PAX West 2019 Hands-on: BDSM: Big Drunk Satanic Massacre

Fast food corporations have taken over Hell, and Satan’s son is going on a booze-fueled rampage to stop them. That’s the quickest way I can sum up one of the last games I got my hands on at PAX West this year, BDSM: Big Drunk Satanic Massacre.

Now, if the game’s name somehow didn’t tip you off, it’s pretty obvious that this is a game aimed squarely at adult audiences. The game mixes pop culture parody with over-the-top violence and sexual content, and the result is…interesting, to say the least.

In BDSM, the evil Big Wack corporation (an obvious parody of a famous fast food chain) has discovered that the creatures of Hell make for some delicious and incredibly addictive burgers. As such, they have invaded and corporatized Hell, much to the chagrin of Satan. His son, Lou, then steps up to free Hell from these corporate clutches, gun in one hand and a bottle of liquor in the other.

The game goes for humor in the way of over-the-top violence and what some may consider borderline offensive content. Between the gallons of blood spilling out of your enemies and the minigames where you sexually pleasure various NPCs (and, in one case during my demo, a Hitler look-alike named “Not Hitler”), I can see why this game was demoed off-site rather than on the show floor.

One of the PR reps showing the demo did explain to me that the game offers various forms of “self censorship” for those who may not want the whole visceral experience. There is a mode that tones down the sex and violence a bit, and another called “Gun Mode” that replaces all sexual content with more guns. The rep jokingly called it “American Mode,” due to the whole stereotype of Americans loving guns but being offended at anything slightly sexual.

BDSM is a twin-stick shooter at its base; you control Lou with one thumbstick while firing at enemies with the other. Most of the segments I played through featured enemies that were fast, aggressive, and not quick to fall. Luckily, though, I was carrying my trusty bottle of booze, which Lou uses to heal himself, though at the the cost of the screen going hazy for a bit. The gameplay itself is relatively simple, but I did have fun just kind of mindlessly cutting down demons, as well as evil copyright-friendly versions of Family Guy characters and My Little Ponies.

Unfortunately, the experience I had was much too simple, although it was more due to the demo environment rather than the way the game is built. In order to show as much of the game as possible, the developer sitting with me during the demo opened up the game’s dev console and gave me the best weapon in the game – something that was absolute overkill for most of the segments I experienced. Sure, it allowed me to blaze through multiple levels and see the different environments and various missions I could unlock, but there was no feeling of challenge to it. From what I did see, though, BDSM does seem like it’ll have more balance when played properly.

The game definitely has a distinct style of humor, but much of it didn’t connect with me. BDSM attempts to be satirical, such as a moment where I enter a room with a bunch of red barrels and Lou goes all, “Oh, explosive red barrels, how unoriginal,” prompting more an eye roll than anything from me.

Humor is subjective though. I’m not much into pop culture parody and silly genre satire, but if you are, the dialogue here will likely work better for you. I could also personally do without the “sex” minigame (a surprisingly tame one, where you tap buttons while a still image grunts and moans), but it fits the over-the-top nature of the game.

Overall, I feel like BDSM will be a fun popcorn game, something that lets you just turn your brain off and have fun with the craziness of it all. The game’s full release is coming soon, and I can admit I’m looking forward to playing through it as intended, rather than with overpowered weapons. Really, some days I just need to unwind with some good crude stupid humor, and Big Drunk Satanic Massacre seems like a great way to do it.

BDSM: Big Drunk Satanic Massacre is set for release on PS4, Xbox One, PC via Steam later this month.

Screenshots courtesy of Big Way Games.