Written by Twisted Ideas
FuturLab is a new and rising developer whose been making a name for themselves working on games for the PS3 and Vita. Their best and most ambitious game, Velocity has earn its sequel. Velocity was a stand out game because of how it changed how we think a top down shooter should be. Velocity 2X aims to be a bigger and even better than the first. Does FuturLab deliver?
Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation Vita
What is it?
At the end of Velocity, Lt. Kai Tana flew her Quarp Jet into the center of a black hole in order to try to close it. Her superiors did not know what would happen to Kai as she disappeared into the event horizon. Kai was sent through a wormhole injured but alive. She was found and captured by the Vokh empire who kept her alive by altering her appearance and physiology. Kai escapes with the help of a rebel and with her abilities to control quarp energy and with her Quarp Jet she aids in the rebellion against the Vokh.
Velocity 2X is the anti shoot-em up game. Velocity focuses on speed, observation and problem solving rather than the dexterity and pattern memorization of bullet hell games. Velocity introduced several mechanics that fixed issues with shoot-em up games. The Quarp Jet is able to boost to increase the speed the screen scrolls, teleport past solid objects warp to earlier parts of the level. With these elements it turned Velocity into more of a puzzle game than an action game. Most scenarios have you look for switches to disable to allow you to progress through the level and find survivors. There is shooting and combat but come second to the problem solving of the levels.
The newest addition to Velocity 2X is the 2D platforming sections. These 2D section have Kai run through enemy spaceships finding Rekenium crystals and disabling switches. Kai is able to sprint to move through the ships faster, teleport through walls and floors and shoot in all directions. After you complete the tutorial levels, most levels will have both space flight and 2D sections. At these points you will start the sequence of switches from space and continue in doors until it’s conclusion. The 2D sections slowly introduces new mechanics making them both harder and easier.
Throughout the game you will learn new gameplay mechanics, levels become more complex and there are even boss fights.
How does it look?
The graphics have been improved by replacing the 2D sprites with 3D models. The backgrounds and animations are smoother and more fluid.
There are more animated scenes as the game focuses more on the story this time around. I’m not a fan of Kai’s look. During cutscenes, when she speaks her hair is always parted to show off her metallic parts of her head. She also has this blue streak that goes from her eye to near her mouth. When she laughs or smiles the image isn’t very flattering to say the least.
How does it sound?
The game is comprised with a lot of techno that suit the sci-fi feel. These tracks are upbeat but there’s not much else to say about them.
What do I think?
Velocity 2X is a fantastic sequel. It’s funny because I recently bought a PS Vita and Velocity Ultra was one of the first games I’ve played on it. It blew my mind and I’ve been raving about it to my friends. When I was writing my review of Velocity Ultra I saw that FuturLab was making a sequel and I was instantly excited. I saw the 2D sections they added in the trailers and even that would have been enough new for me. When I played 2X they added more than I thought they could. Just when you’ve thought they have shown you everything, they surprise you with more.
Death by numbers.
2X is a more demanding game. If you want to get a perfect rank by hitting their time, score, and collection without dying prepare to work for it. The goals are much more strict than with Velocity. The collection and score goals almost have no leeway at all. One missed crystal, survivor or even breaking a piece of glass means you’re playing the level again if you want to get a perfect.
The 2D sections takes some getting used to. The controls are more complex because you have to manage sprinting, shooting, teleporting and platforming usually at the same time. There are a lot more time savers in the 2D sections so creativity and execution pays off if you want to shave time.
I appreciate that they’ve fleshed out a story. It’s not a highlight of the game but FuturLab committed to one unlike with the first, which had the plot of the story but not an actually story.
Competing in the leaderboards is stressful but fun. This is where you can use a lot skill and creativity can pay off. Even if you can’t get the top spots it’s always a great feeling improving you times.
Should you get it?
Velocity Ultra and Velocity 2X are the best downloadable games I’ve played in a long time and probably some of the best games I’ve played all year. This is a game with fresh ideas that keeps on surprising you. They are fast paced and action packed and forces you to use your head if you want to push the game to its limits. Unfortunately the game isn’t available for the PS3, only for Vita and PS4. I don’t know why it couldn’t be on PS3. If you own either of those systems then it’s free for Playstation Plus subscribers. Play this game and you won’t be disappointed.