Feature Art

Preview – Troublemaker [Demo] PC

Right off the bat, my main complaint with Troublemaker is how the anime-style imagery used for its marketing is actually just a cover for a realistic-looking third-person 3D brawler. I feel like the rug got ripped from underneath me when I started a new game and the cool looking cartoon-style and pop-rock soundtrack faded away into a particularly drab setting. It was jarring to say the least. Once you shake that initial rocky entry off, however, this martial arts inspired fighter coming all the way from Indonesia has all the potential to become a neat little action game. I mean, if there’s any place in the world I want my fighting choreography to come from, it’s Indonesia – home of the almighty Iko Uwais, the absolute GOAT of kicking ass and looking cool as hell doing it. The surrounding details are a little harder to recommend though.

For starters, the mix of stupid excellent memes strewn around the environment, terrible hilarious interactions with classmates, and the absurd history of the school’s MMA competition is awkwardly juxtaposed with a rather serious introduction about our protagonist causing trouble for his widowed mother and broken family by fighting back against bullies and continually being arrested with bloodied knuckles. It left me feeling totally bewildered about the narrative and where it was trying to go, whiplashing me back and forth from a tragic background to a dumb anime world in which one of your ultimate fighting abilities is popping the almighty T-pose.

The fighting itself has a solid foundation consisting of attacks, dodges, special moves, and consumables, but it’s going to need a decent amount more shine to hold up for the entire game. It has that ’Yakuza’ style to it but none of the depth. Of course different enemy types that you have to play around will also help the combat feel but, sadly, the demo was limited to just a couple of fights. It’s really a shame more wasn’t shown off because running back and forth around the school to progress the story is pretty tedious, with the fun stuff (in the form of fists flying) only rearing its head at the start and end of what’s currently available. The Steam page, however, shows off all sorts of training mini-games, stealth missions, and more – none of which is on display here. It looks to be a pretty ambitious project that could turn out to be a blast if put together well but it’s hard to say how it’ll turn out from what I played and what’s being promised. Here’s hoping for the best!