Just Die Already is a new, chaotic physics based game from the developers that brought us Goat Simulator. Break out of the old people’s home, break your limbs, break someone else’s. Your singular objective is to cause as much mischief as possible, ticking objectives off a bucket list that might have been written by Johnny Knoxville.
Just Die Already is fun in small doses. Really, really small doses. The world is vivid and the violence is extraordinarily comical, and the usual ragdoll hilarity is here in full force. As usual, half of the humour comes from things not going as expected, but after the third time my tyrannical pensioner had been rendered into a hopping torso by the sharp edges of a fridge that novelty had worn off already.
As you tick off objectives you’ll gain access to new toys, delivered via vending machine. These can contribute to some of your best times in Just Die Already – the image of an old man ragdolling down a busy street, downing steroids like handfuls of M&Ms, firing a pistol aimlessly into the distance isn’t one I’ll soon forget.
The main problem with Just Die Already is how aimless it feels. I love a bit of silly, over the top slapstick violence, but that’s basically all this is. I struggled to play for more than half an hour a session before, each and every time, I realised I’d just been limping around an (admittedly very nice and colourful) environment throwing an old man into danger. Some people might dig this. It is cathartic, in a way, especially if you’ve ever been stuck behind one of them in traffic.
But then it’s all just kind of underscored by this total lack of an ambient soundtrack. There’s city noises, there’s odd bits of music based on location, but otherwise the game is just kind of eerily quiet besides the screams and old person noises. The game also has a major hard-on for boomer memes, and can’t let a single bit of visual real estate go without a “murder all the old people” joke.
If it’s supposed to be satire, some sort of commentary on the way we treat our elderly community, it kind of misses the mark. Sure, a lot of your objectives revolve around causing chaos in an unfriendly world, but just as many of them rely on you torturing and dismembering yourself. I’m not offended by Just Die Already, far from it. I’m just having a similar gut reaction to it as I would an edgy, try-hard teenager’s Tumblr page.
It’s not all the geriatric violence that puts me off Just Die Already. It basically feels like all your objectives are presented to you at once, and there’s enough of them that you’ll just bumble into completing a ton without realising. For me at least, this took away any sense of reward or progress. I’m pretty sure if you sat a monkey down with a controller and gave him long enough he’d be able to 100% the game just by flailing about.
Just Die Already overall thoughts
Just Die Already would probably amuse a younger teenager for hours on end. It doesn’t have any of the whimsy of Goat Simulator, which was goofy enough to amuse for longer stretches of play. This is silly and chaotic, sure, but something about it is just… dry. There are spots of fun to be had, but none great enough to justify buying this unless you really, really hate old people. It does have a co-op mode which I was unable to test in my time with it, and I think that’s probably where Just Die Already would shine the best.
The sandbox environment is great, but the actual content doesn’t live up to that. There’s very little exciting or stimulating to be found beyond the first half hour or so. Maybe we’ve just been spoiled over the last few years with indie games, because – as an “old person mayhem simulator” or avant-garde piece of digital satire, Just Die Already falls flat on both counts.