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Cruelty Squad

Developer / Publisher: Consumer Softproducts
16 June 2021
Cruelty Squad - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.14 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
477 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#75 All-time
#1 for 2021
Cruelty Squad is a tactical first person shooter set in the hardcore gig economy of corporate liquidations. You're an emotionally dead combat-substance fueled grunt of Cruelty Squad, a depraved subsidiary company tasked with performing wetworks for its host conglomerate. Will you make the Corporate Arch Demoness proud or succumb to bitter tears of failure?
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Title
Rainbow Six and other retro shooters as interpolated by crude 2000s internet art. Revenge of the Sunfish gone "cyberpunk". Caustic and abrasive in a way the newer commercial indie fears, to not damage the well-maintained hedges in accessibility. Goofy writing styled laid on themes of the modern tech ideals exaggerated. Visual style almost accidentally places it in opposition of the "boomer shooter" revival, graphics and sound splattering to the frame in a manner too garish to be easily nostalgic for many.
Quite possibly the first true case of Godot Engine kino.
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Harney_Barrow 2021-01-07T09:32:56Z
2021-01-07T09:32:56Z
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It's a good game but it locks tools necessary for the smooth level design behind a prohibitively expensive upgrade system. Probably to add to the "grind culture" atmosphere but it didn't make the stock grinding fun
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boopsnoot 2022-11-13T20:35:37Z
2022-11-13T20:35:37Z
3.5
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Ferraro-inspired tactical goodness, which in concept works well.
This is the closest thing we will get to a sequel and or game of KFC City 3099: Pt.1 Toxic Spill By James Ferraro. The ferraro-esque visuals and inspired anti-capitalistic story is honestly thriving, the game is funny and interesting in many ways, if you're a huge fan of old tactical shooters and hypnagogic pop sounds and aesthetics from the late 2000s. Play this.
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dethcult 2021-07-26T22:23:07Z
2021-07-26T22:23:07Z
4.5
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divine trauma
i'm the type of consumer that generally tries to put the same amount of thought into any form of entertainment as i assume its creator did. for instance, i enjoyed the star wars sequels on the basis of ignorance because i think those movies were created out of ignorance. people complain about those movies for reasons that i never really thought about; i came in wanting cool looking space fights, and that's what i got.

after ruminating on ville kallio's 2021 breakthrough piece "cruelty squad," i came across an interview with the artist in which he stated curtly, "It’s a sadistic game born almost entirely out of spite." reading this, i felt... i don't know, insulted, maybe?

i know the consumer is in no place to demand anything from an artist, but when the artist insists that their intention in their writing amounts to anything less than what an individual can take away from it, the relationship between creator and consumer can start to feel skewed.

i never really got frustrated at cruelty squad. moment to moment, it's a fun enough game that even if the player does get stuck at some parts, the amount of agency in the player's hands still keeps the act of retrying missions entertaining more often than not. despite the smart avoidance of outright frustrating or unfair design, however, i think the most outward emotion the game inspires is contempt.

this is one of those games where each and every facet of its ludonarrative ties right back in to its own worldbuilding to create a complex web of themes and ideas to convey. now, at the heart of cruelty squad's narrative web is corruption. the world constantly whispers into the ear of the protagonist (being a voiceless vessel for the own player in this game's case) about the meaningful importance of sacrificing everyone you know to pay back the plummeting monetary worth of your soul: CEO mindset. you just gotta be a gigachad dude.

i don't know of any other game that would have the audacity to call the player a "fucked up detached loser" before having even started the game. from start to finish, this game does everything in its power to make the player feel hated. the walls hide dreadful faces which stare back at the player in disgust. your employers, assuming they would even acknowledge you, dismiss you as blue-collar trash even as they stare down the barrel of your gun. in the first ending, you walk across a giant open field of opportunity on a straight beeline into a brick wall as "the sun smiles at you with eternal malice."

conversely, the game conditions the player to return its hatred with their own hatred. the rage-comic-herp-derp-guy delivery of the monologues of most npcs is carefully engineered down to the molecular level to make the player want to dna scramble their fucking dumbass faces into a horrific abstract flesh-monstrosity before cooking and consuming the remaining giblets for health. kallio was keenly aware of the inhuman atrocities he could engender people to commit inside a virtual world. everybody seems to vocally stand against cannibalism, but attach a single health point value to it and the entire population comes out as flesh-eating hypocrites.

in many ways, i feel like this game is an exploitation of the most evil parts of human nature. for months after playing, i had begun to treat new people i would meet poorly, being quick to anger and projecting disdain towards those who couldn't grasp concepts i would try to convey to them. the harsh noise wall of the soundtrack to the game's 3rd ending still reverberates in my head from time to time, as a theme song to the adrenaline high of watching myself lose everyone i had ever tried to foster a meaningful relationship with.

i constantly oscillate between meanings of what good art is: should a good piece of art convey a positive message and give the audience a better outlook on life? should a good piece of art set out to fit a thousand puzzle pieces together like clockwork to create a cohesive experience? how should i change my definition to identify whether i think cruelty squad is a good piece of art or not? i've thought about this for months, and at some point, i prefer to settle on a conclusion and stay on it to solidify my opinion. so i'll try this:

it's pretty good.
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kramerfromseinfeld 2021-09-11T22:51:52Z
2021-09-11T22:51:52Z
3.5
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More cyberpunk than 2000's Deus Ex.
Cruelty Squad is a Georges Bataille inspired slurry of visual art and composition, made from and shown through a wide assortment of confusing, almost vomit-inducing visuals and sounds, and hilariously bleak dialogue that paint us a picture of a mundane over-saturated gimmick economy built on excess and consumption, through design choices familiar to prior releases like Deus Ex or the Hitman franchise. To me, Cruelty Squad shows us that surrealist art still remains more emblematic of the horrors of capitalism than other forms of art that fail to present its negative affects with the same level of intensity.
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averybigfish 2021-10-08T03:44:12Z
2021-10-08T03:44:12Z
5.0
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This game is a literal dream come true for me. I love games and just things in general that have a weird psychedelic art style and this game is perfect when it comes to that. It is very similar to that of LSD Dream Emulator and games of that nature where the visuals are so colorful and atrociously beautiful I guess you could say. The gameplay is fantastic and combines elements of old-school first-person-shooters like Rainbow Six with the "go-in-and-clean-house" style of Hotline Miami. The soundtrack is also fantastic and fits the vibe given with the visuals. Overall this game is a masterpiece and is the exact type of game that I love.

Perfect 10/10
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MookidRhubarb 2022-03-12T17:18:24Z
2022-03-12T17:18:24Z
5.0
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Catalog

IWishYaIWishYa Cruelty Squad 2022-12-02T05:56:47Z
2022-12-02T05:56:47Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sulle Cruelty Squad 2022-12-01T03:18:59Z
2022-12-01T03:18:59Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ZinestheticLuminescence Cruelty Squad 2022-11-29T23:49:52Z
2022-11-29T23:49:52Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Me (God's Strongest Schizoid)
Convalescence Cruelty Squad 2022-11-29T17:56:17Z
2022-11-29T17:56:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
little_cat_people Cruelty Squad 2022-11-29T05:39:57Z
2022-11-29T05:39:57Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DJSuleiman Cruelty Squad 2022-11-28T21:32:02Z
2022-11-28T21:32:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
meadowforever Cruelty Squad 2022-11-28T20:38:48Z
Windows
2022-11-28T20:38:48Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
vantsune Cruelty Squad 2022-11-28T18:26:48Z
2022-11-28T18:26:48Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Mucki Cruelty Squad 2022-11-27T18:58:34Z
2022-11-27T18:58:34Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DirectorBlack Cruelty Squad 2022-11-25T07:43:20Z
2022-11-25T07:43:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
childovbodom Cruelty Squad 2022-11-22T22:49:47Z
2022-11-22T22:49:47Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LuxInterior_00 Cruelty Squad 2022-11-22T08:52:42Z
2022-11-22T08:52:42Z
7.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Early access date
04 jan 2021
Media
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  • Previous comments (73) Loading...
  • itgoesyuh 2022-08-15 02:48:35.624291+00
    this is just like gorbino's quest. this is the gorbino's quest of life
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  • teags 2022-09-01 04:12:14.473074+00
    pretty funny and honestly im just glad immersive sims seem to be making a comeback
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  • DaymanNightman 2022-09-26 23:39:23.279563+00
    This has absolutely cemented itself as a cult classic and one of the best immersive sims ever made
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  • Molten_ 2022-10-02 11:29:02.446589+00
    I love this game because everything about it is intentionally awful yet ... it just works? like, it's still fun to play & the art style somehow still looks good? how did the madman do it.
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  • jpmouz 2022-10-03 19:39:15.086025+00
    #1 for the year, agreed
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  • Robo1662 2022-11-07 22:32:54.85374+00
    i'll definitely remember my first play-through of this game forever, what a wild ride
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  • sosa_ 2022-12-01 19:38:11.588147+00
    this game is really fun
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