In Party of Sin, you take control of multiple characters representing the Seven Deadly Sins as they journey through four biblical locales, recreated through a delightful art style and 2D platforming adventure. As you make your way through Hell, Purgatory, Earth and Heaven in order to escape the angels who imprisoned you, you will have to solve puzzles, combat enemies, and switch between each personified Sin, in order to complete certain goals and advance through different levels. The game offers a fun but sometimes frustrating experience over a full 6-8 hours of gameplay, so is this party worth your attendance?
Each humanised sin has their own special ability, all of which are necessary when it comes to dealing with the puzzles made up of various gates, barriers, cubes, and pressure pads. Greed's grappling hook can be used to access those out of reach switches. Pride's long jump enables you to clear otherwise deadly crevasses. Envy's laser vision burns through doorways, and fries enemies. Sloth has the ability to slow time, enabling you to walk right past the unsuspecting. Wrath charges into buttons using blind rush and Lust creates platforms whilst stunning those who are nearby. Finally, there’s Gluttony, my personal favourite, whose ability is to eat enemies and/or everything in sight.
This sounds like an unstoppable army, and that’s because it is. You’ll not only feel invincible, but you will have a hard time remembering who does what. This is quite a significant flaw, because later in the game, lightning reflexes and quick switching via number shortcuts are required in certain puzzle solving and platforming situations, and mashing the keyboard in a fit of annoyance may start to feel like the most logical way to deal with the trickier tasks.
This isn’t the only downside however, because the combat is, without a doubt, the worst part of the game. Sure, you have a few abilities to play with as mentioned, but ultimately it’s just a matter of clicking on your enemies until they die. Of course, this strenuous task is completely avoidable if you use Gluttony wherever possible, and consume all of the large, lingering foes, regardless of their deathly defences. Furthermore, enemies in in the game aren’t that varied, but they are very unique. Each world has a different selection, including fire-flinging demons, arrow shooting angels and those who just rapidly fire machine guns uncontrollably in every direction. There are also level bosses, all of which have been uniquely created and require a certain Sin to kill them. These completely new, well thought out characters are a nice touch and I found myself occasionally stopping mid run, to admire the clear detail that has gone into the concept of both the enemies and design.
Speaking of which, the game looks great. The design is one of the best things about Party of Sin, and each level does well to represent its named location exactly how you’d imagine them in cartoons or fiction. The sound effects are also well timed, but get a bit repetitive as the same vocal line gets repeated as you switch between each character. The overall experience is fluent and smooth, and there’s little to be said about technical hiccups or glitches, as I only experienced one strange occurrence throughout my whole playthrough, and that was Gluttony somehow getting stuck in an open gate. (Maybe consuming half the active environment had something to do with it).
Part of Sin is packed with levels, and each one is well thought out and includes various puzzles and pick-ups. Some enemies drop red apples, which add to an overall level score as well as bringing you back to full health, and others drop souls, also adding to said score. Green apples can be collected to enhance the Sins’ abilities in combat by purchasing upgrades from the in-game shop, and you’ll rarely stumble upon silver apples, briefly granting you invincibility. Having a score presented to you at the end of each level is a nice idea, as it encourages you to play again, just to see if you can beat your best times, find more souls, or work your way to the top of the online leader boards.
Another way to play is through co-op, but unfortunately this is only worth mentioning briefly as it is limited to local only, so you’ll have to squeeze your buddies round the monitor in order to take advantage of the multiplayer madness. It’s a shame because the co-op mode is very well done, and the solution to puzzles change once a second sin is active. The co-op mode actually feels like the more natural way to play, so not including an online option may be seen by some as a reason not to purchase the game.
In conclusion, Party of Sin will provide a good few hours of entertainment, but it isn’t without its flaws. Platforming, the core mechanic of the game, can be difficult at times, but it’s worth putting up with just to advance through the stylish levels and see what awaits you next. Ultimately it’s the combat that lets the game down, and the lack of online co-op isn’t a significant drawback but it could definitely sway some people’s decisions in to giving this party a miss.