Some games won’t be a little more than the typical tropes and clichés and they do sometimes go beyond that, but it usually sticks out like a sore thumb. It can feel forced rather than the true vision of the game but Jazzpunk is made with that small forced but it spans the entire game. It’s a game all about slapstick, gags, and crude humour. It truly embraces it’s weirdness but never tries to outdo itself; it knows exactly what it is and builds a story around that. Can the relentless gags span entire game and still be fun?
Jazzpunk’s story feels all over the place; it feels like a frame to create the absurd painting within. Your boss is a spymaster that tasks you to go on missions to fulfil rather standards tasks. This of course acts as simple set-ups for the slapstick to continue like before he gives you the mission, he gets you to sit down but there’s a whoopee cushion where you need to sit. So you must take the age-old prank in your stride in order to continue.
Each place you visit is just packed with jokes and references. Punchlines are everything in Jazzpunk. From reuqests, to exploration, everything pretty much leads to a punchline or gaga. As you explore the level, should you go off the beaten-path you may be asked to carry out a task for someone. When you complete said task, you don’t receive experience or items, instead your reward is a gag or another punch-line. It’s not an incentive that will please everyone but should you like what Jazzpunk has to offer, uncovering more jokes is exactly what you may want.
Exploring the levels may also yield mini-games that can easily be considered the highpoint of the game. You may walk up to a car and the a few seconds later it breaks down into an old-school Street Fighter game when you must destroy the car completely from the first-person. Another one is called Wedding Quake in which you are thrown into an arena shooter with wedding-based weapons.
Jazzpunk is divisive though in its humour and delivery. Not everyone will appreciate or even enjoy what’s on offer. Publishers Adult Swim have captured the comedy they put forward and chose to publish this game and to be fair it’s a great marriage of the two.
The jokes are what will keep you invested but even at that, it loses steam as the game goes further on. It’s not a long game though so it never really outstays its welcome. It’s different and sometimes that’s good enough to recommend trying it out.