Welcome to the world of Just Die Already, where there is no respect left for the elderly. You can choose to play as one of four pensioners (if such a setup exists in this crazy world) who is confined to an old folk’s home, barred from entering most places and shunned by pretty much everyone. All those pesky millennials have selfishly decided to look after themselves, leaving the boomers’ to fend for themselves. The satirists amongst you may ask what the difference is between this world and the real one? The answer is, well, an awful lot actually.
You may not be surprised to realise that the design team for Just Die Already were also responsible for the arguably equally ridiculous Goat Simulator. From here on in, you should know what to expect. Just Die Already is an outrageous, hilarious and borderline offensive sandbox game. After promptly escaping your incarceration in the retirement home, you’re quickly on your way to crossing goals off your bucket list which generally involve causing absolute chaos.
Of course, being an old fogey means you have certain limitations, however the ragdoll physics in Just Die Already provide plenty of opportunities to have some fun. Essentially you can run, ragdoll, jump and taunt others in the game world by generally being as offensive as possible. Ragdoll means just that, going limp and rolling around in a hilarious but painful looking fashion.
As you explore the open world, you’ll discover new, themed areas as you go which feels pleasingly organic. There’s a fair amount to find within the world too, such as weapons, tools, vehicles and Just Die Already tokens. You can use these at vending machines to purchase all sorts of goodies.
There are some wonderfully ridiculous weapons to find, such as rockets, flamethrowers, electric guitars and shovels to name just a few. You use the Xbox triggers and bumpers to control each hand, meaning that you can quite pleasingly dual wield. You can also commandeer mopeds, bicycles and steamrollers to dial up the mayhem. This combination is a lot of fun, even on your own, however Just Die Already really shines when you get other people involved.
There’s no local multiplayer; it’s all online but that’s no bad thing. You can play with up to three others cooperatively, and competitive play is coming in the very near future at no extra charge. You can host a private game if you wish to play with friends only, allow anyone to join you or jump into somebody else’s room at random. The joy, like with any sandbox title, is getting your creative heads together and experimenting with what the game has to offer. What’s also impressive, is that Just Die Already boasts crossplay (allowing those playing on different gaming systems to team up with each other) which brings all facets of the game’s community together. The other benefit of this, of course, is smooth matchmaking thanks to the busy servers.
Just Die Already is set in a Japanese-themed city which is well-designed, and has plenty of areas to explore. Whether it’s forcing your way behind a shop counter, or climbing across the rooftops, there’s lots of opportunities to simply mess around; something which is absolutely key for a sandbox game such as this.
As slapstick and hilarious as getting about is in Just Die Already, it does make controlling your old fella frustrating at times. It’s not so bad once you get used to it, however you’ll struggle to properly master it despite the fact that struggle has most likely been dropped in on purpose. This is especially the case as you take some damage, as you literally fall apart piece by piece. There’s something really quite entertaining about rolling around the floor as a torso with no arms and legs. You can reset at any time, returning to full health and spawning in the nearest dumpster (which says it all really).
Ladders aren’t quite as famously enjoyable here however; in fact they are absolutely horrid. This is because in Just Die Already, doing something as simple as climbing a ladder is extremely clunky thanks to the ragdoll physics. This is a small, and uncommon example, of where things stop being funny very quickly indeed.
As wonderfully ridiculous as Just Die Already is, after a few hours you may struggle to find enough to keep your attention. This isn’t down to a lack of direction (which is provided by your bucket list), but instead the shallow gameplay depth. It’s a wild ride while it lasts though.
Still, overall it’s mostly positive news and Just Die Already will only set you back £11.99, which given the slick online functionality is very reasonable indeed. Add its uniqueness into the mix and the reasons to give this game a go stack up pretty neatly. Will it hit the same heady heights as Goat Simulator? Only time will tell.
Despite some control niggles and a flat gameplay structure, take Just Die Already online with some other rebellious seniors and you’re guaranteed to have a blast.
Just Die Already is currently available for £11.99 on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One
- Charmingly ridiculous
- Plenty of ways to wreak havoc
- Online multiplayer is great fun
- Controls occasionally frustrate
- Limited replayability
- Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Curve Digital
- Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, PC
- Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
- Release date - 20th May 2021
- Launch price from - £11.99