Review: Stick It To The Man (PS4)
Following what seems to be a trend with a few particular indie games having been released first on PlayStation 3 and Vita, Stick It To The Man finally comes out on PlayStation 4. And unsurprisingly, the game is relatively the same as previous versions. What differences there are can be attributed to the wonders of the DualShock 4 and quite literally nothing else.
Overall, Stick It To The Man on PS4 is the same wonderful game as we’ve previously reviewed on PS3/Vita. Visually, it maintains the same grainy aesthetic with all the same paper characters and sticker thoughts throughout. Its protagonist Ray is a safety helmet tester who becomes the ironic target of a fallen object from inner space, whom from that point forward takes on a new power of Italian delicacy proportions. Likely alien in nature (no spoilers), the pink spaghetti arm coming out of his head gifts Ray mind reading powers and an ability to alter others’ perspectives by removing and replacing thoughts as if they were stickers…because in this game, they are in fact stickers.
The defining differences of this PS4 version are worth mentioning, but don’t expect me to blow your mind. Stick It To The Man has a wonderful cast of characters boiling over with whacky personality. Whenever Ray deploys his mind reading powers onto people nearby, their thoughts can more easily be heard through the speaker on the DualShock 4. Although, I had to crank that puppy up because it was difficult to hear soft spoken characters with the speaker output volume lower than 75%.
Additionally, sound quality through the speaker was questionable at times, and not because of the quality of the physical speaker itself. During the audio playback of several characters’ thoughts an occasional pop could be heard that took me out of the fiction. Once I noticed it, it was impossible to un-notice it during the rest of the way through the game. The pop was always brief but jarring nonetheless. Sometimes it was between lines of dialogue, but sometimes it was smack dab in the middle of one.
Another new feature to the PS4 version over the PS3 version is touchpad input via the DualShock 4. Unfortunately, I found this method of cursor movement to be extremely useless over the tried-and-true use of the right analog stick as a sort of mouse input. Maybe if the touchpad was a 1:1 reflection of the screen, instead of requiring multiple swipes to get the cursor from one corner of the screen to the other, then it would have been more natural. Its uselessness is extremely noticeable during any one of the stealth or chase sequences.
On the off chance that none of these PS4-specific nuances appeal to you, there is also the ability to Remote Play gameplay to Vita. When I first booted up Stick It To The Man on PS4, this is how I played through to Chapter 5. I can say without a doubt, it plays like it was a native Vita game. All necessary controls translate over perfectly without the need to use the emulated R2/L2/R3/L3 accessible only through the rear touchpad, and thank goodness for that. Audio plays back through the Vita as expected as well.
Even with a quasi-unimpressive PS4 offering here, Stick It To The Man is still the same game no one should miss out on playing. Especially when considering the fact that at the time of this writing it’s free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers — on its PS4 launch day no less. Dialog is so well written and witty with some of the best quotes I’ve heard in a video games. “By Poseidon’s swim trunks.” Stick It To The Man is a breath of fresh air. Take it in before it’s no longer there for the taking.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Fun twist on adventure game puzzle solving
- Humorous dialogue and believable voice acting effectively sells the story and world
- Exploration is required and fun
- A world made of paper is believable and often makes fun of itself
- Stealth sequences are a fun change of pace
- Remote Play to Vita works flawlessly with perfectly mirrored controls
What I Dislike:
- It can be difficult choosing a specific mind to read when specimen are close together (same as PS3/Vita)
- Audio coming from DualShock 4 pops occassionally
- Touchpad controls are altogether useless