Out of four games in the PixelJunk series, Shooter is the first to receive a direct sequel. The main concern with the original was that players wanted more of it. And Q-Games has delivered, with 15 brand-spanking-new levels worth of fluid-manipulating action.
Continuing from the events in the last game, your ship is now inside the belly of the beast. You must guide yourself around its treacherous insides, rescuing survivors, collecting gems, and doing your best not to overheat your shields.
Shooter 2 may look like a Flash game with simple shapes and bright colours. But it’s a very pretty Flash-like game, and it looks phenomenal. Along with a funky soundtrack, it all adds up to a really inviting package.
While it controls much like a twin-stick shooter, Shooter 2 is more like a platformer. Each level features liquids, whether it be water, lava, acid, or magnetic fluid, and they all combine in different ways. For instance, lava and water turns into solidified rock, and lava melts ice. Purple acid is a new substance and it will take you out completely if you don’t rinse off.
The way Shooter 2 works is that you don’t have lives, but rather five "survivor” lives. If you happen to kill all five, the entire level resets. And it’s often too easy to shoot a survivor accidently or have one smothered in lava by mistake.
As for your own ship, one touch of an enemy and you’re dead. Touch lava or overheat your shields in any way and you’re dead. Most of the game has you manipulating or avoiding substances, as well as the odd laser-shooting or lava-spewing enemies. The levels themselves aren’t inherently hard; it’s all to do with your shields.
While campaign co-op is back, Shooter 2 also introduces competitive online multiplayer. Basically it’s an entertaining game of Rob the Nest. For the first turn you pick up or steal survivors, dropping them off at your base. Next turn you need to stop your opponent from doing the same by hunting down their ship and destroying them.
As it’s my first time playing a PixelJunk game, I highly recommend it, and I’m sure previous Shooter players will love it all the same. There’s plenty of game time to be had, and while it may get frustrating at times, you’re sure to miss every minute you’re not playing PixelJunk Shooter 2.