It won’t take long for anyone playing Butcher to find out how it got its name. Your adventure takes you through a hellscape of death, gore, and a little bit more death. Butcher is not intended to be an easy game, and as long as you play it on “Hard” or above, it will prove to be a challenge. It isn’t a typical run-and-gun gore game, either; there are plenty of sections where taking your time and plotting a strategy will pay off. If you make the decision to play on “Casual”, Butcher will take every opportunity it has to remind you how much of a casual-playing baby you are.
Butcher delivers on what appears to be its main goals – a tough, retro-style, 2D-shooter. While this game is by no means easy, it is a genuine challenge that you will want to work through. You can plan out how you are going to work through different areas (which you will need to do, often). It pays to be quick and resourceful, because your enemies are going to be at least as quick as you are. One thing that I really appreciated about Butcher was how short the level sections are. When you die, you have to restart the section you are, but for me, the sections were short enough that I didn’t feel like I was being sent back an unreasonable time or distance.
While I love the retro look and feel of the game, it borders on too grainy and small. It may be because Butcher’s color schemes are so dark and muted, but there are times when it is hard to tell what is going on (or what areas you can go into). Overall, it is such a fun game, and the only thing that really takes away from it is when you can’t see what’s going on (or where you are getting shot from).
Butcher has a relatively diverse achievement list for how straightforward of a game it is. There are the typical achievements for completing levels and the story overall (on different difficulties), and some of the achievements are for defeating a certain number of enemies with a certain weapon, but there are also achievements for doing things like kicking a number of enemies onto chains (and to their impending deaths). There’s also a series of achievements for completing the game in a certain amount of time. These add an additional challenge for achievement hunters – but be warned, the pause menu does not stop the time from counting for these achievements.
For how challenging it is, Butcher is incredibly enjoyable. It rewards strategy and skill, and definitely requires both. Combined with a creative achievement list that provides high replay value, Butcher is a great game to play if you are looking for a game that will force you to work through it.
A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review
Buy Butcher on the Xbox Store – Price $9.99