Full-scale stealth cleaning action, ‘serial sweepers’

Murder Scene Cleaning Robot Simulator

If you look at the stealth action drawn in the game, ‘murder’ often appears as one of the options for infiltration. It cannot but be the most fundamental and primal method of erasing even the presence of witnesses for perfect infiltration. It is clear that it is one of the most effective infiltration methods as a combat-specialized healer who removes the root of damage is established, but when this becomes severe, the fun of infiltration disappears without a trace in a game made to enjoy the tension of infiltration. It turns into a slaughter game.

Here is a unique stealth action game that does not kill people under any circumstances, and approaches the root of infiltration. This is the story of ‘Serial Cleaners’, a game that deals with the story of a professional cleaner who cleans a site swept away by the mafia earlier. Obviously, the main game is the infiltration element that completes the cleaning of the crime scene while avoiding the police without the extreme method of murder, but strangely, the more I play the game, the more I feel like I am a robot cleaner wandering around the scene. .

game name: Serial Cleaners

Genre name: Top-down stealth action

release date: 2022. 9. 23.

review version: release build

developer: Draw Distance

service: 505 Games

platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS, XBOX

play: PC

Murder scene cleaning simulation, here with stealth action

In fact, there have been many games that focused on ‘cleaning’ without combat and violence. Representatively, there is the ‘Visera Cleanup Detail’ series that collects and cleans the limbs of blood, flesh, and scattered corpses, and House Flipper and Power Wash Simulator can be seen in the same context. The main goal of these works is to provide comfort and healing to the player in the process of arranging a cluttered space.

However, the serial scavengers have created a game that differentiates them from existing cleaning games by giving the main concept of cleaning the scene of an incident and adding the detail of ‘a situation in which real police and detectives are conducting an investigation in real time’. In addition to the self-satisfaction that can be felt in the process of cleaning the site, it adds the fun of ‘infiltration action’ by having the whole process be performed secretly. In fact, the player has to play the game carefully, avoiding people’s eyes, suppressing unnecessary noise, and playing the game while cleaning the site. As a result, the play experience of the serial scavengers is more similar to the ‘Commandos’ series than other cleaning games.

▲ The core play of serial scavengers is to clean the blood and move the body to avoid the police surveillance network.

An attractive ‘map’ exists in any interesting stealth action game. A game in which you always hide in a trash can or locker with the same forest or building as the background is not a good stealth action. The developer has to constantly make the player think about how to get through this place and what strategy to devise to achieve the perfect infiltration.

In the serial scavengers, about 20 different crime scenes appear. Each of the crime scenes depicting America in the 90s with a cult visual has a different concept, and the equipment that can be used in the cleaning and infiltration process is prepared in various ways to suit the characteristics of each map. Each of the four main characters in the game has their own specialties, adding to the diversity of these maps, providing a new type of fun that has not been seen in previous works. Just imagining what kind of terrible visual incident scene will appear next, and how the abilities of each protagonist will be utilized in the map, the entire volume of about 8 hours is filled with anticipation all the time.

▲ It is also very interesting to look down on the different murder cases in the game.

▲ Various character skills such as hacking, parkour, limb amputation, and blood-stain sliding make the map richer

Character AI is another major factor that makes stealth action games shine, along with engaging maps. This is because the immersion and tension of the stealth action game will be significantly different depending on how the AI ​​responds to and responds to each action of the player. The character AI, the enemy of the serial scavengers, is more sophisticated than expected, but at the same time is surprisingly weak.

In serial scavengers, the police AI immediately notices a slight change in all conditions, such as corpses, evidence, and the state of the door, from their original appearance, and initiates an investigation. It is also a point that draws admiration to clean up the investigation site by spraying white spray on the location of the changed body or evidence. In addition, it always responds to the sound of the player character running and the vacuum cleaner turned to remove the bloodstains, and you can even see the movement in search of the source of the noise.

However, the appearance of AI that surprises players just ends here. When the AI ​​detects a strangeness and arrives, if it does not find the player, it simply returns, and even if it finds the player and chases it, if it does not appear before their eyes, it immediately returns as if something had happened. Even if you find a suspicious person wandering around and destroying evidence several times in a site where public access is prohibited, the appearance of ignoring it without taking it as a problem if you get out of sight for a moment greatly reduces the immersion of the game.

▲ Even Special Forces members who chase after carrying a rifle will give up and return as soon as they disappear from sight.

▲ If this kind of play is accumulated several times, ‘Hyunta’ will come soon.

Rather, a janitor who came to the scene before the investigation proceeded cleans it for a limited time until the police arrive, and if the cleaning is not completed before the investigation begins, after that, ‘game over in just one hit’ or a vigilant phase continues. It is regrettable that the difficult development of the game might not have been a more convincing play composition.

