Within the first few minutes of playing Just Die Already, I knew this game would be absolutely absurd and bonkers. My character woke up in a retirement home, and everyday items have now become a lethal deathtrap. After dying a few times, I came across a shower room that I foolishly interacted with; this led to my old-aged pensioner being blasted to the ground by water, rolling around the floor in their birthday suit.
At this point, I knew I was in for a ride, and I was looking forward to every moment of it, even if I was a bit terrified of what might come next.
If this is all sounding a little bit outlandish, Just Die Already is a sandbox game made by the designer of Goat Simulator. So, they are no stranger to bringing bizarre and eccentric ideas to the gaming sphere. It’s worth mentioning that the influences and parallels between the two are uncanny, but there are a few notable differences. Ultimately, if you enjoyed Goat Simulator’s slapstick humour back in the day, you’re going to have a fantastic time here.
The plot, which I say very loosely, is that you are a grumpy old senior spending your last days in an apathetic retirement home. This is until you escape your room that you have been locked in and attend a party for a dearly deceased resident. Your rowdy boomer behaviour leads to you being kicked out of the home permanently. The outside world is not what it used to be, and with the world finances in disarray and millennials now running the show, it’s now up to the OAPs to fend for themselves. With your newfound freedom, you can take on deadly challenges in your bucket list to earn your way back to the promised land of a retirement home or run-around causing mayhem and have the time of your life with the little amount you have left.
The retiree you take control of is very fragile, to say the least, and even though many things grow with age, your resilience to forgetfulness along with physical environments have not lasted the test of time. This, in turn, means you are very acceptable to being flung across the map in hilarious ways and falling to your peril. Your surroundings can often cause your arms and legs to break, which isn’t too bad, as you can recover from this. However, other times you will be torn limb by limb, ending with blood spurting and gushing out everywhere. You can make this even more dramatic by exploiting the ragdoll mechanics to create some amusing but over the top black humour scenarios.
Just Die Already embraces all the gameplay elements you would hope to see in a Sandbox game. It’s all about creating your own fun and making the world itself into your own very playground, where the only limits are the boundaries of your imagination. There will be various items scattered across the map that you can interact with and use in initiative ways to create some silly but brilliant situations. Even though there is some structure within the madness, you’ll have a bucket list of challenges to complete that encourages you to commit some nefarious deeds, such as causing explosions and smiting someone down with an electrical toy hammer.
After completing challenges, you will either earn items for your crazy stunts or tickets that can be used at vending machines. These machines are dotted all over the city and will dispense quirky items like flashy hats or lethal weapons to cause anarchy. The one item I would highly recommend purchasing is the hover shoes. Besides being remarkably fun to use, they gave me easy access to parts of the city with its jumping ability which had been unreachable beforehand. I’m still waiting for my hoverboard in real life, but I will do with these bad boys instead. Every time you put them on, there is a catch, as it requires you to put each individual shoe on. You wouldn’t think this would be a problem on paper, but as you’re incredibly prone to dying, this can become a tedious chore if some bad luck comes your way.
There is also a multiplayer mode that allows you to play with three other players online, enabling cross-play. However, I must admit, I struggled to find a match online, which was a bit of a shame. This isn’t too surprising as I’m reviewing the game before launch, but I would imagine playing with others would cause some carnage situations that would certainly be fun.
I’ve sunk over ten hours into the game, and I’ve had a great time so far. Although it has fallen into the same cracks as Goat Simulator, after a certain point, you run out of things to do. The experience relies on a lot of shock value that, over time, diminishes as there are only so many times you can see your character’s body dismantle or terrorise the public before the appeal slightly runs off. All in all, there is a lot of entertainment to be had amongst the chaos that unfolds, especially when using a vast variety of available items. I’m looking forward to seeing how groups of players create fun and interesting moments within the world. Meanwhile, I’ll be trying to finish my bucket list – before I kick the bucket.
Just Die Already PS5, PS4 Review
- Overall - Fantastic - 8/108/10
Old age isn’t a battle, it’s a massacre! Just Die Already embraces this to the extreme with a ridiculous odyssey of carnage, bloodshed, and mayhem – and that’s just in the retirement home. With an outrageous sandbox world to explore, ragdoll mechanics to exploit and a wide variety of novelty items to misuse, the bucket list is well on its way to being conquered.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5, PS4.