Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom (PC) Preview

By Brandon Howard 20.04.2016

Review for Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom on PC

A throwback to old-school action titles, Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom brings the combat between jesters and clowns to a head, with all the slapstick, foul humour that premise implies. Developed by Big Ant Studios, an Australian developer perhaps best known for its ports of various mobile games, or its Rugby League Live series, this wholly original title has its own unique, if not irreverent, take on its genre.

Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom is an action title much in the same vein as recent Batman games, but perhaps not quite as polished. The main character - a lively, jesting jester named Jaxx - fights through an army of evil clowns to rescue a woman affectionately referred to multiple times as his "broad," and save the kingdom while he's at it.

What little semblance of plot there might have been is lost between the lowbrow humour, oddly conflicting visual styles, and what seems to be bad audio editing. Some clips stand out by nearly screaming the lines, while other characters are extremely hard to hear. In fact, there are some lines detailing main plot points that are almost impossible to make out, even with the volume all the way up.

Screenshot for Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom on PC

Jaxx has several basic moves at his disposal, most of which don't really impact gameplay. In any given situation when faced with enemies, it's pretty easy to simply mash the attack button, only stopping to briefly press counter when the indicator for it appears. Most brawls simply come down to smashing buttons over and over, occasionally stopping to pick up the rubber noses of defeated enemies.

It's repetitive and annoying at best, and headache-inducing at its worst. The sounds effects are what you'd expect from a primarily clown-based group of foes, and the slapstick humour comes across as childish. The censoring of profanity with a Saturday morning cartoon style bleep is weird, considering the game's overwhelming reliance on toilet humour, and it doesn't feel coherent with the very jocular front the enemies put on.

Aside from the combat, there are also brief platforming sections that completely interrupt any gameplay flow there might have been. Jaxx's jumps feel stiff and awkward, and combined with the bad draw distance and jerky camera, the sections are extremely annoying. They tend to go on too long and they're extremely uninspired in their design. These sections are easily the weakest portion of the preview, and frankly, it doesn't need the help.

Screenshot for Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom on PC

Final Thoughts

While only a preview version, it's hard to find anything in Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom that would make the final version worthwhile. It's a blandly simple action title, and nothing about the characters or the setting comes across as very endearing. The humour stops just short of being offensive, and the characters themselves are one dimensional and stereotypical, leaving the whole experience feeling tedious and repetitive.

Developer

Big Ant Studios

Publisher

Big Ant Studios

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  1/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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