If you can’t give up because it’s the ‘tradition of the series from the previous work’ that can be avoided by cleaning the scene while the police are walking around and hiding quickly even if it is discovered, then you can see that it is regrettable that the previous work is not inherited in the necessary parts. start to step on

Add a story, lessen the tension
▲ ‘Serial Cleaner’, the previous work by Draw Distance, a developer of serial scavengers

‘Serial Cleaner’, the first work of the cleaner series released in 2017, was a work that was faithful to the concept of cleaning the scene of a murder. The police field of view was intuitively displayed, and various gimmicks that help the police to clean without ever being caught in the field of vision were placed throughout the map, making it as fun as a puzzle game. It was a game that focused only on the act of erasing blood and recovering evidence and corpses without a special story, and after its release, it was well received by gamers and became a game that built a unique charm of ‘a murder scene cleaning action’.

The sequel, ‘Serial Sweepers’, is a work that has been developed by adding the four main characters and a deep story to the unique setting and solid game play shown in the previous work. The 3D scene of the crime scene and the actions of the main characters with different special abilities show the capabilities of the developer who have grown even more over the past five years, but the tension from the main content of cleaning the murder scene seems to have faded.

▲ It’s definitely more realistic and sophisticated, but there are a lot of things missing at the same time

The first change is the introduction of larger volumes and intermediate storage capabilities. Unlike the previous work, where the stage had to be restarted when caught by the police, serial scavengers can save their progress at any time, and even auto-save when a body or evidence is collected. This is a convenience function applied because the scale and volume of the stages have increased compared to the previous work, which broke small stages one by one like a puzzle game, and anyone can easily feel that it is an incredibly convenient function.

However, the bloated stage volume, the elongated tempo, and the intermediate save function added to this greatly lower the tension of the game. The already stupid AI doesn’t even follow the player properly, so you can play the same part over and over again at any time, and there’s no penalty, so there’s no tension in the second half. Even if the characters keep changing and the map becomes more and more colorful, the main game play is to repeat the same cleaning task 20 times or more in the end, so this regret inevitably becomes more pronounced the more you play the game.

The second change is a deeper story mode with four main characters. The serial scavengers start with how the four characters with different stories came to work as scavengers, and then look back on their journey to becoming a veteran janitor. Between cleaning and cleaning, a story cutscene is output along with the background explanation of each character, and you have to read all the lines carefully and follow the story to enjoy the ending story with a shocking twist.

The story has its own taste, with interactive options that the player can choose directly and various directings that reveal the character’s personality. However, there are many cutscenes that cannot be skipped, the story unfolds only through dialogue without describing the situation, and the lines that express their philosophy and beliefs like a one-person play are obstacles for players to follow the flow of the story. Unlike the previous work, which could be enjoyed lightly by simply concentrating on cleaning the murder scene, the sequel, ‘Serial Cleaners’, has too many parts that are only painful for those who are not interested in the story or miss the flow in the middle.

▲ There is noise in the dialogue screen of nervous characters,

▲ There are many attractive elements that can be seen through the story, such as cutscenes that show that he is a ‘hacker’ character.

The third change, and the most disappointing part, is the absence of a ‘challenge mode’. In the previous serial cleaner, in addition to the story mode, there was a challenge mode to clean the accident scene with various penalties such as the inability to use certain functions or time limit. It was attractive to be able to deeply enjoy the main content itself of cleaning the murder scene in a faster and more difficult environment, but the element does not exist in the new serial cleaners.

In the release build of the serial scavengers, there is no way to enjoy the cleaning content itself more deeply, such as cleaning the site that you liked, or challenging it with a different character, as well as the challenge mode. After clearing the first round, selecting an intermediate chapter to play again or loading a save slot is not supported, so if you want to enjoy the cleaning content again, there is currently no way other than restarting the game from the beginning. Although some challenges are driving the player’s second round, it’s practically difficult for those who aren’t interested in the story or who have already seen the ending to think about a second round.

▲ Replaying the ‘non-skippable’ section included in the story is not an easy decision.

‘Serial Janitors’ is a work that shows a different kind of fun in a slightly different route from the existing action games of cleaning the murder scene. The whole game is filled with sensual touches expressing street art and post-modernism, so it is fun to enjoy the visuals, and the reversal that is only revealed at the end of the story is the dark side of America in the 90s and those who enjoy a structured scenario. gives fresh stimulation to

There are four main characters with different special abilities, but it is a pity that they are not used in various ways. As there are four main characters, we expect the heist genre where experts in each field work together. Limited. However, individual activities are not free. There is no content that allows you to fully enjoy the map and cleaning system that you have worked hard on, such as choosing a character that suits your taste and solving the same map with different strategies.

If a challenge mode where you can enjoy only cleaning content separately or a special stage where four characters can work together are added through additional updates such as DLC in the future, ‘Serial Sweepers’ will be more complete than now. It looks like it could be a good sequel.

▲ I’m really glad that ‘a female hacker with purple hair and a bridge’ is a Korean character.

▲ The localization was done wittily without any major errors, so it’s nice to see the story.


The article is in Korean

Tags: Fullscale stealth cleaning action serial sweepers

PREV Will AI designing new proteins play a key role in discovering new therapies?
NEXT Spacesuit material used in menopausal functional clothing