Developed by Malaysian indie dev Forust and previously released on PC and the Nintendo Switch, The Company Man is now available on the Xbox platform! This 2D action platformer sees you climb the corporate ladder to overthrow your boss, whilst firing your colleagues along the way! (This clearly is the perfect game for resident XBL Party Podcast panelist The Ginna as he loves heartlessly firing people in his day job!)
In the game you play as average salaryman Jim as he starts his brand new job at The Good Water Company. He wants to become the big CEO and the way he is going to do that is by working his way through the company and firing all his fellow employees. The story of the game is pretty unique and full of great humour that really satires the whole business world.
The gameplay is fast paced, simple and extremely fun. You will encounter a whole host of enemies that you need to deal with and you do this with your trusty keyboard. A swift smack to the head with it fires your colleagues and allows you to progress. Unfortunately its range is terrible and does require you to get way to close to enemies in order to deal with them. I definitely suggest you get used to the enemy attack patterns if you want to survive. If you do take alot of damage, don't worry as you will be able to spend money you collect while playing to spend in the coffee shop. The coffee shop allows you to buy coffee which heals you as well as buying upgrades that assist you as you progress.
The game also features a variety of boss battles. As you reach the end of each floor you will go up against some awesome boss enemies, beating them providing you with a new special ability to use! I love a good boss battle and these ones are great fun, giving you the nostalgia vibe of having to remember their patterns of attacks in order to survive and overcome them. Speaking of the abilities, eventually you will unlock ranged attacks which totally change the game and open it to a totally different approach on how you play.
The art style is a real stand out here, with its detailed, painted backgrounds each standing out across each of the floors. They all look fantastic and are varied based on the theme of the floor - from frozen air conditioner areas to the human resources are filled with mountains of paperwork. They all stand out and add in the gorgeously fluid, hand-drawn animations of the characters makes this game a real looker.
The audio isn't too bad either, with decent sound effects but unfortunately pretty generic and forgettable music. I'm not saying its bad in any way, it's perfectly fine - but nothing stands out and you won't remember any of it once you finish your playthrough.
The game unfortunately isn't that long. With a handful of achievements available to unlock for playing through and completing the game in less than 7,4 and 2 hours. The game also includes an impossible mode too, just for all of you that enjoy the thrill of self punishment = and this also has achievements linked to beating it in less than 5 hours. While you will get a few hours out of the game, its that fun that I just wanted it to last a little bit longer when I was playing.
I honestly enjoyed The Company Man way more than I ever thought I would. It's a very solid action platformer featuring a very unique and humorous setting, coupled with gorgeous looking animations and detailed environments. The controls are responsive and it really feels like you are playing an old school retro platformer that's been lovingly wrapped in a fresh coat of paint. Whilst the game isn't terribly difficult, you will get a good challenge out of the various boss battles throughout the game.
TOTAL SCORE: 8/10
The Company Man was released onto the Xbox store on the 27th August 2022. The game is playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. The game supports smart delivery and is priced at £16.74. The game can be purchased HERE. The game is also available on Playstation, Nintendo Switch and PC.
A copy of the game was provided for this review. A huge thanks for that.