Nope. No. And honestly, nah.
All my years of writing have not prepared me for this. I’m at a loss trying to find the words to adequately convey the chronically broken, disaster-laden pornography of She Will Punish Them. Handling like a game built in Scratch by a 10-year-old, there is not a single redeeming feature to this simpering fetid mess. It honestly isn’t worth the blistering feminist critique I usually reserve for games that present themselves the way this one did – it began to tear itself apart from the moment I loaded in.
If however, you are still morbidly curious, read on for a more… thorough dissection.
Corsets for days
Your first task, once you’ve finished laughing at the home screen, is to create your character from a selection of near-identical faces and seemingly unrelated colour palettes that bear no resemblance to the actual finished product. You can then choose a pair of heavily artifacted wings, and some poorly rendered horns. At last – your ‘succubus’ is complete. Equipped with a massive set of particularly gravity-defying breasts, you are set down in a sort of ‘safe space’ before embarking on the promised “brutal and gory combat”.
Loading into this area gives you a good chance to admire your character’s clothing, which consists of a corset and little else. Fans of being generally disgusting will be pleased to hear that your entire backside and at least 80% of your breasts are visible in this assuredly impenetrable armour, along with bare feet for that appealing-to-all-audiences vibe. You will then be allowed to roam the castle, a cesspit of asset flipping and confusing layers with a hit-or-miss attitude to basic interactions. On the off chance you manage to successfully interact with something, you can pick up some equipment here, using an arbitrary coin system that doesn’t seem to have much effect on gameplay.
Warriors of dynasty
Next up, time to enter the first arena and fight. You are presented with a quick menu showing the key bindings (most of which proved to be incorrect) – but take care you don’t spend too long actually memorising these controls, as enemies will continue to attack you whether or not you have actually started the game. Expect to spend this first battle randomly hitting keys and wondering why literally nothing works, occasionally accidentally entering some kind of slow-motion version in which you emulate how it felt to run TF2 on my knackered old laptop when I was a kid. I’m already contemplating emailing Rich Kyanka for a new Gaming Garbage YouTube vid spot when I finally figure out how to unsheath my sword from – seemingly – my left butt cheek.
The enemies come in thick and fast but ultimately have no coordination, exhibiting the AI pathing of an early 2000s Playmobil game. What I was expecting was a sort of Dynasty Warriors-esque slash fest with satisfying swishes and build-ups. What I actually got was a deranged, lurching combat system with tremendous lag and an unforgiving dodge roll that basically only worked once in every five attempts. You click to attack, but also aim the camera with the mouse, rather than your character, and spend every moment you stand still surrounded by enemies. If you run off, they are unable to catch up with you.
It is possible to progress in this game, but it is also possible in real life to beat your head against your keyboard until the individual keys are embedded in your skull. In my opinion, the latter would be preferable. At least you wouldn’t have to play this vile game any more.
Sit down, please
She Will Punish Them punished me. Its clunky menus ripped from Diablo 2, its vapid misplacement of the status of female characters in the-year-of-our-lord-2020, its gameplay – offensive to anyone who actually spends money on this abomination. The only possible selling point is that – on occasion – you can direct your lifeless character to sit on a prop in a seductive pose. Honestly, guys, it’s less effort and less embarrassing to just watch porn.
At this stage, I feel like the intense labour of writing this review has surpassed the labour that went into creating this game. It has certainly been subject to more rigorous quality control, and has a more respectful attitude to kerning. There is no real gameplay to speak of, more plot in the Steam store page than the game itself, and the only reason for playing it would be to finally assess how many assets had been flipped from other games. The controls are obtuse and very rarely work, and the whole thing is dead behind the eyes.
Sometimes you come across a game that is so bad it’s good, maybe a little entertaining, The Room style. This honestly wasn’t one of them. The lifeless Blendr models, the janky controls and ugly misplacement of bad gothic tropes render this the kind of game that should just quietly be forgotten. Maybe moving on swiftly will spare the creators any further embarrassment.
[Reviewed on PC]
Miri is an English grad with a fascination for sci fi, RPGs, grand strategy and point-and-click games. She also enjoys strong coffees and cats.