REVIEW: Haydee 2

Nov
27

REVIEW: Haydee 2

The first game utilized sex appeal to draw attention to a very challenging platforming puzzler. Its sequel uses the same tactics, without offering more content or value, while also charging more.

Released: Steam
Type: Single-Player
Genres: Third-Person Shooter,
Adventure, Puzzle
Developer: Haydee Interactive
Publisher: Haydee Interactive
Release date: 23 Nov, 2020

First Impressions

When taking a first glance at Haydee 2 (H2), it’s hard for certain features of the game to not stand out. Even though the game’s description is fairly bare bones, the character you control isn’t, which is a simple and effective way to garner attention toward your product. If it’s no more demeaning for commercials and other companies to use this tactic, which portrays actual women, a game starring a scantily clad female composed of nothing but code shouldn’t be any worse. With H2 releasing so recently and already gathering meme reviews rapidly, I wanted to put out a more comprehensive breakdown of what the game is like for those who can draw their eyes away from bot booty long enough to read it. Albeit unlikely that many would buy this game on the basis of its gameplay over the available view.

What’s that? Oh yeah, I guess the walls are red, aren’t they? I hadn’t really noticed, as my attention was… elsewhere.

Gameplay

Strangely enough, the information on the store page emphasizes that H2 is a puzzle game, though I wouldn’t use that descriptor myself. It’s true that you’ll have to work out where to go, what items are necessary to get through locked doors, and deal with simple obstacles. However, aside from figuring out the right sequence of buttons to push to open the right doors, there’s little of what I’d consider puzzle elements involved. If anything, understanding the developers’ intentions is the most puzzling aspect. For instance, a wall of red lasers to me is either an impassable barrier or an instant-death, but in this case is only a sensor bar that shuts off certain areas as you pass through. Once you get out of the beginning area, you have so many optional paths to go down that having any idea where to start or be on the lookout for is unlikely, as you’ll have to run around until you find something of interest. You’ll routinely die for not knowing what to do as you encounter enemies in different situations, and have to restart repeatedly.

This is where the first bullet hits this enemy, who’s completely immobile, with my aim set for dead-center on his head.

It took me a while to notice this, but the gameplay heavily borrows from the Resident Evil series. You’ll have to gather resources from the environment, manage a small inventory by gathering item-expanding pouches and using a storage system, and fend off shuffling enemies with scarce amounts of ammo, meaning you can’t afford to waste shots. This seems somewhat ironic, because many of them look squishy, but they’re bullet sponges. If you’re out of ammo, there’s no melee feature to stagger or slow down the enemy as it relentlessly whales on you. Since you’re staggered from each attack, being hit once is all it takes to be locked in place and killed. Additionally, I noticed that even when dealing with the same enemies in similar situations, they won’t behave the same way each time. However, each time you encounter those enemies in that room as you reload the game, you’ll get the same results, as they seem to be programmed to activate on certain triggers. For instance, with one enemy facing the wall, shooting it will cause an enemy that can’t be seen in that area to charge at you. In another area, with the same enemy types, shooting the first enemy didn’t cause the second one to pursue you, even though it was much closer this time. This discrepancy in behavior means you can’t go into new rooms and know what to expect based on your surrounding environment, as they won’t follow the same logic throughout the game.

Here’s where the 2nd bullet connects, under the same conditions and aiming at the same spot. For being this close to my target, my grouping is pretty bad.

Controls

At this time, there’s no controller support available for H2. People have already brought this issue up in a discussion board, with the developer indicating they’d implement the feature if there was a demand for it. It’s something I would like included myself, but for this review, I played the game with the mouse and keyboard. Due in part to how rarely I play games this way, as well as there not being any clear direction on what the controls consist of, I had to fumble around with the buttons on my keyboard and mouse for a while. Once you start finding out all that you need to do it starts coming together and works pretty well, but some aspects seem unintuitive. For instance, in order to reload your pistol, you’ll have to bring it up like you’re going to shoot before you can add more ammo to it, even though the ‘R’ key does nothing else otherwise. I also found working with my inventory to be a pain, though it seems functional enough.

I hate having to wait in line at the doctor’s office.

Story

Looking at the game description page, it’s suggested that the narrator won’t be giving you any guidance. The problem is that there isn’t a narrator. There’s a robotic voice playing over an intercom system, repeating the same messages every few minutes about problems at the facility, but that isn’t the same thing as a narrator, which is essentially just the story-teller of a game. As you start H2, you’ll see start-up commands in the bottom left corner, suggesting that the bot you control was recently booted up due to some sort of critical error. From there, you don’t encounter any story, at least for as far into the game that I got. Perhaps you encounter a cutscene or ending later on, but I never even saw any documents or text to read.

This is the worst bout between shirts vs skins I’ve ever seen.

Graphics

This was clearly an area strongly emphasized in H2, as otherwise the 3rd person perspective of the protagonist would be worthless. The graphics are composed of crisp 3D models, with the frame rate and animation of the characters being smooth and fluid. H2 takes place in some sort of robotic manufacturing facility, which has enough detail and background objects to look like a place where people would actually be working. Including vending machines, computers, miscellaneous gadgets, and discarded junk looks pretty realistic, except for everything in the same area matching the exact color of the walls. However, when you place how the environment is designed into the situation the game presents, it doesn’t cohere well. This is amplified by rooms that should be quite large based on their function, and the size of the facility suggesting it’d house multiple employees, but they’re instead puny areas ill-suited for their purpose. Why put in a cafeteria that would barely sit a dozen people, let alone with comfort in mind? I’ve worked in small businesses with larger break rooms than this, and what is described as a club is ridiculously undersized. They’re shrunk to such small spaces though to artificially inflate the game’s difficulty by not allowing players to maneuver around enemies.

So this is what people were wanting to see up close and personal when getting this game. I get it now.

With the facility including features such as break rooms just for sexual release and bots being made for that function, it doesn’t make sense why there’s so much security. Having to close one door before being able to progress suggests the site is diligent about sequential movement with barriers in place. So for there to be so much chaos now, surrounding manufactured sex bots, is discordant. Plus, the tone has a similar issue. All the smut would suggest the game is smokin’ hot, but it’s not enticing or interesting, it’s simply all over the place. It doesn’t even have the humorous benefit of the Leisure Suit Larry games, or the machismo of Duke Nukem. Even if it did get someone hot under the collar, it’s jarred by the inclusion of enemy bots, which aren’t menacing, but require diligence to deal with. When a wimp like me is more irked at a sudden enemy showing up than scared, it means that they lack any sense of being threatening. A horror game it may not be, but the Resident Evil games H2 is inspired by made slow, awkward enemies in similar circumstances nerve wracking and tense to deal with. Here, it’s an aggravation to see another enemy show up, as though they lack menace, they’ll still kill you with melee swipes more efficiently than you shooting them with a gun.

The only setting most interested gamers would even care about in Haydee 2.

Sound Design

There’s a handful of songs that play in H2, and with most of them using similar instrumentation, they blend together. When listening to the music, it makes me think of a potentially dystopian setting, as it sounds somber and melancholic. Due to the lack of enemy sound effects, there’s not much noise aside from the songs playing. The firearm shots sound fine, though the explosive mines sound like duds going off.

I knew the club was dead, but I didn’t think it’d be this bad.

Pros

  • Even though it rips off another IP and isn’t nearly as good, it at least ripped off a good one.
  • Eye candy. Dat ass. Cake.

Cons

  • Except for their footsteps, which can be muffled, or when they start attacking you, enemies are basically silent. With how they’re often positioned behind blind corners, intentionally set up to ambush the hapless player, you’ll be caught off guard multiple times. This doesn’t come across as challenging or fair, it’s just a cheap shot that artificially pads the play time with unfair deaths, forcing you to start over again. Much of how the game is set up seems to be designed with this premise in mind, where like a vengeful DM, the developers want to kill the player as often as possible.
  • There’s not enough versatility in the gameplay. Your movement options only consist of walking, jogging, and crouching and for combat all you can do is place down mines or shoot a gun. Considering you have to figure out where to go in a large facility, without the benefit of clues or a procedural map, no explanation as to what’s going on as you start the game or indication that you’ll learn more, will likely die and lose progress several times, and only have 2 enemy types to contend with, H2 doesn’t motivate you to keep playing. If anything it actively discourages it.
  • It’s not being marketed as an erotic game, but with all of the sexually explicit images in the background, which can be fully uncensored, it’s hard to ignore that aspect of the game. This also pertains to the fan service design of the protagonist. With Steam fully allowing for pornographic games, H2 comes across as being too lazy to make a porn game with this engine, yet dependent on in your face sexuality to attract any attention.
  • The aim of your firearm is inconsistent. Even though you’ll stand perfectly still and carefully line up your shot, with the cursor right on target, your shots will veer off randomly. With this game emphasizing limited resources and punishing difficulty, lousy aim hinders your survivability through no fault of the player.

Tips

  • The gameplay is wholly dependent on trial and error, where you simply have to memorize where resources and enemies are located specifically since their behavior varies room to room, and determine the correct sequence and approach you’re supposed to take. Just what I look for in modern games. Sometimes going into the wrong room in the wrong order is the difference between getting screwed and making progress. When trying to get the pistol, be sure to get the pliers first, use them to deactive the nearby mine, and place the mine near the killer android behind the door so you can get the gun.
  • Enemies are confined to the room they spawn in, so they won’t pursue you from area to area. However, sometimes an enemy that wasn’t there previously might populate later on.
  • It’s theoretically possible to save yourself into a corner, but it’s still useful to save and load frequently as you make progress or realize you’ve made an error.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, I didn’t play the original game, snagging H2 mostly on a lark. From my time playing it and looking back at the first entry, I’m not seeing how this game improves upon the original enough to warrant the $10 increase in price. There may have been some quality of life improvements, such as how you access the save feature, but the gameplay doesn’t seem to have gotten any better. The original game strongly emphasized platforming, and though it might have had some issues, was still a central element of the experience, particularly to those who genuinely liked the original game. Instead of making improvements to how that mechanic functioned, it was omitted completely, in favor of putting in a handful of basic tools to open up simple door obstructions and add more details to the environment. I’d imagine this would be the path of least resistance and greater ease.

Is this what they mean by the phrase Justice is flat?

The description of both games indicate there’s the exact same number of areas and rooms, so they didn’t even increase the size of what was available in the first game. Without platforming, there’s a lost dimension to what the supposed puzzles consist of in H2, and you’re left with blindly running around narrow corridors as you’re harassed by mindless enemies recycled from the first game. Since features were cut from H2, I don’t see how a level editor, where the developers can allow fans to make more content for them, is supposed to offset this downgrade. Especially since several mods already exist in the first game. I can’t recommend getting H2, because it’s as shallow as the protagonist’s design.

I’d have taken a more risque screenshot to finish the review off, but if you’ve made it this far, you weren’t looking for content like that anyways.

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