Having launched on Nintendo Switch and PC earlier this year, The Company Man finally makes its way to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. The move to new consoles has given Forust the chance to reach a brand new audience. However, the game also now faces more competition, and as you’ll learn in this The Company Man review, that’s not always for the better.
The setup for the game is amusing. You play as a lowly employee in a large company. You must climb the ladder by working your way through several different departments and taking out their heads. Each level introduces new enemies and challenges, as well as offering you new weaponry with which to take them on. The Company Man however, is never less than challenging.
The gameplay closely resembles that of the recently released Chenso Club. Though it’s not divided into screens in which you must defeat all enemies to continue, the combat structure and platforming challenges are very similar. There are a handful of alternate routes, but never enough to make you wonder what you might have missed. A metroidvania, The Company Man is not.
Instead of exploration, The Company Man provides challenge in the way of brutal combat. From the very first level (surprisingly, one of the hardest) you’ll find a variety of enemies that all require different tactics to defeat. Even when you know the mechanics of how each attack works, it’s easy to frequently make small mistakes that result in taking damage. As your health is pretty low, dying between coffee machine checkpoints is a common occurrence. Especially on the first level, before you unlock a ranged attack.
The game’s characters have a beautiful cartoonish look. Both the player and enemies are well animated and full of character. The aesthetic is most certainly a highlight of the game, as is the sense of humour. Forust have openly stated the game has been inspired by The Office, and while some jokes will likely only raise a smirk, some one-liners are genuinely funny. Some of the situations you’ll find yourself in, following the pattern of being inspired by a situation comedy, are also humorous.
The Company Man isn’t a groundbreaking game. It delivers what it promises, but also does so with some annoying level design and overly tough fights. There are other titles, such as the aforementioned Chenso Club, that arguably do it better. However, as you have surely realised in this The Company Man review, the game is saved by its setting. The comedy and visual design of The Company Man are definitely a highlight. Few games can claim to be genuinely funny. Even fewer games can do so, while being lead by an incredibly mundane player-character. The Company Man is funny; sadly, funnier than it is fun.