The second go-round for this franchise adds new characters and abilities, but also loses some of its weirdo flair
When the original Serial Cleaner hit the Switch a few years ago it felt like a weird treat, emphasizing a mix of stealth gameplay with a bit of gross humor as you tried to scrub crime scenes of their evidence without getting caught. What it ultimately lacked in depth it helped to make up with a great sense visual style and a plain unique vibe. With this sequel you sort of get what you’d expect in the form of more characters who each have their own abilities and general feel of play, as well as a bit more story to work with, and a new not-quite-as-iconic but still terrific general look. Perhaps it’s the years and a few thousand games crossing my desk, it could be exposure to more quirky stealth-styled games like Party Hard that play partially in the same neighborhood, or maybe there’s some other fundamental issue but this iteration just doesn’t have the same fun and pizazz of its predecessor for me. The challenge is still there, often making patience your best weapon against the authorities, but even with new abilities in the mix somehow the general play simply feels a bit flat. Certainly the wonky and somewhat inconsistent AI police officers don’t help, alternatively eagle eyed and completely blind it seems, but there’s just a certain “It Factor” missing this time around. It’s still fun and engaging if you enjoy some stealth and unsavory work, just keep your excitement in check a bit to avoid potential disappointment.
Justin Nation, Score: