OK, joke time. Justin Roiland, animator and famed creator of Rick and Morty, walks into a bar along with J.B. Smoove, a plucky team of game developers and (presumably) enough recreational substances to recreate the environs of Yellow Submarine several times over. “Right, lads, here’s an idea I’ve been working on,” declares Roiland, chuckling merrily and wiping beer from the sides of his mouth with the excess residual cash he’s made from Mr. Meeseeks merchandise. “How’s about we make a video game where you’re a dude saving the world from aliens using guns – except the humans is drugs, the aliens is druggies and all the guns is alive. Also you’ve got a part in it, J.B.” And everyone present nods in agreement, without questioning anything.
Sounds like a setup for the most hysterical comedy in history, right? Well, that’s where I’ve got you – this is in fact the actual premise of High on Life, an upcoming ‘comedy shooter’ from Squanch Games, Roiland’s personal development studio. It certainly looks to be an intriguing experience. Therefore, as we await its December launch, here’s everything we know about High on Life so far!
High on High on Life
Revealed at this year’s Xbox gaming showcase, High on Life looks like precisely the sort of madcap, technicolour outing you’d expect from Casa de Roiland. Set in an offbeat future where humanity’s been nicked by a cartel of otherworldly beings, you’re placed in the shoes (well, advanced cybernetic mech suit) of a poor bloke who’s barely out of high school. You, as is tradition, are the species’ last hope, and must fend off the extraterrestrial blighters for a very particular reason. See, to these aliens, we humans are as addictive as the contents of Charlie Sheen’s glove compartment, which puts a neat spin on things: they’re not trying to murder you for the sake of it, they just want to get their fix.
So off you go, destined to become the galaxy’s toughest bounty hunter – or at the very least someone masquerading as one. To aid you in your venture, you’ve got access to an arsenal of weapons so varied it’d make a certain Lombax seethe with envy. Goo guns, gravity guns, guns that affix mind-controlling parasites to enemy’s heads… you know, the usual.
The smoking (talking, yammering) gun
What sets High on Life apart from its galaxy-hopping contemporaries, however, is that these gadgets talk back to you. Yep: they’re described as ‘a cast of charismatic guns’, and let me tell you, when Sony announced the next generation of gaming would be about ‘offering more feedback’ to the player, they probably never thought it’d be taken this literally.
Each weapon, which bear the faces of creatures not entirely divorced from the Rick and Morty art style, has a quip no matter the situation. Miss a shot? They’ll let you know. Make a shot? They’ll still let you know. Idle for too long? Walk into walls? Pick your nose? They just. Won’t. Shut up.
Of course, this’ll be a make-or-break for some players (are you willing to put up with Roiland’s nasally delivery for upward of 20 hours?) but for those tuned into that style of comedy, it’ll be manna from Heaven. As you travel across the worlds in search of Garmantuous, the ultimate crime boss, you’ll be waylaid by a rotation of bounty hunters looking to do him in first; but play your cards right, and these very same NPCs might end up helping you out. Bit of bribery never went amiss, is all I’m saying. And yes, somewhere in there is a character voiced by the dulcet tones of J.B. Smoove, whose agent probably still gets night sweats about the initial negotiations.
High on Life blasts out this December
Like most modern video games, High on Life received its fair share of delays. As we reported, God of War and Call of Duty‘s much-hyped new releases were the culprit behind one of them. The executives at Squanch Games did not want to put their riskily bonkers effort out to compete with those leviathans. Personally, I could see it as counter-programming capturing the more jaded audiences sick of such omnipresent franchises, particularly as the game is a shooter, but hey-ho.
Despite these setbacks, the game launches December 13, for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC. Owners of literally anything else, my sincere condolences. Pre-orders are live right this moment.
Will you be checking out High on Life? Are you a fan of this particular brand of comedy, or would you rather keep as far away as possible? Let us know!
We’re ticking ever closer to the debut of High on Life, and the developers have ratcheted up the hype machine in a big way. In an interview with Pure Xbox, Mike Fridley of Squanch Games outlined a few more details about what early adopters of the title can expect in terms of bang for their buck.
“Obviously, it depends on how much of a completionist you are as a player,” Fridley states, “but our average for just the ‘main story’ of the game is between 10-12 hours of gameplay. But with all the collectibles and side content you can easily spend between 20-25 hours playing.” Sounds nice and meaty to me.
What do you make of this info? It’s always reassuring to hear that something you’re dropping a considerable amount of dough on will last you more than an afternoon. Unlike Sonic Forces, the complete works of Valve, and a value box from Taco Bell. Though that last one, you’ll be feeling in the morning.
Elsewhere, over on TrueAchievements, community lead Jordyn Halpern has confirmed High on Life will be a day-one addition to Xbox Game Pass. Singing the service’s praises, Halpern noted: “having Xbox be our partner throughout this process has been an amazing experience, and that absolutely includes our ability to host High On Life day one on Game Pass.”
“We want as many people as possible to enjoy our game, and Game Pass as a platform will undoubtedly allow us to expand our audience. Partnering with Microsoft to bring High On Life to Game Pass was a great opportunity for us to bring our game to as many players as possible. We’ve been working on this game for about four years, and they’ve been nothing short of an unbelievably supportive team from the beginning. Round of applause to Microsoft for helping us bring our game to your screens!”
You hear that, you multi-million dollar corporation? Pat on the back, the lot of you.
As previews for the game are now beginning to trickle in across the net – IGN, you jammy blighters – our next look at Messr. Roiland’s masterpiece will be a more intimate one, all being well. Keep your peepers peeled, fans of conversational firearms!