PixelJunk Shooter 2 is a 2D puzzle-heavy shooter that relies on the most basic elements of nature for its unique twist on gameplay. The differences between hot and cold, solid and liquid, and light and dark form the basis for the game world, and you must use the properties of these elements to work your way through the game. Your aircraft is equipped with pellet-like bullets as well as homing missiles that help you shoot through obstacles and kill enemies as you go about trying to rescue miners and scientists. The game looks simple, it controls with minimal fuss, and the gameplay mechanics are basic, but they all come together very well.
Shooter 2 picks up right where the first one left off, and while you don’t need to play the first game to enjoy this, it will determine just how much you enjoy it. Getting to trapped miners is tricky, so you must use the various elements against each other to forge your way towards them. For example, pouring water on magma turns it into stone that you can shoot through, or directing magma towards ice will melt it. Many of the elements were also present in the first game, and while they’re self-explanatory, the game won’t reintroduce you to them, simply assuming you’ve played the first game. The controls are just as simple and responsive as ever, allowing you to maneuver around the treacherous levels with ease.
The first game threw in many additional tools in the form of fruits and sponges that helped you carry water or magma around for use in another part of the level, and they return here as well. The game-changing suits also return. Different suits perform different functions. While some will replace your missiles with magma or water guns, the new hungry suit will let you eat through rock, while the inverter suit will make you resistant to magma and kill you in water, making you change the way you play. There are more enemy types this time around, and more enemies in number too. That didn’t sit too well with us, because even though it’s called PixelJunk “Shooter” 2, the series’ strength lies very much in its puzzles. Still, thanks to its nimble controls, combat areas never get too frustrating, except for the times when enemies suddenly spawn at an exit of a stage, resulting in cheap deaths.
One of the major changes from the first game is the increased difficulty. Levels are much more challenging as the various elements conspire against you, and enemies spawn all around you. As in the first game, the boss fights at the end of each stage amp up the difficulty several notches, and each boss fight presents a new challenge. The game also supports offline co-operatively play, and at times it feels like the difficulty spikes are designed with two players in mind. One annoyance in the first game was how it forced you to collect hidden diamonds and locked subsequent levels until you went back, replayed levels and retrieved the required number of diamonds. Unfortunately, that feature returns, forcing unnecessarily repetition.
The game also adds a two-player online multi-player mode, which is surprisingly fun. It essentially involves one player trying to rescue miners, while the other attempts to foil the escape. It’s addictive and the ability to unlock more gadgets and tools, gives it a fair amount of replay value. PixelJunk Shooter remains one of the best games on the Playstation Store; one that thoroughly deserved this sequel, and Shooter 2 once again delivers a thoroughly enjoyable experience thanks to some ingenious level design, sharp controls, and a brilliant concept that still feels fresh and holds a few surprises. If you’ve played the first game, a lot of what it contains won’t come as a surprise, but if you’re new to the series, prepare for one of the best puzzle shooters you’ve ever played.
Published Date: Apr 07, 2011 09:54 am | Updated Date: Apr 07, 2011 09:54 am