Review: Screencheat (Xbox One)

Posted on March 27, 2016

Hey how you doing, this is Chad, Simon, Nick, ah this is the first time we have the three Game Truckers together, and we just played Screen Cheat on the Xbox One, it’s the first time – you didn’t even know about it Nick, what did you think?

N: I loved it, it had this visual presentation at the beginning that had this really cool bright colour design going on,  and I thought that looked cool, but once I got into playing it then I realised oh OK this is very much a colour oriented type of gameplay, and that completely dictated how I was going to ‘strategise’, and to be honest, how I’m going to shoot you guys, which I’ll be honest is just completely random so it had no skills involved, but it’s brilliant I loved it.

C: It’s pretty tough, if you haven’t heard of it, Screen Cheat is basically a split screen shooter, so we all play on the same screen, and everyone’s invisible to each other, so you have to look at your opponent’s screen to try and figure out where they are and shoot at them. And when you shoot, it gives away your position a little bit, and gives them a chance to shoot you. But you are basically trying to shoot invisible people, so it’s pretty tough, right?

S: I think that was my main strategy was just to wait for someone to shoot and then follow the smoke trail – that’s pretty much how I was going for it.

C: But that sucks, because you can get shot if you’re waiting for someone else to have a go –

S: Yeah –

C: But that was one thing that was pretty cool, because you can’t camp, right, because the person can see you just sitting, and if they can see that you’re not moving, then it’s like, you’re a sitting duck –

S: And just because you can see the colour, right?

N: I only used the one weapon the whole time, the blunderbuss, I saw you guys had a horse, and some kind of bomb-cannon thing, but all I used was that old school flared-out musket thing, it’s like one shot, and so my position was always given away. Makes me wonder if we have a full automatic, and whether it would leave all these tracers..

S: I had a four-shooter revolver and it was doing that: you’d shoot and have four lines coming out.

C: They seemed to have worked the balance really well, so whatever weapon you’re using it’s not going to be overpowered or if it is powerful, it takes a long time to reload, or it gives you away –

S: Yeah the cannon was like that. I was interesting because I am a notorious screen cheater, I am just known for it in Halo or Call of Duty, and I admit to it, but it’s like just my strategy, like if you don’t like it,  too bad. But it was funny because usually you screen cheat and then go back to your screen to aim up and I’d do that and the other person would figure out where I was at that point and just shoot me.

N: Well yeah it brings back what you do at a LAN party, right; you play online and you’re separated, you have the one screen and you’re playing with someone remote. But the benefit of sitting next to someone is that you could screen cheat, although I know, you not supposed to or whatever, but the good thing about this game is that that’s the main core of the gameplay is to watch someone else’s screen at the same time as you are trying to not get shot yourself.

C: It’s the only way to play, it’s the core mechanic, yeah apparently, the story is that the game was developed at a Game Jam – it’s an Aussie game, so, go Aussies, and what they were trying to do what develop a first-person shooter to get around screen cheating, and they were trying to develop all these mechanics so you couldn’t screen cheat. And then they went, let’s just go with it, let’s make screen cheat the game, and they found that it was much easier to make mechanics so that it was easier to screen cheat. But it was a really fluid experience, it was so fast-paced, and you’re moving all the time. We tried probably half a dozen different maps and they were all really good, quite different and then there’s half a dozen or ten different modes, so there is a lot of variety to build on the core gameplay.

S: Yeah it pretty much takes you a game to pick it up, but the first game you play you’re like ‘what is going on’?! (laughs)

N: It also reminded me, maybe I’m old school this way but it also reminded of what I loved about Goldeneye, back in the day, I think because the maps were smaller, but it’s better that they are, because there more happening and there is more actual shooting going on. It is somewhat random but it also make it much easier so you don’t have to memorise so many crazy corridors, it’s very simple and confined, and makes the action just happen more frequently.

C: You can learn the maps really well. We had an interesting conversation about age appropriateness, because the Game Truck is often for kids’ parties, so what do you guys think about that, what do you think about kids playing this game?

