Mean McAllister is a big hunky musclebound humanoid chicken whose girlfriend Candy has been kidnapped by some nefarious gangster types. To get her back, Mean will have to travel through 12 different missions filled with all manner of loot and evil!
Probably the most important thing we need to mention is that the game's (shouty, overblown and undeniably awesome) trailer manages to do a pretty good job of concealing the relative lack of gameplay. Going into this expecting a full-on action RPG could well lead to disappointment, as in reality this is something of a “clicker”. A type of game rarely seen on consoles (because it often doesn't really work), your character stands centre stage with players moving a crosshair around the screen and mashing the single action button to defeat waves of oncoming enemies.
While the actual gameplay might be as basic as it gets, there's so much other stuff going on that it's easy to find yourself quickly becoming addicted. Around 450 weapons and items can be found throughout the game, which can be sold for souls (ie. cash) or equipped to increase your stats. Clothing can be unlocked with provides additional stat boosts as well as changing the look of your character, and a lengthy upgrade system that continually expands as McAllster levels up allows players to spend their souls on enhancing their abilities even further. The Black Market and Boss Raids add extra opportunities to level up and find items that can't be found in regular levels, and completing any of the game's 97 challenges awards even more souls to be spent on those seemingly neverending upgrades.
Each level is set in a distinctive environment and contains unique enemies and bosses. The aim is to reach the end of a set number of waves of enemies, with each wave consisting of 4-6 bad guys and the occasional boss. Beautifully quirky hand drawn graphics and a ridiculous cast of characters mean it's never dull to look at, even though all you're doing is moving a target and hammering away at a button.
Despite the game's simplicity, Chicken Assassin: Reloaded really makes the most of its ideas. It absolutely isn't the deepest game in the world, and admittedly it can be a bit of a grind when you're chasing the final few batches of upgrades, but some great visuals and an insanely addictive upgrade loop make for a surprisingly enjoyable experience. Xenoblade Chronicles this definitely isn't, but anyone looking for an enjoyable budget-priced way to waste a few hours away with some frantic button mashing will surely find plenty of pleasure here.
CHICKEN ASSASSIN: RELOADED / DEVELOPER: ONESHARK / PUBLISHER: AKUPARA GAMES / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, SWITCH (REVIEWED) / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW