Have you ever played Hotline Miami and thought, well this is just too messy and sloppy? You’d think he could be a bit neater while going on a mass murder spree? Perhaps instead, you’d rather be cleaning up in the aftermath? Well then, Serial Cleaner might be for you!
Serial Cleaner is a story-driven, fast-paced stealth/action game, characterised by a 1970s theme and aesthetics; with ahem pardon the pun, a killer soundtrack. The main character is tasked with cleaning up after the crime scenes by disposing of the bodies, cleaning up blood, and stealing murder weapons and other incriminating evidence for his employers.
Exploring, experimenting, and fast paced decision making are the key words here. Getting caught and questioned would put a black mark on the protagonist’s career and the environment is often crawling with itchy-fingered police officers accompanied by nosy bystanders. The game uses Real-World Data to modify game play according to the time of day in player’s location. So if you play in the daytime it’s sunny and at night you can operate under the shadows of darkness. In this game there are no fancy tools or skills your player has, you simply must run, hide and grab what you need without being spotted. If you do get caught however you instantly restart but the evidence, blood and bodies may have been moved.
This isn’t a game you can just blow through and rush; you must be patient and observe your surroundings, the patterns of the police patrols, and what you can manipulate in the environment to make your tasks easier. You can clearly see the police patrols line of sight as they walk around the stage making it easier for you to know where you can go without being spotted. One small factor I didn’t like (although ended up utilising frequently) was you can be in the process of being chased by police, jump into a box and hide and they instantly forget they saw you. The game would be much harder otherwise.
But if you are in the need for a fun little stealth romp with a decent level of difficulty, I think this is worth checking out. There is plenty of replay value as there are extra challenge stages where your cleaner is drunk, others won’t allow you to see the guards line of sight. If you are crafty enough and pick up some hidden film reels in the stages you can unlock some bonus levels based on some great movies like Star Wars, Alien, or even Taxi Driver.
Serial Cleaner was reviewed using a PS4 code provided by the publisher. You can read additional information about PSVG’s review policy on our disclaimer page here.
Check out some of my gameplay from the earlier stages: