There are some games where you simply have to get over the idea that you’re playing something with a weird premise, and need to adjust for a while before you start liking it. Naughty Bear is one of those games, with a style and setting that are somewhat difficult to imagine for your conventional gamer.
The game’s setting and style of humor may remind some of you of the animation “Happy Tree Friends” – yes, the same overly gory one.
You play the role of a bear after which the game has been titled. The game has a simple storyline reminiscent of cartoon shows, where the main protagonist is a social reject in the community of teddy bears he lives in. One day, they’re all taken captive by aliens and it’s up to him to save everyone – by arming himself with a huge machete and going all Jason Voorhees on the alien hordes.
The combat system is nice, with several different moves you can execute on your enemies, and the only note we have on it is that it feels a bit clumsy when you’re trying to retreat from a fight.
One of the things we didn’t enjoy that much was the lack of variety in the enemies – being an alien race invading Earth, you’ll only see a few general types of them, mostly armed with the same stuff. The game doesn’t feel monotonous as a whole though, as the different levels provide a new gameplay experience every time.
Plus, we really have to commend the authors of the game for the ending – we’re not going to spoil it for you, of course, but rest assured that justice will be served for Naughty Bear in relation to his social problems.
Graphics and System Requirements
The game features a catchy art style, balancing between detailed 3D graphics and a more loose cartoonish style. The main protagonist has been designed very well, making him unique enough from all the other teddy bears that the player can instantly understand there’s something odd about him.
The over-the-top gore is great (for those who enjoy such things, of course), and it’s the reason the game is rated so highly by the ESRB, in case you were wondering.
It runs with roughly the same framerates and visual quality on both consoles it supports, though we did notice that the Xbox 360 gives a slightly more enjoyable experience for some reason – the whole scene seemed to flow a bit more smoothly when it was rendered.
There is a multiplayer option available, but it isn’t so well-done here – there aren’t many players online at any given time (at least not from our experience), and the mechanics from the single player campaign aren’t that suitable for playing online – if you’ve played Manhunt, imagine trying to sneak up on each other like that forever.
A mix of elements noone would ever imagine would fit well together, Naughty Bear is a game you’ll probably go through once and leave it alone, but that single run through it will make it stay in your memory.