First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.
Ah, the life of a janitor is never done. There are always toilets to clean, mirrors to wash and of course horrible disfigured mutilated corpses to throw into the incinerator. Alright, so the last one may be a bit of a stretch unless your employer is the local crime syndicate.
In Viscera Cleanup Detail you take the role of a janitor, and just as Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs has explained, someone has got to clean up. Now you’re probably wondering what exactly you’re cleaning. Well in Viscera Cleanup Detail you are tidying up stages used in various first-person shooter (FPS) arena games, such as Quake or Unreal Tournament.
You have to mop up the blood that has splattered all over the floors and walls, and also pick up any remaining body parts that were left behind (or from your colleagues that have died on the job). You must also restock the health kits used by the FPS players, as well as clean up any burn marks on the floor and walls. Locate buckets of soapy water as you work and wring your mop with style! However just like a real bucket of mop water, if you tip it over the mess goes everywhere and you’ll have to clean it all up again. Also if you pick up a body part the same thing will happen. Dragging any radioactive waste, body parts, or hell…evening using the laser gun to burn body parts will create a new mess to clean. Planning is crucial in this janitorial jamboree!
Now if anything, the game is really time consuming. It even comes with a multiplayer mode (however we still haven’t been able to find any multiplayer sessions). Despite the game’s unique twist on the first person genre, it has almost no fan-base. I’ve tried completing the first stage in a single player environment over the course of a week, and it has left me feeling washed up and taken to the cleaners.
Don’t misunderstand me, though. The game is fun in its unique way, much like a joke that gets everyone laughing once, but never has the same effect again. The game has the appeal of a joke in almost every sense; it even looks like a parody. But when you play it, it’s anything but; you’re actually running around mopping blood spatter.
The attention to detail is quite amazing, which goes to show how much the developers cared. Multiplayer would probably be a good laugh when playing with a friend. But playing by your lonesome boasts no fun at all. It’s simply not that entertaining.
Now on to the finer details of the game. The controls are hard to understand. You must pick up a bucket and move it around in your hands to make sure it doesn’t tip over. You have to be equally careful when setting it down on the floor. The game also gives you various items to make your job easier: mop, broom, laser gun, grim detector, etc.
The music for the game comes in the form of stereo boomboxes found in the map environments. The tracks you can play do have a nice beat and help to keep you motivated. For the younger crowd reading our review, a stereo boombox is like an IPod with really big speakers that uses CDs instead of downloaded .mp3 files.
Overall, the game succeeds in being a strange and interesting title with multiplayer capabilities, but fails to deliver enjoy-ability due to confusing controls and lack of engaging activities. Is it worth checking out? If you have nothing better to do and you need something tiresome that will let you grind for hours and get very little done, then this is the game you’ve been waiting for!