I sometimes wonder when the crossover point happened; when amusement parks suddenly became terrifying places. Whether it be due to abandonment or the inclusion of some pure evil – read: clowns – they aren’t a place to particularly enjoy. It’s that which Death Park 2 focuses on, delivering a mix of scary amusement park vibes and an evil clown who is trying to kill you. The first game threw you into one location, as you attempted to keep away from something with big feet that was trying to kill you. Now it’s back and you need to be ready to run.
Death Park 2 is a first-person action-horror experience. The story puts you in the tiny shoes of a small boy living in his house. As he walks around his home he finds notes from his parents, hinting that something is up in the city outside and that they will be back soon. When he goes into his younger sister’s room he enters a different state – a dream world; it is here he finds an evil clown kidnapping her, pushing her out of the window. Yet in the real world, his sister is in a deep sleep in her bedroom unable to wake up. It’s up to you to venture out of the house, into the city, and beyond to rescue your sister and bring order to the world…
The story is fun and just about passable. It’s like a B-movie horror film that is fun to watch whilst you get on with answering your emails. The locations are standard horror fare with old evacuated hospitals and cemeteries, with a dense level of fog surrounding the outdoor areas. There’s a nice bit of world-building here and it feels like the development team are likely to continue this franchise into the future.
Gameplay-wise it is a tale of two different realities, with an easy mode and a hardcore mode to choose from. The difference between the two is found in the difficulty of the combat; something that I’ll get on to in a bit. Before that, you’re left to walk around the two different realities, a dream one and the real world. In the real world, you will have objectives to complete, mostly in the form of ‘go here’ and ‘do this’. But sometimes you need to traverse the dream world in order to say, unlock a door or get a key to use in the real world. There are some clever uses of gameplay in the dream world too, especially a sequence in a hospital where you’re found running away from the evil clown, left to navigate a series of doorways to get through.
There is combat to be had as well and these see you going up against the monsters that are roaming the town and interiors. You have at your disposal a baseball bat, pistol, machine gun, or shotgun. How a small child is capable of firing these weapons without flying across the room is neither here nor there, but it works fine. It’s not brilliant though and for the most part you’ll happily ignore it, running to locations and hoping that your foes eventually go back to their loops.
First aid kits are available when you need them, but there are problems with button responsiveness when using them and loading up the inventory. The transition to console is not entirely smooth but can just about be forgiven and whilst some basic puzzles are fun for a while, the most enjoyment will come from running away from the evil clown. It’s here where the best moments of Death Park 2 are found.
Visually and Death Park 2 isn’t a game that pushes the Xbox Series X to its graphical limits. It’s a game that looks quite simple but does a good job with the budget limits it has. The clown itself is extremely terrifying and strange to look at, but the monsters – a sort of alien hybrid – aren’t at all terrifying, most mysterious like the locations you find yourself in. It does however create a decent tension, as you never really know what is around the next corner. The soundtrack does a good job of ramping up the scares too.
Cheap and obviously running budget limitations, Death Park 2 does a good job of providing a solid scare-fuelled horror adventure at a low cost. The dream sequences are of particularly good value as is the evil clown hunting you. But the rest of it – the combat, the visuals, the audio – are all nothing more than okay.
Death Park 2 is available at the Xbox Store