The world has fallen into darkness, and only a 29-year-old who yells about memes and makes videos called “I Broke My Ass” can save it. The setup of Pew Dew Redemption is honestly pretty funny—this free Steam game turns Pewdiepie’s competition with Indian music channel T-Series into a dark, rainy, apocalyptic battle for the freedom of the internet and the implied fate of all humanity. It’s a bad game, a mealy beat-em-up in which you hit a bunch of robots with a large studded letter P (for Pewdiepie, see). In the 20 minutes or so it took me to finish it, I couldn’t decide if I was more entertained by its absurdity or disturbed by Pewdiepie’s cult of personality.
The existence of Pew Dew Redemption is not surprising. Pewdiepie’s 96 million Youtube subscribers mean he has a massive fanbase, undeterred by the occasional racial slur or antisemitism. “Undeterred by” might be less accurate than “encouraged by”—he’s gained something like 25 million subscribers in just the past few months as his “9-year-old army” fought to make sure he stayed the king of Youtube. T-Series was catching up fast—what perfect drama for a fan game to harness!
But boy, does it get weird. For starters, the game’s developer, who goes by the handle Enki, immediately inserts himself into the game, laying out the backstory for Pewdiepie with some ethereal voiceover.