Review: Viscera Cleanup Detail – Unsatisfying Menial Labour
Nobody has ever aspired to be a janitor, not even Matt Damon in that movie. Viscera Cleanup Detail gives you the opportunity to experience the joys of sanitation work without the terrible smells and worse pay.
- Worth The Time?For a beat, until the tedium sets in.
- Things LovedThere's a great variety to the environments to make each look and feel unique; there are plenty of ways to play each level.
- Things HatedThe game quickly becomes a bore; controls can be iffy; the process of cleaning each level feels highly repetitive; sub-par visuals.
- RecommendationIf you enjoy kooky simulators then perhaps Viscera has something to offer you. However, it undoubtedly serves a better purpose as a vessel for YouTubers than a game to play. There is some fun to be had but the game quickly runs out of steam and simply doesn't have any variation in gameplay.
- Name: Viscera Cleanup Detail
- Genre: Anti-gore
- Players: 1-4
- Multiplayer: Online or local co-op
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: RuneStorm
- Publisher: RuneStorm
- Price: $12.99
- Reviewed On: PC
On the most basic level a game needs to entertain or at least be constructed in such a way as to keep you invested. Cleaning up other people’s messes inherently lends itself to neither of those things.
The closest you can get is the underappreciated catharsis that washing up and cleaning counters after cooking or baking offers one. Not everybody shares this sentiment though.
So how exactly does Viscera Cleanup Detail manage to attract players? With a darn good premise. In most every game you make a right mess with blood and bullet casings and body parts and broken objects all over the place. However, after you’ve saved your space station or off-world colony from a clear and present danger life has to return to normal. That place isn’t going to forever remain a shrine to your throbbing heroism after all. Enter the space janitors!
It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it.
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There’s a slew of environments for you to choose from, each with a measure of how big it is, how long it should take you to clean up and how hard it’ll be to clean up. They’ll take you anywhere between 45 minutes to three hours clear. That’s a lot of time to be cleaning up somebody else’s mess.
The entire manner in which Viscera is built is a riff on your typical FPS. Your standard weapon is a mop with ‘reloading’ done by means of cleaning your bloodied appendage in a bucket of water. You can also arm yourself with a broom to sweep away the bullet casings and wash of rubbish littering the floor. Cleaning all of this up can a bother though so you’ll more often find yourself eviscerating as much as possible with the plasma rifle tucked away somewhere in each level.
There’s also a furnace for disposing of the more gruesome debris such as body parts and organs. This is something common to each level. Once you’ve cleaned up or just grown tired of mopping up blood splatter after blood splatter you can clock out upon which you’ll receive a rating and return to your office. If you were smart you would have saved some interesting trinkets from the job and put it in your box to be brought back to the office.
If cleaning alone isn’t your shtick you can always team up with a friend side by side or online and keep humanity clean together!
Again, in theory it’s all quite interesting and certainly different.
In practice each environment offers its own foibles and challenges such as battling zero-G or reaching blood on high ceiling or whatever the case may be but the individuality of each level is short-lived as you’ll still be doing the same things for the bulk of your time – mopping, sweeping, picking up litter. It quickly grows tiresome and though each level is well-designed and unique, your experience simply isn’t.
Despite utilising Unreal 3, everything looks a little plastic and the physics are token at best. A number of models also look rough. Your character movements are also rather jerky. This is compounded by the somewhat iffy controls with player control feeling very stilted.
As a simulator, Viscera manages to nail the tedium of menial labour but this also means that the game quickly becomes a bore. Sure, you can spice things up with a mate or two but even then, the dullness sets in fairly quickly.
Of course, at this point you’re thinking that the real fun is in dicking about and you’d be right but what you can do is pretty limited and the game is really setup for you to clean, not muck about. It is an honest to goodness simulator in the most bizarre manner. Unlike titles such as Surgeon Simulator, there isn’t really a platform for just having endless fun screwing about. Viscera is a game best put to use for let’s play purposes. It is not a game that you actually play to enjoy because after a couple of levels you’ll have done all there is to do and everything thereafter will feel severely repetitive.