S.L.O.P Feels Quite Sloppy
Supreme League of Patriots got off to a great start. The game itself looks and sounds like it belongs somewhere between Sam & Max and Team Fortress 2. It has a charm about it. You play as two lovable losers Kyle and Mel. Kyle, a lazy American with an affinity for superheroes, and Mel, a smart ass English illegal immigrant there to guide you along. They both decide Kyle should try out for the “America’s got Superpowers” reality show and it all goes wonky from there. During his performance, Kyle gets a hard knock or twelve on the noggin and develops a split personality. From then on out Kyle is The Purple Patriot, a pseudo hero whose thought process is makes the sexism and homophobia of Fox News look like an episode of Sesame Street.
The characters are the star of the show here. Mel is always dry and quick witted, Kyle/The Purple Patriot are always getting picked on by him. There are a lot of references to pop culture and adventure games such as when you pick up certain items. “This wouldn’t be an adventure game without glue” Mel quips. The game admits openly early on in the first episode that adventure games are played for the story and Supreme League of Patriots does everything in its power to keep the story chugging along. If you’re ever stuck, you can just talk to Mel and he’ll tell you where you should be looking. If you’re even more stuck, you can sit idle for a minute and Mel will almost always tell you what to do. It’s a weird dynamic that was appreciated early on, but by the end of it I was relying so heavily on the hints I didn’t get any sense of feeling from any of the decisions I was making. The dialogue can be punchy and funny, however. There’s a scene in the third episode where Mel is trying to explain to the Purple Patriot how to deliver a one-liner before an action sequence and got a good laugh out of their conversation.
The characters are another focus of game that deserves to be mentioned. Everyone including and outside of the heroes plays an archetype, from the evil Russian villain Cold War, to the flamboyantly gay superhero they only took the time to name “Flamboyant Superhero.” There is a goth nurse who insists on euthanizing everyone and everything, and a cop/superhero by the name of The Bleeding Heart. There is a sense of irony and humor in the characters, though, as much of their personalities are developed from mistakes The Purple Patriot and Mel are responsible for. While they are colorful earlier in the games you start to notice a pattern and they have no real development. Even the setting of New York City is undersold as there are only 5 or 6 different sets to interact with and never at once. The game could really have improved by opening up the world and allowing you to multitask once in a while.
The real trouble with Supreme League of Patriots starts in the actual game play. The character animation is extremely slow and buggy and very time Kyle has to walk into the next room he takes his sweet time and pauses to turn toward the target. This goes for opening doors, talking to other characters, etc… At one scene in the third episode I was in a bank and had to walk to the next room. The walking took literally thirty to forty seconds every time I had to walk through there. The animation is entirely unnecessary outside of trying to make it feel more interactive but it really just bogged the game down.
To make matters worse are the puzzles. In the next scene I found myself on either side of a cubicle having to figure out how to turn some lights out. Mel was on the other side of the cubicle next to the switch and yet I still had to figure out another way to get there. Another moment required me to get a photo of Kyle not dressed as the Purple Patriot to prove my identity. In order to do that I had to figure out a way to turn back into Kyle. Logically, I thought to go back to the apartment and change into Kyle’s other clothes. Nope, I had to click through lines of dialogue to find out that I had to try different ways of hitting The Purple Patriot on the head to see if he changes back. After all three of those ways don’t work THE CHARACTERS SUGGESTED I GO TO THE APARTMENT AND CHANGE INTO KYLE’S CLOTHES. I felt like my time was entirely wasted through a puzzle I was forced into and all I could feel was frustration. 99 percent of my experience was clicking on things and finding out I couldn’t interact with them yet. I’ve played adventure games in the past and I understand why they set up certain sections that way but in Supreme League of Patriots everything is so linear it prevents you from actually using logic. At the end of the game while speaking to the police chief to help with a robbery Mel and the Purple Patriot worked out that they needed to find a floor plan for the bank outside of legal means. You procure a layout on an SD card and once you return to the scene the police chief goes and talks to someone for you instead. You just have that item sitting in your inventory unused and that whole segment you played through is moot.
The split personality of the Purple Patriot is never something that is worked through. What could have been an interesting back and forth only comes up once in all three episodes, and there’s no real purpose of the character outside of saying offensive things. When it all comes down to it, the Purple Patriot is a rude version of the Tick with no actual interest in serving justice and only does something remotely superhero-esque once or twice in all three episodes.
I understand what Supreme League of Patriots was going for. It is an interesting start for what looked like a promising series, but the bugs are really hard to work through and a lot of the puzzles are going to push the patience of most gamers simply looking for a laugh. There just isn’t enough here and without more than six characters to go from, this adventure will make you wish you stayed home. If you love adventure games you’ll find what you expect here but little more. It’s not unplayable by any means, it just takes a special niche of gamer to really enjoy this kind of experience. In the trailer Mel states, “It’s almost as if someone arranged these events to create a highly amusing and excellent value for their money adventure game…” Yes, they could have, but instead they have a slow patience clicking test that doesn’t go much further than a few scenes and characters before it starts to feel recycled and empty.
Final Verdict: 2.5/5
Available on: PC (Reviewed); Publisher: Phoenix Online ; Developer: No Bull Intentions ; Players: 1; Released: Janurary 29, 2015; ESRB: E ; MSRP: $5.99 per episode, $14.99 Season Pass
Note: Review impressions are taken from a review code provided by the game’s publisher, Phoenix Online.