Paint the Town Red was released on July 29th, 2021. It caught my eye after a fun but brief demo during E3. With the full game in hand thanks to a review code from Developer and Publisher South East Games it still very much is that game with more areas to fight in. Your objective is to cause a ruckus wherever you choose to spawn in, and then take out every NPC as quickly as you can. How does it hold up and is it worth its $20 US price point? Let us find out.
Short Bursts of Enjoyable Chaos
The game has 3 main modes. The main one has you try to take out every NPC as quickly as possible, with various modifiers available to spice things up. “Beneath” is next and it’s a full-on dungeon crawler with permanent upgrades, various classes to play as, and a surprisingly long time on each run. Thankfully you can save at the start of each dungeon and pick things up later if need be. Rounding things out is an all-out arena brawl with progressively harder waves of enemies who want nothing more than to kill you and each other.
Controls are simple but get the job done. Your main attack is on the right bumper, throwing weapons is on the right trigger. You can block, kick, jump, and more and the various modes feature incredibly powerful firearms occasionally. It all leads to all-out warfare as you come to understand the game’s title. The voxel-based blocky art style leads to levels being literally painted red after only a few seconds. The game revels in the gory, and certain weapons or modifiers lead to bodies being utterly destroyed in a cartoony explosion of body parts.
Greatly Improved Performance
One gripe I had with the demo was the performance, and thankfully that area is hugely improved. For those of you with high refresh rate screens equipped with variable-rate refresh, there is also the ability to unlock the FPS cap. The game felt great with the cap off, and you’ll want to take advantage of it if possible.
Sound effects are solid, with a good crunch to the melee hits and disturbing slices to the bladed weaponry. The soundtrack varies between just barely there and surprisingly good depending on the level as well. There is no voice acting, just grunts, and screams that can occasionally be a bit disturbing in just how much the voice actor put into their screams of agony.
At $20 US it is hard to recommend it over something like Hades which is only $5 more. There just isn’t that much to the game. After your first run, you’ve seen most of what it has to offer for each mode, even if you only lasted 5 minutes. It’s fun, but I’m not sure it’s full-price fun as its lack of content can lead to boredom quickly if you try playing too often. As something to jump into for a fight or two a night though it is well worth it if what you’ve seen looks like it is right up your alley.