For as long as there’s been the concept of a Player 2, there have been party games. The best of the genre find players alternating between laughing and getting serious because, at the end of the day, we all want to win… even when it doesn’t matter. At a recent hands on of Party Animals at gamescom, both laughter and “sweatiness” were in full effect as 8 of us piled into a room to battle it out in dueling split-screen multiplayer with some of the cutest creatures imaginable.
Our hour-long party took us across three very different events, including a never-before-seen mode debuting at the German game show. The first event was a knock-down-drag-out 2v2v2v2 on the top of a submarine. Weapons dropped into play with regularity as players attempted to knock others off the deck… without slipping off the rounded deck themselves. In the early going, it was No Big Deal to slip (or be thrown!) into the foam, as there was ample opportunity to latch on to the sides of the sub and climb back up.
This all changed once the sub began to slowly dive, at which point it quickly devolved into an everyone-for-themselves king of the hill, with players scrambling up the conning tower to safety. With the last player to be swept into the sea securing the win for their team, these were wild affairs.
A bit more order was brought into the proceedings as we moved into a new-to-gamescom mode: Party Animals‘ take on soccer. Lining up on the pitch 4v4, we attempted to make runs, send crosses, and other footballing tactics, most of which were waylaid by the fact that these adorable, innocent animals were busy beating the stuffing out of each other – no yellow cards here! I was actually first on the board here, though not as intended: my clear counter and shot on target led to me cheering as the ball rolled over the line – but those cheers turned to ashes in my mouth as I realized I had scored an own goal…
But it’s Party Animals, it was all too cute to me to stay down for long, and our team fought back into the match. As we got more to grips with the controls (quite literally, RT grabs onto things and is used frequently), our play became more sophisticated. Our adversaries deployed a sunglasses-clad goose as itinerant goalkeeper. My next shot went into the correct goal.
Finally we put our teamwork and improvisational skills to the test in the Candy Factory. In this map, candy of various sizes, from “basketball-sized gumdrop” to “gummi bear that would frighten a grizzly” drop in the middle of an arena. Teams vie to take control of the candy and drag it to their own area, where they satisfyingly throw a switch to bank some points. 3 big candies won the game for our team of well-dressed corgis.
Party Animals is filled with fun touches; at the conclusion of each event everyone poses for a picture… a perfect encapsulation of the madcap fun, as adorable animals muscle to the front of the shot. There are so many characters to choose from, with swappable costumes that we were unlocking as we played, each more charming than the last. Scoring a goal is great, scoring a goal as a kitten with an orange rind on its head is sublime.
We enjoyed split-screen 4 player, and you can play against many more… up to 20 players in certain modes at launch for maximum mayhem. And it won’t be hard to round up those friends – when Party Animals comes to Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One on September 20, it launches day 1 into Xbox Game Pass.
Party Animals Deluxe Edition
Preorder now to receive the following exclusive content:
– Royal Nemo Outfit
– Royal Nemo Avatar
– Nemo Bucks*240
Purchase the Deluxe Edition to receive the following exclusive content:
– Nemo Bucks*1300
– Bathrobe Harry Outfit & Avatar & Frame
– Bathrobe Coco Outfit & Avatar & Frame
– Bathrobe Garfat Outfit & Avatar & Frame
– Golden Nemo Skin & Avatar
– Golden Macchiato Skin & Avatar
– Golden Coco Skin & Avatar