that guy who slips into the club after the player in Hotline Miami shuts everyone down.
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Serial Cleaner takes place on New Year’s Eve in 1999, as four cleaners meet and recount some of their best work of the decade. Through each of the game’s six chapters, we swap between the four in any order as they share stories, with the narrative sometimes focusing on one of them for more backstory. Is.
Eventually the story swap is set aside for some fun twists and turns that could result in a few different endings. The story of Serial Cleaners is nothing unique or fresh, but it is capped by its likable cast of characters, who turn out to be surprising, as Bob is openly a mommy boy and Psycho is initially more Struggling to talk. I could do without the Viper’s l33t speaking, though.
I immediately saw how the sequel changed his art style substantially. The original game is simple and 2D, inspired by what looked like the closing credits of The Incredibles from the 70s. The 2D aesthetics have been swapped out for full 3D models and environments, and this is a major improvement that seems necessary this time around for more physics-based gameplay.
The overall vibe has also changed from ’70s pop to ’90s grunge, giving the serial cleaners a gritty aesthetic that works well with all the bloody murder scenes. Some of each character’s thoughts and actions also appear on the screen as visual doodles, such as a cartoon sketch of one of the cleaners running around with the vacuum cleaner, which helps keep things from getting too dark. Is. Smooth jazz helps too.
The first thing you’ll notice about Serial Cleaner is that it’s a slow game, similar to other stealth games like Hitman. In fact, Hitman is the easiest comparison point, only from a top-to-bottom view and without any actual murder. Each level will give you a certain amount of bodies, blood, and evidence, leaving you to navigate and work on it a bit, drag corpses and evidence to the car, empty the blood (don’t ask me how works), and Scooby-Doo is running through the door to stay away from any cops or mobsters.
Four different cleaners give this sequel an edge over its predecessor, as each one has a unique skill to keep things from going stale. Psycho has a more aggressive style that involves chopping bodies and shattering limbs around, Latti can use parkour to jump over fences, and Viper has a unique hacking mechanic that lets her distract- Also could give the ability to move through the vent.
Sadly, Bob, the best character, has the least interesting quirks in the form of being able to slip around on the trail of blood, which, despite him having the most interesting story, feels like the weak link compared to the rest. does it. Thankfully, the four cleaners have the same basic moves, so even if the Viper’s more distraction-heavy playstyle doesn’t suit you, you’ll have enough to get by.
The stealth mechanics themselves are pretty simple and are usually based only on eye line and make as little noise as possible near people, but it’s still satisfying to tinker and manipulate the environment to your advantage . Although Serial Cleaner starts out hard enough, you’ll soon realize that there isn’t much punishment for being spotted or making a mess, which seems like a wrong move.
Beyond the chase and reset, which in itself can be avoided by running or hiding, the police won’t do much for you, even if you leave the evidence and the body in plain sight. As someone who used to love doing silent assassin walks in a suit only hitman, it’s a shame there’s no stopping you from moving the body little by little closer to the objective and then running away when you need to . Combine this with a generous savings system that works whenever you do anything and it takes the slack of cutting out serial cleaners.
Even without that challenge, there’s a lot of variety in where you’re going. The unique way in which the four characters tell the story of Serial Cleaners about their biggest hits means that no two levels feel alike. Some are smelly (Viper’s introductory mission comes to mind), but most of them are inventive and mess with the formula in interesting ways. Some of the highlights include a claustrophobic corner shop with barely any room to move, a bloody sitcom set that recently collides too closely after seeing Nope, and a drug-infused cleanup on a cruise. In which enemies vanish in and out from reality and words appear in the blood as you clean.
It’s a shame to see any sort of scoring system or level replay in effect here, as it seems utterly tedious to assign any sort of ranking to players based on how much blood they clean. how little they are spotted, and how fast they were. It’s a missed opportunity considering how fitting the mechanics feel to it, and how games like Hitman have proven its worth.
While its stealth systems may feel a little too unforgiving and easy to work with, Serial Cleaner’s grunge story is still well worth a look, thanks to its likable cast, sense of style, different levels, and manageable living. Thanks for the satisfying core mechanics. Fresh throughout the adventure.
Serial Cleaner is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and PC. We tested the PC version for this review. The review code was provided by the publisher.
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