Chicken Police: Paint in Red is one of the most overlooked adventure games of the past few years. Yes, it has a pretty positive score on Steam, but you barely see it brought up in discussions, and that’s cluckin’ criminal if you ask me. I had a chance to check out an early build of the new entry in the series Chicken Police: Into The Hive, and here are my early thoughts.
Featherland and MacChicken
Into The Hive puts us back in the shoes of Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken, a pair of chicken detectives who always find a way to wind up with the nastiest of cases. In the preview build, I was dropped somewhere in the middle of an investigation relating to one of the shadier parts of Clawville, called The Hive.
Though, while the larger mystery was the focus, I spent most of the time chatting up a drunk Marty who was clearly kicked out of his home by his wife, Laura. The banter between the leads is a highlight, and there’s a great sense of mutual respect despite the jabs and insults.
After sobering him up, you head over to the Precinct to get a warrant for The Hive, and getting those papers becomes the next smaller objective. Here, you run into Moses and Plato, the other pair of detectives whom you don’t get along with, as well as Monica, the ever-reliable Receptionist.
These aren’t just random NPCs who serve as a vessel to move the story forward, but people you have a history with. They know about your past, routine, and struggles, which makes conversations feel realistic and engaging.
You want to exhaust the dialogue because everything feels like an exploration of not just the overall story, but the characters themselves. This is what makes the writing so enjoyable, and what the appeal of the franchise is.
Tough Egg To Crack
As mentioned earlier, this is a dialogue-heavy title, and most of your deduction work is done through questions and environmental interaction. Moving the cursor around a scene will reveal interactive points, and you can approach them in a few ways.
You will also get different items that can you’ll use to progress the story. For example, in the first scene, I spotted a baseball that I instinctively chucked at Marty to get him out of his drunken state.
I visited multiple locations, all with new points of interest and characters with extensive dialogue. The best part? Every line is fully voice-acted, and it’s basically like you’re watching a Noir drama, with an anthropomorphic cast of course. You go back and forth between characters when you have new information, standard point-and-click stuff. The story is very interesting though, and I met a bunch of memorable characters in an hour of gameplay.
Finally, Chicken Police: Into The Hive is a gorgeous game to look at. Much like the first one, it oozes the atmosphere and emulates that Noir film aesthetic with ease. The characters, their outfits, and the environment, everything is full of small details to appreciate.
What’s more, you can now toggle between the Noir and Technicolor presentation. For my money, I still prefer the Noir look, but it’s still fun to see a scene in all its colors, just to see the amount of work put into the visuals.
The jazz soundtrack is ever-present but never overbearing, and the different sound effects do a great job of bringing this world to life. There was one scene where the in-game thunder caught me off guard because of how realistic it sounded, and how well it blended in that particular moment.
So far, I’m very impressed by what I’ve played of Chicken Police: Into the HIVE, and can’t wait to try out the full title. The writing is superb, the characters are hilarious, and the presentation is unlike anything out there. I don’t necessarily think you need to play the first title to understand this, but it’s definitely worth playing as well while you wait for this one.
If you want to play the demo for yourself, make sure to check it out on Steam. You can also watch me play through the entire demo below.
What did you think of my preview for Chicken Police: Into The Hive? Share your experience with the demo in the comments below.
This preview is based on the PC version of Chicken Police: Into the HIVE. The key was provided by The Wild Gentlemen.
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