Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death Review

First off I just want to say post- Thanksgiving greetings to all, and hope nobody got knocked out at Black Friday!  Michael Martin was the winner of my Wreckateer giveaway, but we’re not doing Dark Confidant Opinions today, we’re reviewing a fun little action game.

I knew absolutely nothing about this game when I got it, but isn’t that part of the excitement? From online pictures it looked to be some sort of huge Devil May Cry style action game, forgotten in the record books. But as I’ve been playing it awhile, it’s seemed to grow on me from it’s sheer insanity. So let’s put on our talking death mask, get stabbed in the chest, and take on this thing!

You are Marlow Briggs – Just your Average boyfriend who decides to go to an oil rig somewhere in the jungle to see his spicy Latina girlfriend one day, only to be controlled by a talking death mask named Xibalba within the first 3 minutes. And yes that is a slight spoiler, but seriously the game didn’t even let me memorize every character’s name before ol’ Marlow got a Chestful of Scythe. From the opening cut scene, we meet a quick run of characters, you know who is going to be the bad guy, but I got to admit I did NOT see it coming – not for at least the first 30 seconds anyway. So Marlow and Xibalba embark on a flashy “Grindhouse” like journey with explosions, random unnamed security staffs, and magic to save his girlfriend and get back at her evil boss Hueng Long.

You start with your basic double-blade scythe staff, and the controls are great. You attack with various strengths for X/Y which you can combine for fluid combos. A button jumps, and B button grabs. You can basic block-cancel out of anything with LT, which is great for mid combat if you are trying to save life. Hitting LT at the correct moment knocks back any projectile.

There is a training mode which allows you to practice combos and gives you experience to level up with each passing, highly recommended for faster leveling up and just to get a flow of the combat. LB is for your magic, which holds air, water, fire and etc.  RB isn’t used, and RT is for only when you are using machine guns. LS moves and RS quick dodges, “Omni,” which is great for moving around screen. The combat doesn’t feel blocky or too stretched, and the Turret sequences, though copied every time, kept me smiling.

I think this is definitely where the game shines. From combat flashiness, to Oil Rigs blowing up, decent QuickTime events, and hanging upside down from a helicopter, I can say without a doubt this is a game that looks good. Now can I see the nose hair on Marlow’s face? No, but there plenty of unique backgrounds. I didn’t notice any screen tearing or lag, which is great when you have some games that don’t look as good and lag non-stop when 10 or more enemies are on screen. The game does get a little lazy when you acquire new powers, a still montage shows Marlow doing this or that with the new power up why still models fly around, but it gets the job done.

I have to say I was impressed with main theme at least.  Had a decent B-movie blockbuster beat to it. Each track has a sort of “amazony” feel to it, and they definitely fit where you are.

Your mask has in-game banter when you do not move I admit made me chuckle a bit.  The mask reminds me of  the skull from Shadows of the Damned or a Jarvis if you will. Giving you hints or just commenting on how or what you are doing. My only real nit-pick in the game is one Achievement Skip Master – Which requires you to play the game while skipping EVERY single cut scene. I can not for the LIFE of me understand this achievement. You’d think the developers of a NEW IP would want you to see what they did, for the most part you need to watch them to understand what’s going on. Like at the beginning where you go from chilling with your girl in the dirt to being in an oil rig on fire with a six foot Death Scythe. If I didn’t watch that opener, I’d be like how did I get here?  The game is a fun download though and at worth the 7.49 on sale. If your tired of Dante and Bayonetta, or just want to blow stuff up and have a good time as a minority action hero, I’d recommend giving Marlow Briggs: and the Mask of Death a stab.

#1 – Next week: Dark Confidant #2 – DO we really need new systems yet?

#2 – And an announcement!  I won a RYSE Bundle, so Nerd4Sure now has a means to review Xbox One at least! It wont be here for awhile though

Happy Holidays!

Jared Zimmermann
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PSN/Gamertag – Darklurkr23