Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I fired up Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action for the first time. Well, I did know beforehand that it’s a stealth game where you play as a Roomba, but beyond that, I was pretty clueless. So when the game’s true premise was revealed, I had to just set my controller down and have a good laugh.

See, the game’s visual style is super cartoony and silly, which gives the impression that this is going to be a kid-friendly romp. And Justice Sucks leans into the deception, asking you to find a child’s teddy bear in one of the first missions. You know, kid stuff.

But then, the tone shifts suddenly. The family who lives in your house leaves, and a group of burglars breaks in to steal their stuff. As a Roomba home alone, it is your task to take care of the threat. This means you’re going to lure the burglars into traps, then kill them, chop them into pieces, and suck up their blood like a freaking mechanical floor-sucking vampire.

Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action

If you don’t mind ludicrous cartoony hyperviolence, this is pretty gosh-darn hilarious. I find myself laughing like a disturbed child whenever I see a burglar explode into puddle of blood, cuts of meat, and hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs.

The basic gameplay loop is that you’re set loose in a level with a whole bunch of traps, and then given an objective. You might have to take out a certain number of burglars, or you might have to rescue certain people. Maybe you’ll even have to deliver mail. If you get spotted, the enemies will attack you, but you can hide under tables or use baseboard vents to quickly move into another room.

The world then becomes your playground. You’ll use stoves to set burglars on fire, or sprinklers to soak them before opening a freezer and turning them into a block of ice. Or maybe you’ll explode a TV set to shock them to death, or send a rogue coffee machine soaring through the air to conk them over the head. You can even suck up items, then launch them at your victims. Ruin a burglar’s day by slapping them in the face with a fish or by flinging an angry cat at their head.

Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action

Once you learn a level layout and figure out what evert trap does, the game starts to resemble Hitman a little bit. You’ll need to think through elaborate setups for luring an enemy into a particular situation so you can set off a chain of traps that will eventually drain their health down to zero. Then you’ll go to town, sucking up and digesting the bodies.

The first level is a house, but you’ll eventually make your way across several environments, including a cruise ship and a night club.

The storyline is a bizarre, absurdist series of impossible scenarios, some of which look like they were hand-drawn, while others are more fitting with the visual style of the rest of the game. Personally, I found myself zoning out a bit during these sequences, but I’m sure a lot of folks will find them to be pretty amusing.

Ultimately, the story doesn’t matter. It’s all just an excuse to provide some flimsy context for the gameplay — and the gameplay is incredible. Seriously, this game is so much fun. I tend to love stealth games, and this bizarre and hilarious take on the genre gets so much right. It’s lighthearted and breezy for the most part, though it does ramp up in difficulty as the game progresses.

Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action

The game is fairly short, but there’s a ton of replay value, as you can go back and experiment with new ways to use and combine traps. Plus, every mission has a ranking system, and it’s a ton of fun to go back and attempt to S-rank every one of them by maxing out your score.

Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action is a game that knows exactly what it’s trying to do. It’s a tongue-in-cheek take on the stealth genre, going so far as to drop multiple Metal Gear references. But the gameplay is king here, and when it comes to gameplay, Justice Sucks knocks it out of the park.

Disclaimer: I was given a review code for Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action on PS5, but the opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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