Serial Cleaner is just plain cool. I’m talking long hair, aviator shades, and full size Burt Reynolds mustache cool. Now I’m not saying I want your mom’s bell bottoms to come back in style, but the look and feel of Serial Cleaner hits all the right notes for me. Combine the simple but pulpy art style, the 70’s motif and soundtrack, and it all just works.
What the hell is Serial Cleaner, you may ask. Ifun4all’s newest release asks you to do something a little bit different than most games. There are no gunfights, no fist fights, and you’ll find no car chases. Instead, you play as “The Cleaner”, the guy who comes in after the crime to clean it up. Think Mike from Breaking Bad before he became a total badass, or the guys from John Wick. Just dispose of all of the dead bodies, hide any incriminating evidence, and then clean up the blood spatter. Seriously. You’ll be cleaning up blood with a vacuum, and I found it kind of awesome.
At its core, Serial Cleaner is a stealth action game told from a bird’s-eye-view. The year is 1972 and you live with your mom. As you walk around the house, you’ll gain nuance to the game’s story by reading the newspaper, watching TV, or listening to the radio. Have a chat with your mom, while you’re at it. That meatloaf doesn’t cook itself, you know. It’s in chatting with mom, or watching TV we get a good reminder of the era. There are references to the Mob, Ali-Frazier, and even Watergate. These tidbits may not be necessary to enjoy the game, but they add flavor. Once you’ve gleaned all the information from the house that you can, you’ll notice the phone ringing. On the other end of the phone, is a shady character that is looking for a man with a special set of skills. Namely, the skill of sneaking, vacuuming, and keeping secrets. Once you accept the job, you’ll bid adieu to your mom, hop in your trusty station wagon, and haul ass to the crime scene.
Using your trusty “Cleaner Vision” (L2 button), you’ll be able to see a wide view of the grisly scene. It’ll give you your mission goals as well as highlight the location of all of the important mission objectives. The “Cleaner Vision” gives you all of the information you’ll need to successfully scrub any and all evidence linking your client to the crime. The problem is the cops are already on the scene, meaning you’ll need to do all of your dirty work just under their nose. I shouldn’t have to tell you what happens if the cops find you lugging a dead body to the back of your sweet station wagon, but I’m going to anyway: they bounce a Billy club off of your dome. Once you get busted…and you will, you’ll be forced to start over. To keep things interesting, the bodies, blood and evidence will all be rearranged, meaning you’ll have to come up with a new strategy after each failed attempt. Thankfully, the mission location, the copper’s patrol area, and the hiding places will remain the same.
The first few contracts ease you into the action, with only a few roaming officers and only a body or two to dispose of. As you progress, the crime scenes grows larger, the cops grow more diligent, and the amount of blood you need to clean up grows exponentially. Eventually, you’ll be able to interact with the environment to distract the pesky officers, or even divert their patrol patterns. It’s a cool little addition that is introduced just when the ‘snatch body, hide, repeat’ formula was beginning to grow weary.
The cops in Serial Cleaner may be lazy and dumber than a box of donuts, but they sure are fast. If you can’t outrun them, you can always take advantage of one of the aforementioned hiding places on each map. Simply jump into a box (thanks, Snake) or a closet, and eventually, the heat will die down, even if the cop saw you hide. Like I said, the cops in Serial Cleaner are not smart.
Police IQ aside, the gameplay is simple and more fun than it has any right to be. I mean, who would have thought that cleaning and obstructing justice would make such a nice mix? Honestly, the game feels like video game karma. As gamers, we’ve been leaving a trail of dead digital bodies in our wake for decades. We may never completely atone for our carnage, but it’s about time we were tasked with cleaning up our own mess.
Serial Cleaner PS4 Review
Serial Cleaner is an Indie that oozes style and cool. The story may not hold up all the way through, but the game is simple and fun. If you like indie games or sneaking around, do yourself a favor and download Serial Cleaner today.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game that was provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.