A Red Dead Brawl
HIGH The damage modeling makes the fighting feel satisfying.
LOW A repetitive combat system and only a few different levels.
WTF Where is the user created content?!
If you ask me, there’s nothing as satisfying as beating down a virtual opponent in a videogame. Granted, I’m not saying it’s an educational experience, but it is great stress relief when one has had a bit too much of the daily grind. For folks like me who just want a simple outlet to blow off some steam, Paint The Town Red offers virtual beatdowns in great amounts… but not much else.
Seen from a first-person perspective, the player goes around each level and beats everyone they see to death — and that’s it. That is the complete summation of this experience.
It’s possible to pick up weapons like pool cues, vinyl records, ashtrays, and so on, but the fighting system is simple and mostly based on punches and kicks. Each landed hit showcases location-based damage that makes everything a bit more realistic, despite PTTR using blocky Minecraft-like voxel graphics.
The main play mode is just a lot of brawling with five areas to pick from — a bar, a prison, a disco, a pirate cove and a Wild West saloon. Fighting will eventually unlock special moves that can be performed once enough enemies have been defeated, but it takes too long to unlock them — I had to actually check my notes about them because I forgot they were there.
There’s also an RPG-like mode called “Beneath”, where the player picks a character from a selection of various classes (warlock, warrior, and more) and ventures into an underground cave to fight enemies which will drop experience points and gold. As with the other mode, the player can slowly level up stats and buy new equipment. It’s the bare minimum content that one might expect from an RPG-lite experience, with no story or progression beyond leveling up.
Having been in early access since 2015, the PC version of Paint the Town Red has a truckload of user-created content including texture packs, music packs, and various levels. All of this adds an almost infinite level of variety which is sorely lacking in the console versions like the one I played for this review. There are a few mods (new graphical modes, weird gameplay variations) added in, but their novelty wears off quickly. Also, the PC’s co-op mode — something that might have added some spark — is nowhere to be seen here.
While Paint The Town Red might be a more robust experience on PC, the Switch version feels almost like a tech demo in comparison, delivering a decent but too-shallow fighting experience that wore out its welcome after just a couple of hours.
Disclosures: This game is developed by and published by South East Games. It is currently available on Switch, PS, XB and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on Switch. Approximately 3 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode and the game was not completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: The game is rated M by the ESRB, and it contains Blood and Gore and Violence. Given its overall violent content and the amount of blood and guts flying around, I would definitely recommend it to a mature audience.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game does not feature spoken dialogue, nor are audio cues used to communicate enemies’ attacks. Text cannot be altered or resized. In my view, the game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: The game is controlled like most first person games — moving around is done with the left analog stick, the camera is handled with the right stick, and the face buttons and shoulder buttons are used for attacking, while the d-pad buttons are used for the special attacks. The controls are NOT remappable.