Okay. I know it’s a bad pun but I “cod”n’t help myself. Okay, okay, sorry. I’m seriously done now.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Octodad: Dadliest Catch is that it has perhaps one of the best names in recent gaming memory. After you get over the great name of the game you’ll also start to appreciate that it’s also a very unique experience (if not challenging) for PS4 owners. So what does Octodad bring to the table that any other PSN indie game can’t?
Well, the main storyline of the game, if you didn’t get it from the title is that, Octodad is an Octopus who for some reason, wants to be a stereotypical suburban dad and live his life with his ‘family’. So he dons a disguise like Clark Kent by squashing and squeezing his tentacles to mimic human form in a suit and goes about his dadly duties that humans find oh so easy.
This is where the comedy comes in. The unique selling/gaming point of Octodad is the controls. You see, an octopus is a naturally wobbly and unstable creature. They’re not built for tasks like making coffee or mowing the lawn and even though the controls are very simple, the lead to some extraordinarily hilarious gameplay. By holding ‘R2’ on the controller you raise the right “leg” tentacle and as you hold the trigger you can move it around using the thumbsticks. Releasing the trigger will plop the tentacle down and sucker it to whatever surface it lands on. Thus moving you forward in a fashion, after you do the same thing with your left leg (the ‘L2’ trigger)
While the controls sound simple enough, they can be very imprecise and this led to some serious frustration that melted away to enjoyment as my many failures brought a smile to my face. One particular, spectacular failure was my 5 minute battle trying to turn off Octodad’s alarm clock.
It was towards the end of the game, where Octodad started to lose it’s quirky charm, as you do less and less of the suburban dad task and are asked to become an Octoninja. Towards the end of the game (which is quite short – about 2 and a half hours) you are asked to perform more stealth and action tasks, which just don’t have the same comical value as the mundane tasks. This led to me resenting parts of the game and cursing that the aggravating controls would do what I wanted them to.
The graphics are very simple and nothing to write home about (even when it’s using the PS4 powerhouse), but this game isn’t about next-gen graphics. The cartoony and off brand look and feel of the game perfectly fits Octodad. I should also honorably mention the script, which through the dialogue and geek/gamer references made throughout the game, kept me constantly laughing and should be enjoyed.
Overall, the game is good fun, and extremely funny, but Octodad Deadliest Catch just feels more like a concept than a full game. The craziness of the idea intrigued me and the humor was great but the change in gameplay towards the end made the novelty wear thin quickly. A little more variation in the gameplay would’ve gone a long way rather than just relying entirely on the humour, despite how funny it is.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is available now on the PS4 via the PSN.