PC Port Report: Charlie Murder


Murder One

I don’t remember much about Charlie Murder from its original 2013 release. It was such a late Xbox 360 title that a lot of people overlooked it in favor of the looming Xbox One and PS4 launches. To make matters worse, Microsoft seemed to stop promoting its "Summer of Arcade" initiatives that brought us such classics as Braid and Castle Crashers. It was like MS just gave up at the end.

Similar in vein to Ska's previous efforts with the Dishwasher series, Charlie Murder is a brutal and grimy beat-'em-up with a lot of stylistic touches. Charlie is focused on the story of a punk band that goes through a zombie apocalypse to stick it to a rival group that tried to kill them. The soundtrack and characters all represent some form of punk vibe right down to your power-ups being tattoos you can collect. It oozes with a rock 'n' roll attitude that even Guitar Hero didn't quite capture.

While I'm not sure how well the game sold on Xbox 360, this Steam release gives Charlie Murder a second chance at becoming a success. How does the port hold up, though?

Most PC ports from consoles tend to lack a lot of options and Charlie Murder falls into that category. You can toggle VSync, Resolution, and Fullscreen, but that is it. The options menu is paltry when it comes to graphics, so don’t go expecting to tweak anti-aliasing or anything fancy. Audio settings also suffer from a lack of options. At least you can individually tweak music and game audio volumes, but there isn’t any kind of setting for surround sound or anything with a fancy soundcard.

Being originally developed for the Xbox 360, I would imagine any range of PCs from 2008 on could play the game. The recommend settings on the Steam page are meager, so you’re almost certainly good to go. Performance is completely stable on my setup. I tested the game for roughly two hours and I didn’t notice a single bit of frame dropping. The rendering is also correct, so there aren’t any frame pacing issues or jaggy input. It may not be mind-blowingly good looking, but there are no issues running the application.

Moving on to controls, you are able to fully rebind keyboard or gamepad settings to your liking. The default setup on an Xbox 360 controller is actually fine enough, but it is always nice to have the option. In an extra nice move, you can even do local co-op with one person on a keyboard and the other on a gamepad (or if you’re crazy, two people on one keyboard).

This port features local co-op, so that is a joy. A lot of PC games don’t have this, so to see it fully functional with a wide range of controller options is great. You can mix and match stuff like one person on a 360 pad, another on a PS4 pad, and a third on an Xbox One pad. The game does include online features, though I couldn’t find a soul playing in matchmaking.

As for other users on Steam, there are a few reports of some graphical bugs. I didn’t notice anything, but some of the pet icons were jumbled up in one location and sometimes the application refuses to close when you exit the game. Ska Studios has already issued a patch to fix these problems and I never experienced this, but at least major bugs are absent from this port.

If you’ve been looking to replay Charlie Murder or experience it for the first time, grabbing the new PC port is probably the best way to go. With resolutions higher than the 360’s 720p, it lets the art style shine even better. You also don’t need to pay for Xbox Live Gold to experience online multiplayer, so that alone is a huge plus.

[This report is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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Peter Glagowski
Peter GlagowskiAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Plucked right from the DToid community (formerly KingSigy), Peter is an aspiring writer with a passion for gaming and fitness. If you can't find him in front of a game, you'll most likely find hi... more + disclosures



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  • Two of Ska Studios' older games finally get ported to Steam tomorrow - Brett Makedonski
  • Charlie Murder and Dishwasher: Vampire Smile are coming to PC 'pretty dang soon' - Brett Makedonski
  • Review: Charlie Murder - Chris Carter
  • Charlie Murder launch trailer is heavy on mayhem - Brett Makedonski
  • PAX: James Silva talks fast about Charlie Murder - Conrad Zimmerman
  • PAX: Ska Studios' Charlie Murder coming 'soon' - Brett Makedonski
  • PAX: Charlie Murder literally made me jump - Jordan Devore
  • PAX: Charlie Murder is an orgy of loot and violence - Tony Ponce
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    Filed under... #Digital Distribution #DLC #Downloads #Indie #Microsoft #News #PC #Ska Studios #Steam #Valve #Xbox 360



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