Party Hard 2 by tinyBuild and Pinokl is a game about someone who just wants to get some sleep. Our protagonist, fed up with loud partygoers and angry at a pharmaceutical company, takes it upon himself to crash their elaborate parties and silence them once and for. His story is told in the present day by Dr. McBride with players then playing through the events.
While Party Hard 2 looks rather simple at first glance, the reality is anything but. The sprawling levels are filled to the brim with obstacles, partiers, security guards, and even terminators. Strategically planning your attacks is the only way to survive, as any blunt displays of violence will quickly cause crowds to scatter and call the police, almost surely ending your rampage prematurely.
Speaking of the police, they are ruthless. Always arriving in pairs, they will hunt you relentlessly. Frustratingly enough they seem to always know where you are and despite your attempts to outrun them, they will almost always catch you, forcing you to restart the mission. The police have an incredible amount of strength compared to you and can’t be taken down by traditional means. Even on the off chance you take one out with a well timed special skill or trap, it is almost a certainty that you won’t take out both and you’ll still be caught.
You can avoid the cops by keeping your attacks stealthy. You may stumble upon a target alone and near a good place to hide the evidence, but most likely you will either have to take them out in a planned accidents – bumping them into a fan or oven – or setting up equipment to explode. There are various ways to lure people away from crowd, including using a boombox, but these are not infinite use items and will almost always bring others along with your target causing a high chance of someone witnessing your attack.
Party Hard 2 allows players to approach missions from multiple angels and features a large variety of goals to accomplish in each level. Some are basic goals necessary to progress to the next level, while others will unlock various rewards. You can take out every partygoer in each level, or just go after specific individuals. There are benefits to both approaches. Taking out a select few individuals can make the level shorter, but leaves a lot more chances for witnesses, whereas taking out the entire party room by room requires a painstaking amount of patience and planning but will leave you free to not worry about someone calling the cops if done correctly.
Unfortunately, both approaches are far easier said than done. Party Hard 2 is hard – almost too hard. The actions of partiers is incredibly random, as it is with drunk people in reality – and they rarely stay put for more than a few seconds. This means that despite your best efforts, a target may never stumble upon one of the traps necessary to make their attack look like an accident. When this is the case your best bet is to learn the ins and outs of the area, specifically finding the shortcuts, and taking people out and then hiding from the cops before they catch your scent. Still, no matter how much you plot and strategize, expect to spend a lot of time restarting levels.
You begin Party Hard 2 with two characters to choose from, but there is a catch to one of them. The first is your default option and the one the game intends for you to use. The other is for casual players who just want to experience the story. Unfortunately, choosing the 2nd option prevents you from gaining achievements, but does provide players with more health and stamina. I never found this mode to make the game much easier as being caught by the cops is still a death sentence and that’s really your main cause of game overs, other than the occasional accident. An additional two characters can be unlocked via playing through the game, each featuring their own unique costume and abilities.
Once you select your character you can then choose either medium or hard difficulty and read over a list of objectives for the upcoming level. Not all objectives are displayed here, there are quite a few hidden objectives which can only be found by experimenting with various items in each area.
The levels are littered with items which can be used to cause chaos. Fireworks, gas cans, beer bottles which can be crafted into molotovs, stun guns, boomboxes, throwing knives, money to lure victims away, keycards, and more. Various signs litter the walls and sometimes allow you to cause special events to occur, including setting a bear loose on unsuspecting partygoers. There are quite a few fun surprises hidden throughout, including the ability to resurrect bodyguards and summon zombies.
Despite all these options for mayhem, the best option is still the slowest. Wait, attack when a target is alone, hide the evidence, and then repeat. This can grow tiresome, especially after investing large amounts of time in a level only to screw up at the end and have to restart.
Still, Party Hard 2 is a unique experience and one that fans of more strategy based adventures rather than run and gun games should find enjoyable. Only patience will allow you to unlock all that Party Hard 2 truly has to offer, but I found the pain of multiple deaths to eventually become fuel for me to learn better strategies and force me into becoming a better player. Those with patience and a willingness to learn the ins and outs of the intricate levels will find an incredibly satisfying gameplay experience sure to keep them occupied for the ten or fifteen hours required to 100% the game.