Developed by Error 404 Game Studios and published by Blowfish Studios, Obey Me is a hellish 3D beat-em-up. A woman and her dog must take on hordes of mutants and demons as instructed, but is there a bigger evil plan afoot? The game is quite dark in both its visuals and its genre. As you are in a hellish environment, everything looks all downtrodden and corrupted. The background music is subtle and tries to add to the hellish atmosphere. The writing has a good element of humour, showing its less serious side, meaning it’s not all doom and gloom.
You play as Vanessa Held, a soul huntress, and her K9 sidekick Monty. Heaven and Hell are in constant conflict, and Vanessa is occasionally given assignments to take down a target or retrieve something of importance. Whatever task Vanessa is assigned, a lot of mutant’s and demons seem to block her path. Every now and then you hear Vanessa’s instructor talk to the big boss who seems to have a bigger agenda, with Vanessa being the key to his plans. Monty her faithful companion is a talking hell hound who likes to eat garbage and demons, and has a lot of funny dialogue when interacting with Vanessa.
The controls are pretty simple to get to grips with; you have you a variety of attacks which can be put into combos, a unique attack which applies to the weapon you have equipped, an evasive warp move to get out of trouble and, finally, a special move where you combine with your faithful companion to cause chaos to all your enemies. However, you need to build up the special meter gauge by destroying certain crystals. You can also have Monty attack enemies. Alternatively, if you have a friend with you then they can jump in and play as Monty for a bit of co-op action.
As you progress and collect souls from enemies or crystals you use them to unlock upgrades for Vanessa or Monty. Vanessa can upgrade her weapon to cause extra damage or improve her combos. Monty can gain extra attacks, or upgrade his current attack’s power. Further in the game, you will also unlock extra weapons for Vanessa and elemental bases for Monty. Vanessa starts off with twin daggers which allow her to dart about in a hit and run format. She also has a hammer which is very powerful, but slows Vanessa down considerably and can leave her very vulnerable. Monty starts with a fire-base and has a variety of fire attacks. After consuming the first big demon you defeat, he unlocks an acid-base and grows acid-filled boils on his back, allowing him to perform acidic attacks. Obey Me allows for a quick switch of weapons on the fly for Vanessa which is nice. This allows her to switch to a fast attack mode where evasion is key, and then to a hammer when causing high damage is crucial.
To keep the game interesting, Obey Me has added a large portion of platforming traps, usually used sparsely in this genre. There are mines, explosive canisters, bumpers which push you back and floor spikes. These are not to be taken lightly and contribute a large portion of the difficulty of the game. If you don’t take them seriously then you can quite easily lose most of your life before you take on a wave of enemies – you will already lose plenty of health in battle, so you need to preserve as much as you can. Some areas have tricky traps where you are forced to use your evasive warp move to get around them, and timing can be key. This is a nice breakup of the flow of gameplay, so it doesn’t just become another standard beat-em-up game.
Obey Me did have one minor niggle for me; the combos for each of the weapons. It seems all the combos have a way of leaving you vulnerable, and when you unlock further additions to the combo, these tend to make you even more vulnerable rather than being an upgrade. You are forced to upgrade them though, as the path has the better upgrades placed further down the chain, so you have to unlock the combo upgrades first. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could cancel the combo before it finishes, but sometimes you start fighting an enemy and you either kill them or they move, and you end up performing a combo to thin air which can leave you very exposed.
Obey Me is a fun and fresh take on the Beat-Em-Up genre. It is quite easy for games in this genre to become repetitive and dull, but with the variety of weapons, moves, enemies and dodging of traps things are kept interesting. The story may seem vague at the start, but it builds things nicely and with some humorous dialogue it does keep you gripped. This is a fun game to pick up and play and is much better enjoyed with a friend.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.