As time goes on, we are starting to see more and more games put less emphasis on story and using the technology to provide the "wow" factor, with high flying stunts and tons of action. These types of games rely so heavily on their mechanics that often times they end up falling flat for not having enough substance to really sustain a long play time. Today we are checking out Chili Con Carnage, a no nonsense sort of action thriller that attempts to rely heavily on its gameplay and pretty much forgets any other elements. So how do the developers do in making this action frenzy of a game? Read our full review to find out.
With a game title like Chili Con Carnage you definitely you know you’re in for ride, as that has to be one of the most unique and peculiar names I have ever heard for a game. And although the name doesn’t necessarily make or break a game, it definitely sets the mood. Which in the case of Chili Con Carnage you have a game that is heavy on the Carnage part of the title but the Chili, well that’s running a bit thin. With that being said, let’s get into our review of Chili Con Carnage, which hopes to take over the top action to the next level on the PSP.
The story is that of revenge, but what you are fighting for seems unclear and rather pointless, as the story is seemingly making fun of all other typical action games. The story actually provides some laughs, I am not sure if they were intentional, but laughs nonetheless. With a game like Chili Con Carnage, you can’t expect all that much in terms of substance in the story, but at the very least it keeps the game moving from start to finish. It’s not that I was expecting much from a storyline anyways.
So the gameplay of Chili Con Carnage is a combination of things; it goes from the Max Payne style bullet time, to the crazy action of Just Cause on the Xbox 360. The game doesn’t necessarily say why you can dodge bullets and take out hordes of enemies but instead it is more of just a given. Much of the missions in the game will place you in control of your character, who runs around taking out the bad guys and pulling off some meaningless tasks. What is nice and refreshing about this game is that the game doesn’t really care what you do, and thus in a sense you just have a good time blowing everything up and making a mess out of everything. The fact of the matter is the game just gives you ideas of what to do, and doing those is up to your discretion, just know it will have to get done to move on.
There are some inherent issues with Chili Con Carnage that hold it back from being a complete fun filled adventure. First off, the camera in the game isn’t perfect and does manage to kind of jump in weird spots, giving you the odd look at the action. Also the game does start to lose its flair after a while; especially the bullet time which for whatever reason feels oddly used in this title, and although interesting at first just doesn’t seem rightly placed in Chili Con Carnage.
Although the review thus far has been pretty much on the negative side, and the overall feel of the game is surprisingly good. When you look at this game as a complete package, it does stand up as being a good game. I say this mainly because the lack of a plot ends up helping this non-coherent shooter remain to be entertaining. I had such mixed feelings throughout this game that I wasn’t sure on which side I was going to end up on. But the more I look at this game, the more I see a very simple yet explosive action game that has its fair share of flaws, but manages to work with those and create an entertaining and at times quirky action title.
The PSP has been everywhere in terms of visuals, and in fact have had some of the best and worst of handheld gaming. In terms of this title, Chili Con Carnage is a game that ends up sort of in the middle with a good style but a game that wears thin the further you get through it. The character models I think are the best attribute of Chili Con Carnage, which manages to give a decent look at some very different looking enemies. The environments do their job in a well manner as well, but unfortunately it is the frame rate that hinders the overall experience from what it had the potential to be.
Chili Con Carnage is an over the top action game that for the most part makes absolutely no sense, but that is exactly how the game was intended to be made. The action in the game manages to stay solid throughout, and if it wasn’t for some glaring problems with the camera and frame rate, this possibly could have been a big recommendation. The final product however still manages to put a lot of light hearted action on the table that combines some interesting action with some really wacky ideas. Sure the game doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but the goal of this game never really had that in mind.
In the end, Chili Con Carnage may confuse you with its name. Heck it may even confuse you with it’s premise, but one thing it won’t confuse you with is it’s goal, and that is to be a simple all out action game with very little care in the world. If you like over the top action, there is no reason you won’t like Chili Con Carnage for the PSP.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.