Fashion Police Squad (XSX) Review with stream

Reminiscent of classic Doom or Duke Nukem, Fashion Police Squad is a retro-style first person shooter that is loaded with humor, speed, and quality. This is a new, old shooter done right and provides a ton of fun.

Instead of reducing your enemies to a pile of mush, the player instead attacks unfashionable NPCs to better their fashion sense. See a tourist rocking sandals with socks? Throw a fashion gnome at them. See a business man wearing drab colors? Blast them with a colored shotgun. Is that flamer wearing a really loud outfit? Calm him down by drenching him with the water cannon. Like a game of rock/paper/scissors, each enemy can only be changed when attacked with the proper weapon. It is an interesting concept since the player never knows what type of enemy will be around the corner, but the game introduces a new mechanic, weapon, and enemy type right through until the end. For the most part, the pacing is great but there are moments of steep and unfair difficulty as the game will occasionally lock the player in an unescapable arena that will not allow passage until all enemies are defeated. The problem is, fighting a dozen enemies simultaneously, each that requires their own dedicated form of attack to defeat, is rarely fun and are annoying gauntlets of attrition.

The story is just as humorous as the visuals. It is written exceedingly well right down to the intermittent radio conversations. I don’t want to spoil anything here but there are twists and turns in the plot that can genuinely cause out loud laughter. Even the ending, and the way it ties everything together, is unexpected and creates chuckles.

Visually, the mix of 2D pixelated sprites in 3D environments is the perfect mix of old and new. Further, this outlandish visual style melts perfectly into the preposterous combat. Movement speed is also fluid and fast which really makes the gameplay what it is. The best part? The belt swinging traversal mechanic. The snappy response time of this flighty speed is wonderful and wish a Spider-Man game was built using this exact system.  It feels really good and adds that extra layer of polish to the overall package that really sets it over the top. There are also a few optional Challenge stages that will push the combat and movement skills of the player.   

As solidly fun as this FPS is, there are a few blemishes that slightly hold back the experience in addition to the tedious arena gauntlet portions. Since each enemy requires a specific weapon to defeat, switching weapons on the fly isn’t the most intuitive. The player can switch to the next weapon or activate a weapon wheel, but not being able to switch to the needed weapon with one button is a little cumbersome, especially since enemies can ruthlessly attack like the scooter riders. Also, the overworld map reminds me of the latest TMNT brawler but can be a little confusing to navigate. Finally, some stages can take 40 minutes to complete which is a bit long especially if looking to find the optional secrets that are difficult to locate.

Even though it isn’t perfect, Fashion Police Squad is still one of the best first-person shooters I have played in the last few years. The retro visual style, silly premise, and fast-paced gameplay blends together oh so well. On paper, shooting enemies with fashion guns sounds like a dumb idea but make no mistake, this is a quality, highly-polished downloadable title. It is so good that I wish there was a co-op option, but I guess that just leaves opportunity for a sequel. 

SCORE: 9/10

Also Play: Prodeus or Pangeon

A Good Throwback To: classic Doom or Duke Nukem

Don’t Forget About: Rule No.1

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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