Cruelty Squad Protagonist

Two years later, a patch has made armor do something in Cruelty Squad

Protect your meat

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Consumer Softproducts has announced the arrival of a patch for the deranged 2021 meatpunk title, Cruelty Squad. Unlike many late-arrival patches, this patch does more than just fix compatibility issues and squash minor bugs. It makes the armor in the game actually do something.

Because Consumer Softproducts gets by on deliberately mixed messages, and Cruelty Squad as a whole is possibly just one big sick joke, I was honestly not certain if this was real. And by that, I mean many things. I wasn’t sure if this was a real patch. I couldn’t tell if armor was actually non-functional before. And I’m still not certain if this really fixes it.

So, thankfully, I was able to find this Steam forum thread from back in 2021, where users discuss non-functional armor as though it’s a commonly known thing and speculate that it seems to be a bug. Whether or not the patch truly fixes it is still pending research by someone braver and smarter than me.

What’s really funny about this is that in my review of Cruelty Squad, I mentioned that my preferred way to play was to “wear heavy armor and mow through dudes like the T-800.” So, you’re telling me that the armor wasn’t doing anything? It was just, what, giving me the confidence I needed to blow people up without cover or subterfuge?

Vortex of bad design

You might be wondering how I wouldn’t have noticed something like that, but have you played Cruelty Squad? I described it as a “swirling vortex of bad design” and opined that it was nearly impossible to approach critically. It’s hard to separate the parts of it that are intentionally bad from the ones that are just poorly designed. Or broken, in this case.

It may sound like I’m being harsh on the game, but I absolutely love Cruelty Squad. It is a captivating experience and a stark-raving naked approach to game design whose influence is already being felt in the indie sphere. The self-immolation approach to design is so compelling, and few games do it with as much unapologetic pizazz as Cruelty Squad. It’s a tough game to recommend while simultaneously being one that I wish more people would try. I don’t think I can gush any more enthusiastically, so I must resort to just making a grunting noise to emphasize my point: Uurgh!

Cruelty Squad is currently contained on PC. It is currently unsupported by the Steam Deck.

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Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.