Drawn to Death Review – PS4


Drawn to Death is one of the most entertaining shooters i’ve played in while. It’s not because it does anything radically different, but instead it found a way to keep me engaged with its great art style, unique characters, and smooth 60-frame action. 

Drawn To Death is a multiplayer-only third-person shooter that takes place in the imaginative world of a high school student’s notebook. As a multiplayer shooter, Drawn to Death doesn’t really provide a story for you to follow but does feature one of the best tutorial levels in any shooter. The tutorial is taught by a mean old frog through challenges, while making fun of and ridiculing you along the way. The frog shows up numerous times as you complete tasks and unlock new features to help you understand how the various mechanics work. I should also mention that a lot of people may find Drawn to Death a tad offensive, but I personally found that it fits perfectly with the game’s setting and world. You are in fact a punk high school kid. 

The characters themselves are a perfect fit for this weird world. Although there are only a handful of them, each one plays uniquely and each one requires a different approach to use. Each character comes with their own special attacks and passive skills. Bronco: a military soldier, can summon a drone to chase after enemies and provide support fire, while Cyborgula: a cyborg-vampire, self destructs when killed and anyone trapped in range is instantly taken down. Each character requires a different set of skills to master, but I did find that some abilities like the Cyborgula’s self-destruct ability is a little cheap and overpowered. Balancing is quite an issue throughout the game, not just with character abilities but with some of the game’s weapons as well. I found myself killing enemies faster and easier with my standard assault rifle, then I would with an RPG which did very little damage and had a long reload time after each shot. 

Speaking of the weapons, Drawn to Death features some of the most entertaining weapons since Ratchet and Clank. Outside of the standard Shotguns and Rocket Launchers, Drawn to Death goes a little over the top and introduces an old console that you can shoot which on impact causes a bunch of 8-bit RPG characters to pop up in an explosion. Another weapon is a coffin which the character would pull out of the ground and launch the dead corpse inside it like a catapult.      

The thing that makes Drawn to Death stand out is its art style. As the game takes place inside a notebook, everything is designed to look like you were trapped inside of one. The characters and environments look like 3D papercraft with bold lines and what looks like crayons to add color where it’s needed. It’s quite stunning, and the Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency studio and its artists deserve much needed credit. The only real issue I find with the art style is navigating menus. With so many random doodles in the backgrounds, I sometimes found myself getting lost on what I can select or even where my selection cursor was.  


Unfortunately there aren’t many game modes available outside of the standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, but Organ Donor is the one unique mode. Acting like a capture the flag game, Organ Donor requires you to capture your defeated enemies’ hearts and return them to a constantly changing and moving drop off point. There aren’t many options, but hopefully that will change in the future. I also found it quite annoying that I couldn’t select the type of mode I wanted to play in a ranked match. The game would just select a random mode for me. The only time I can select which mode I want to play is in exhibition matchups.

A thing I found that stands out in Drawn to Death is how it allows me to customize not only my weapon set but what weapons I will be able to pick up in levels. Every weapon you’ve unlocked can be carried into the match right off the bat. If I want to go into a match with an RPG and an 8-bit console gun, i can do that. I can even pick three other weapons that will spawn in the level that I can personally pick up myself. It’s a great system that eliminates the chance of you having to pick up weapons that you don’t like and only leaves the weapons you do. The other thing that annoys me was how long it took to get into a match. Getting into a match takes anywhere from a minute to three minutes. That’s just finding a game. I wait for everyone to connect and load the match. This can just be a simple problem of not having a huge player base. 

Each character does have a progression system, but it doesn’t really effect the game. Each character in Drawn to Death has their own progression system, but it’s only used to unlock new costumes, which there are plenty of, along with Mystery Box Keys. Collecting these keys will unlock new costumes, weapons, and new taunts. In a way they work like collectable stones that you can find in mobile games that summon new characters. 

As far as the gameplay goes, Drawn to Death doesn’t really do anything groundbreaking when it comes to the third-person shooter. A smooth 60 frames-per-second accompanies all the action, and I never really ran into any frame rate drops or bugs except for one when I went into god mode and couldn’t be killed, at which point I was accused of hacking by another player. Each level is packed with detail as well with random scribbles on walls and ceilings as well as some special attacks that go and break the fourth wall and has characters interacting with a human hand, which was pretty cool to see.

My biggest fear when it comes to Drawn to Death is how it’s going to stay relevant in a very crowded and competitive shooter genre, which at the moment is dominated by Overwatch. It succeeds in differentiating itself from the competition and the real test will now be if if Drawn to Death can reel in new players while keeping those already invested to stay invested. It’s all going to come down to the content updates and support from its developer to keep Drawn to Death relevant for months and maybe even years to come.



The Final Word

Drawn to Death is another unique title from David Jaffe and his new studio. Not only is Drawn to Death’s art style unique, but its gameplay is also solid fun. The true test for Drawn to Death will see how it stays relevant in an already crowded genre.