Charlie Murder Strategic Preview - Prima Games

Charlie Murder Strategic Preview

by Prima Games Staff

Independent game development can be successful in today’s big-budget industry. Case in point – James Silva. He got his start with the bloody side-scrolling action game The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai before moving on to the memorable offering I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1.

Both games performed well on Xbox Live, allowing Silva to expand the Dishwasher franchise with a much-improved sequel, Vampire Smile. Now he’s back again with his latest project, a rock and roll juiced multiplayer brawler called Charlie Murder. 

Featuring a gritty punk-rock style and an original soundtrack composed by James and his wife Michelle Silva, Charlie Murder focuses on a group of band members as they literally go to Hell and back, fighting everything from demons to zombies to rival bands who weren’t too crazy about getting kicked out of Charlie’s line-up; rock and roll gods enter the picture, challenging Charlie and his band.

Charlie Murder works similar to other beat-em-ups on Xbox Live, to a degree, of course. You’ll play as either Charlie or three of his fellow band members – like the skull face-painted drummer Tank – beating up thugs and using whatever weapons you can get your hands on. Luckily, enemies have a habit of dropping things, including heads, limbs and other pieces of loot. You can also chain together combo techniques to effectively bring down adversaries, such as a two-punch-and-throw combo. Done correctly, this can leave a foe writhing in pain while impaled on a telephone pole.  

In addition to standard punches and attacks, your character possesses a special move that clears away pesky adversaries. Charlie, for instance, screams into an amplifier and shoots a devastating sound wave. Tank, meanwhile, whips out a drum set and lets loose with a solo, causing knives to fall from the sky. As with most beat-em-ups, you’ll want to use these sparingly; bosses, for example.

Each character comes with a Windows 8-enabled phone that you activate by pressing a button in the sub-menu. With it, you access a skills upgrade menu, as well as take photos of items in your environment. Taking these pictures might seem useless at first, but you’ll earn Achievements.  

As for the skills menu, you have the ability to power-up your character a number of ways, increasing their strength and speed. Every upgrade makes a difference, especially in later parts of the game against tougher enemies.

Skills are but one way to power-up your character. Defeated enemies drop items you can equip, including special clothing that grants new abilities, such as tougher armor or extra strength. You can also purchase this stuff in a nearby shop, in case you can’t find that particular shirt or pair of pants.

On top of that, the character visits the local tattoo shop to get inked with a number of buffs. These buffs differ, depending on which band member you control. Charlie Murder also comes with side missions with extra rewards, like visiting a bathroom to collect bonus loot and picking up items to make your own beer. Yes, in the midst of the apocalypse, you have time to put together a good brew.

Like all good beat-em-ups, Charlie Murder gets better with each player you add to the mix. The game supports both local multiplayer and online across Xbox Live for up to four people. Watching band mates team up to lay waste to the undead, ninjas and other threats looks impressive, especially with all the blood splattering the screen.

James Silva’s work had an impact on Xbox Live, judging from his Dishwasher games and that enchanting Z0MB1ES!!!1 effort. With Charlie Murder, however, he appears to have something equally special, a game that beat-em-up fans and newcomers will enjoy.

Charlie Murder kills Xbox Live on Wednesday, August 14th for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

You may also like