by Camrin Santchi
reviewed on PC
Mixing ragdoll physics and an open-world sandbox is a recipe for a fun time, this has been a fact of the internet for a long time. A fact that becomes even more reliable come April 1st, when Totally Reliable Delivery Service releases on Steam. Originally released in 2019, this game has players take the role of package couriers in a sprawling world that they can explore to their heartís content.
The game can be played in single-player, but the real attention-grabber of Totally Reliable Delivery Service is playing with friends, either online or locally. This allows gamers to work together to solve complicated deliveries or even sabotage each other for the sake of hilarity. The game itself seems oriented towards humor in the best way, for example, grabbing an NPC causes them to send the gamer flying, since grabbing is not appreciated, but this also adds the implications of shenanigans with friends...say grabbing a package off of a vehicle once your friend has taken the time to carefully place it there.
The controls in Totally Reliable Delivery Service are a special brand of chaos that make maneuvering difficult, but in a very odd way where it's fun instead of obnoxious since sometimes it seems like there is very little the player can do to control the situation around them. From sewer grates that launch into the air with incredible force, to fire extinguishers that will bring gamers into orbit or across the map depending on the angle. The best way this reviewer found to describe this game is probably "beautiful chaos", and the amount of crazy things to do in the world is so vast (especially with friends) they may not even have to partake in the titular 'Delivery Service'.
Signed, sealed, delivered
In order to unlock extra vehicles, skins, and delivery routes, the deliveries must be made in order to earn money so gamers can pay a wizard to unlock extra missions and parts of the world. Unfortunately the size of the world can be a disadvantage. Since it can be easy to be launched from place to place, getting back to a place where the player has vehicles unlocked can take quite some time, but as you progress this problem is less and less noticeable. The more stuff that is unlocked, the less empty the world will seem and thus the disadvantages of being flung across the map are lessened.
Beyond the, at first, empty map and getting the hang of the awkward, ragdoll-y physics, the only real flaw that this reviewer noticed was the awkwardness of maneuvering delivery packages. Whether it is into a helicopter or up a flight of stairs, Totally Reliable Delivery Service makes it a task trying to figure out exactly how to move in order to complete tasks, especially in a reasonable time in order to get the best possible rewards from the delivery.
Return to sender
Another flaw/feature that works for the player in Totally Reliable Delivery Service is certainly the missions themselves. Unless the package is destroyed, a timer continues to tick. This works in the favor of players because at times vehicles or other items will spawn alongside the package in order to make the delivery easier, for example a helicopter for one early delivery, and will continue to respawn whenever it ends up destroyed while the task is still ongoing. This is important because while players are learning to drive or pilot the vehicles, they will often crash or end up on a completely separate island while trying to control it. Later in the game this is hardly a problem at all, but early on when most things are yet to be unlocked it is QUITE a long, awkward walk back to an unlocked area on a clumsy ragdoll physics engine.
In all Totally Reliable Delivery Service is a huge open world that emphasizes teamwork and quick movement, and whilst the world is empty at first, as gamers play it fills up with more vehicles and missions to interact with, encouraging exploration so that players can figure out how they want to spend their resources, and if they even want to attempt the deliveries rather than just explore.
Potential for hilarity, Ragdoll physics, Co-op possibilities
Empty (at first) vast world, Ragdoll physics