Being an octopus is very hard, but probably not as hard as being an average human male, with a wife and kids. Being both of those things, though? And hiding your secret identity from everyone you know? I’m surprised Octodad hasn’t had a breakdown with the amount of pressure he must be under.
Then again, he is just an octopus.
No, really, he’s literally just an octopus. He wears clothes and pretends to do human things, but he walks like an octopus, and he doesn’t control like any other character in any other game, but that’s probably because there aren’t many octoprotagonists around.
Walking around as Octodad is achieved with the triggers, which lift his legs, and the sticks, which will move them around in a 3D space. It’s not easy though, and requires precision so that the titular octopus doesn’t fall all over the place and break everything in sight.
It’s like QWOP, if it had an extra dimension to complicate things further, and perhaps some of the quirkiest humour you’ll see in gaming.
Oh, and that’s just the movement, sometimes Octodad will need to pick things up – including keys, ties and wedding rings – meaning you’ll need to switch controls from his legs to his arms with the press of a button. You’re able to use the suckers on his hands to grab items, and then use them to unlock doors or complete objectives, but you can’t make him walk at the same time.
I’m just glad that the DualShock 4 is such a nice controller, as it relies a lot on the triggers and sticks, which have been massively improved over the PS3 pad, with concave grips on the sticks and a slight upwards curvature on the triggers, which point out at the end, so your fingers won’t slip off as Octodad raises his leg high above his head and then falls over himself.
It’s actually a very complicated system – and quite hard to explain through the medium of words alone – and it’s a game that really needs to be played to experience it properly, but I can assure you of one thing: it’s downright, hilarious fun. As a few of us crowded round the system, we were all joyful with the insanity of the developers. It’s an octopus in a suit, but everyone he knows is completely oblivious to that. It’s brilliant.
The level in question (which you can see demonstrated in the embedded video above) featured this clothed cephalopod getting ready for his wedding, and breaking down a wall while trying to open a mirror before putting his suit, bowtie and even his hat on, in order to make himself look presentable for the big day.
You’re able to lead him to collectables in the form of new ties, but perhaps the best and most hilarious section of the level came when Octodad reached the actual wedding hall and had to tumble down the aisle without knocking over too many pillars and vases, lest he was outed as an octopus or, much worse, having comments made about how he looks on this special day.
As the tentacled, sea-dwelling creature reaches the alter, his oblivious wife demands a ring, and you have to help him grab one from a chest of gems and other trinkets. It’s quite a task to get this ring, and then placing it on her finger (well, her wrist – it’s more of a bracelet) isn’t easy either – when I played, Octodad ended up hitting her in the face with it.
But soon after they were happily married, and he’s still just an octopus.
Here’s the deal: Octodad: Dadliest Catch takes all of that random, complicated gameplay that we’ve seen successful in games such as Surgeon Simulator (more on that soon) and QWOP and blends it with this brilliant, insane set-up which is quite genius in its execution. It’s one to watch out for, and a sign that Sony are ready to support even the craziest of ideas on PS4.