N: I think if there is a certain standard that has been set, like the kid has talked to the parents to discuss what is fantasy and what is fiction, based on gunplay, because there is a different culture in America versus Australia, where guns are kind of like a common thing where you go hunting with your grandpa. I’ve never owned a gun in my life but that’s a very common thing for there to be guns in the house. That’s just how it goes and whether that should be the case that is a whole other conversation, so I don’t know how the gun conversation goes with Australians, but that to me seems to be the only one that is about the kid and their maturity level, and how they can separate that, because there is, the gunplay, but other than that we have Halo, and kids have Halo all the time. I mean we have Looney Toons and they drop an anvil on someone’s head, you’re not going to do that right. So basically that’s the main thing I see that the guns might be the place where there is a conversation worth having.

C: Yeah that’s the thing I think that some parents totally legit and completely fine, just don’t like shooter games at all, so even though it’s rated PG, because it’s not actually violent as such, and because you can’t actually see the ‘person’ you are shooting it takes away some of that violent gameplay. But if parents have a blanket rule on no shooters you’ve gotta respect that.

S: It puts you in a full-on fantasy world, like there is nothing realistic about it at all, from the graphics to the actual design of the game, and the fact that everyone’s invisible, and the guns are actually mythical, in a sense. When it comes to age appropriateness I’ve always had a similar position, where it comes down to the individual child, and whether they have the maturity to deal with the difference between fiction and fact. But on the other hand, Halo versus Grand Theft Auto you’ve got a hero that is loyal, is humble, is a good role model for children, even though he is a soldier, he’s doing things for the right reasons, and then you’ve got , what’s his name – Niko Bellic –

N: Or Trevor Phillips, in Grand Theft Auto 5 – [laughs]

S: – and they are complete nut jobs, and criminals, and they are really evil people, and the ratings system doesn’t recognise that.

C: That’s true and the other thing I was thinking is that actually, aside from all of this, it might actually not be all that good for kids under, say, 14 or 15, simply because it’s actually quite complicated, and trying to get that concept of trying to figure out where the other person is, and have a shot at them, and see their tracer, and get at them, it’s actually really highly sophisticated and it’s hard for us to pick up at times, and we are, like seasoned gamers.

N: Sure I think that first-person shooters, I never really got into until my late teens and don’t know maybe times have changed but it was always about side scrollers, like Donkey Kong Country, and that sort of thing, before Goldeneye, so I can see the  complication of being in a shooter game and having all those navigation skills, might not even be something that a younger audience would dig, I don’t know…

C: Yeah I think that I can imagine in a Game Truck party that even 9 or 10 year olds, that even if their parents were OK wit it, I could see that they would have trouble playing it and just wouldn’t get the hits, so maybe it’s just a natural selection thing – it’s going to make it not appropriate just because they can’t get into it –

N: Yeah well I’m 32 and it took me like a couple of rounds of getting shot by you guys, for me to get into it –

C: Yeah you sucked man [laughs]

N: There is a perspective thing where you really had to think outside of what you are normally doing, it’s like playing two screens at the same time, yours versus the guys that you’re stalking, basically, while being stalked.

C: So in that way it reminded me of something like Portal, right, it just totally breaks your gaming brain, which I just absolutely love, it’s just awesome. Well we had heaps of fun with it tonight – ah, last thoughts guys?

S: Well I just want to get it. I think as far as couch coop games, you know have a few drinks, get some pizza, get the boys in on it, it’s a really cool title.

N: Yeah as far as party games you have to have something that there is a lot of action going on; something like Fallout it’s the waiting and seeing how things turn out, but something like this it’s just quick action, each little scenario is hilarious, because every person is thinking they are on to something and then they get shot, so there is that quick response action thing going on so I think it’s great and I would totally recommend it. Get some beers, get some people over, it’s a really good party game.

C: And really great for the Game Truck as well, so thanks to Surprise Attack for the codes. I would imagine it being a huge hit for, like 30s and Buck’s Nights, we’re starting to do more of those, so it’s great for that. Ok thanks guys, good game, see you later.

N: See ya.

S: Bye.


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