Well, here’s a sequel I wasn’t expecting to see. I reviewed Drunken Fist in 2021 and gave it my lowest score to date – that being 1/5 stars. It was a truly terrible game, and a pretty unpleasant experience all round. So, have any lessons been learned since the first attempt fell flat on its face with the release of Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover?
You can imagine how my heart sank then, as the title screen booted up and a familiar sight shambled into view. That being an intoxicated, blocky faced drunkard who looked like they were spoiling for a fight. This is the character you play as in Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover, a rowdy rocker who finds himself squarely in the middle of a zombie outbreak.
That’s right, this time around things are a little different. Rather than simply roaming the streets pummelling random bystanders, the beatings are being dished out to the walking dead instead. Morally, this is much firmer ground and feels less controversial.
Despite still not looking particularly attractive, Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover does have a little more going for it visually. Roaming a zombie infested environment is much more interesting on the eye and the levels actually come with background detail now rather than a black void of nothingness.
Unfortunately the repetitive, heavy rock soundtrack also returns and is no more enjoyable to listen to the second time around. Every time you take down a zombie, time will slow, accompanied by a rather cringeworthy cry which sounds something like describing your finishing move. The fact that this happens every single time gets irritating quite quickly.
In better news the biggest attempted improvement in Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover concerns the combat system. You have more control over the movement of your brawling rocker too, with it feeling much less like a random game of chance as to which direction you will end up moving in. Also, another new ability at your disposal is being able to use the triggers on your controller to select a target. Sadly, the accuracy is still hit and miss and there are real difficulties trying to break away from a target once locked on.
In terms of combat there are different moves to choose from, such as punching, kicking and tripping up enemies. It’s simple stuff, but fairly often you’ll score a one hit kill which can come in very handy. There is also the option to step back which is essentially a dodge move, and probably the most useful of the lot. Unfortunately, again, the accuracy is very inconsistent meaning you’ll end up somehow missing your enemy or far too often end up sort of cradling them in your arms rather than landing a blow.
Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover is once again split into levels, but in reality you play a single level which is broken down into areas. In each you simply need to dispatch a certain number of zombies to proceed. Every now and then you’ll notice a purple glow signalling you’ve found a weapon to use. This means you have a much more powerful attack at your disposal, although it will break after a certain amount of uses.
The other trick up your sleeve remains the ability to pee on the floor to trip your undead enemies up. To fill your pee meter and recover health, you simply need to collect bottles of beer scattered around each area and down them like there’s no tomorrow. A couple of times whilst playing I did randomly lose the ability to pee until I died, which was one of many glitches I encountered. Another saw floating zombies and the odd corpse pinging across the environment like it had just been shot out of a cannon. I must admit, it did make me laugh though.
Despite some modest improvements, Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover is still a game that requires little more than button bashing. The gameplay is repetitive and crucially still lacks variety. And as before, you’ll easily rack up the Gamerscore without really having to try.
Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover’s core issues remain since the first outing, but some small improvements have been made. Despite this, on balance it will take a lot more to make this a game to recommend.
Drunken Fist 2: Zombie Hangover is on the Xbox Store