Putty Squad is a game that may be familiar to older gamers as it was released by System 3 in the early nineties. A follow-up to "Putty", Putty Squad was a game that charged you will controlling a blue blob of putty as it attempted to rescue imprisoned red blobs of putty. This new version offers the exact same premise, but doesn't do much to try and bridge the gap in almost two decades worth of video game development.
Throughout Putty Squad's main mode, there is no real semblance of a story. And that's ok, this is meant to be a throwback to the classic era of platform gaming. Still, it would have been nice to get perhaps a shred of context. There are so many bombastic characters present in the game's menu screens, in the various decals and as enemies that there must be something tying them all together.
The game's worlds have a similar random theme, taking you through a multitude of environments. They are also quite expansive, and creative. Your only objective is to save the red putty, but levels can have you going forwards, backwards, up and down in pursuit of this objective. This might seem confusing at first, but there is at least a mini-map which gives the locations of the red putty.
Even with the rather different level design, Putty Squad's challenge comes from poor implementation, mostly relating to things you are required to do. This ranges from selecting different attacks, to using the "stretch" functionality. This is meant to allow you to skip between the game's different scenery objects, but the placement requirements make it so annoying to use, you will soon lament it's existence. It's ok in the earlier worlds, but as you go through the game, its use becomes more mandatory and thus, the problem becomes more apparent.
There are other issues relating to controls which come in the form of weapons. These can be picked up from crates, or by absorbing different enemies and to select between them, you must use the PS4's front touch panel. It's just that the implementation is awful, making you have to find a safe spot, just so you can cycle your inventory without doing something unintentional.
If you are methodical, the game offers no real challenge. Enemies, although numerous in their variety, are very simple to tackle when isolated. And outside of the enemies, the levels have few organic threats. You can attack left and right and as you get on a streak, the power and range of your attacks improves. Collecting the putty then becomes about finding the safest route and systematically clearing out the nearby enemies as and when you need. The challenge comes later on, when you need to worry about elements such as speed.
It's a bit disappointing, especially as the gameplay isn't all that interesting. Sure, there are various moves you can perform such as the stretch and puffer, but the whole premise just isn't all that appealing.
Putty Squad looks better than its earlier contemporary, but it in no way pushes the PS4. In truth, it's rather disappointing as you would expect more from a refresh of a game that was released so long ago, and is so similar. The music, also has a retro feel, but it's not all that memorable.
Perhaps Putty Squad's main redeeming feature is the amount of content available. Outside of the main campaign, undertaking the game's various challenges will test gamers. Every level has numerous challenges and completing them on every level will take some time, that's for sure.
Putty Squad feels and plays ever bit like a retro platforming title from the nineties, but it falls someway short by today's standards. The controls have noticeable issues and the gameplay is pretty clunky and while there is quite a bit of replay value, it will only suit a small segment of the market. In short Putty Squad is a rather poor offering in the PS4's early gaming library.
|Loads of replay value|
|Nice variety of enemies|
|Lots of different levels|
|Doesn't really feel like a game from this decade|
|Gameplay has quite a few issues|
|Controls could've been implemented better|