Wrestling and videogames can have quite the harmonious relationship. When you think about it, both tend to have larger than life characters and both have almost cult like followings depending on the situation. Fictional wrestling universes seem too easy in terms of creating a universe. You’ve got a ridiculous premise already, two guys who are as big as linebackers smacking the snot out of each other, coupled with colorful characters that you can write any way you like. Da New Guys tries to capitalize on this idea while also taking a unique twist on the universe by making the game a classic-style point and click adventure game similar to the ones from the early 90s. With a graphic style and soundtrack to match its dated gameplay Da New Guys tries to capture nostalgia while hoping to create a few laughs with its dialogue and story. Sadly, it falls flat in many ways and doesn’t realize its own potential.
A point and click adventure game doesn’t take much effort to explain. Once the game opens you’re shown a group of wrestlers called “Da New Guys” who consist of The Brain, Simon, and The Defender. These three are obviously not your average wrestlers and while they may touch on typical wrestler archetypes they have a unique quality about them all. The Brain is obviously not a wrestler’s wrestler as he shies away from violent situations, Simon looks like a famous mud-hole stomping superstar but has a dry wit to him, and The Defender looks like a cartoon wrestler from the 90s who upholds the honor of the sport above all.
Right off the bat you’re thrown into the shoes of The Brain during a big brawl. Instead of attacking your enemies or grappling with them you have a cursor and your mind. That’s right, this rough and tough world is peered into via a point and click adventure. Using your mouse to click around for descriptions of objects and using other objects via clicks you solve puzzles and move forward. None of the puzzles are terribly difficult and often result in clicking the same object a few times to get into position or taking one object in exchange for another. Since the game world is relatively small there is never a feeling of being lost as there are only so many places you can click before solving the problem.
The writing in adventure games tends to be the drawing factor for many fans of the genre. Games like Full Throttle and Grim Fandango are heralded as achievements in video game writing but sadly Da New Guys does little to reach such accolades. While the writing occasionally has moments of dry with that are truly appreciated the majority of the writing is dull and boring. Often times characters seem to lack creativity, such as the typical overweight and acne inflicted wrestling fan, and their lines follow til. While the voice acting isn’t terrible it is lacking in any sort of excitement, altogether it feels more like decent writing mixed with lackluster vocal performances.
Da New Guys aims to recreate the feel of adventure games from the 90s and does so with more than just its gameplay. Loading up Da New Guys for the first time is a bit startling as it has such a dated look to it right off the bat. The characters are artistic in design and come across as thoughtful in their design. As for how they look graphically speaking it’s hard to say. I understand the idea of trying to make it look like an older game but it seems to be more dated than nostalgic. Characters have rough edges and while I appreciate games that go back in time in a tasteful way Da New Guys doesn’t do the games of the adventure era justice with its visuals.
The puzzles in Da New Guys are obviously the main draw in terms of gameplay. Sadly most of the puzzles are very easy to solve and don’t require a ton of effort to figure out, even if you resort to clicking everything you’ll figure it out in no time. Dialogue in Da New Guys can be funny at times but for the most part it falls flat and feels stale. Stereotypical characters take away from the enjoyment of the dialogue and sometimes interfere with the universe that could’ve been built into something much more fleshed out. That was a recurring theme with the game, that nothing was as realized as it could have been.
Da New Guys aims to grab at the love for adventure games that seems to be constantly going in and out of popularity every year or so. While it nails the look of a 90s adventure game that isn’t necessarily a good thing because those games were made 20 years ago and so much has changed. When a game tries to hard to be in an earlier time period and not enough to set itself apart in this time period it loses touch with gamers. Also, with such a unique cast of characters and the potential for ridiculous shenanigans in a testosterone fueled wrestling world it’s a shame to see the crazy not be crazy enough. There is potential in Da New Guys but it’s not a fully realized world that warrants a buy from anyone but the most eager and devoted adventure fans.