Bringing the best from it’s predecessor and throwing in some new and improved game-play, the long awaited sequel to Futurlabs surprise hit Velocity is here, Velocity 2X.
Velocty 2X picks up where the first game ended as Lt. Kai Tana and her Quarp Jet successfully close off the black hole that had left humanity stranded at the mercy of alien invaders, the Vokh. On the brink of death, Tana and her ship are recovered and experimented on by these aliens. As part of the experimentation Tana is enhanced with tech implants as the Vokh try to understand and take control of both her and her ship.
Their plans however, are put on hold as a second alien race, currently enslaved by the Vokh help Kai to escape. Free from her prison, she sets about repaying the debt by helping free the alien race that she herself was saved by. Meanwhile, the leader of the Vokh, General Glaive, not one to let something go, is on a missions to retrieve Kai at any means necessary.
Told through great artwork and the kind of text bubbles you’d expect to see in a RPG, the story is amazingly detailed for a game of this nature. As the game progresses the story plays out at the perfect pace and despite the plot being majorly predictable it’s never dull because it is so well written. They’ve even gone as far as setting up the plot nicely for a sequel.
The game-play in Velocity 2X is nothing short of superb. Futurlabs have taken two tried, tested and loved classic platformer styles and turned them into a game that molds the two together effortlessly to great effect.
The levels are split across the two modes; One a side-scroller platformer where you play as Tana, running through a number of space station based puzzles in an effort to knock out the power to space based shields; The other a vertical scroller à la Shmups, where you take on the role of the Quarp Jet, fighting your way through space based mazes blowing up anything that gets in your way.
The transition from flying in the jet to running on foot is handled surprisingly well, its flawless for the most part, helped considerably by the similarities in controls between the ship and Lt. Tana’s movement. The foot based levels seem to go on forever despite the very limited playable space which goes a considerable way to making the game as whole feel so vast, so epic, which fit perfectly with how the story is being told.
Each misson has a main level objective and there are three types available; Hostile Forces, which means find specific targets and eliminate them, Critical Urgency, basically get through this level as fast as physically possible and Search & Rescue, does exactly what it says on the tin, find and rescue the good guys.
Your performance for each level is scored based on the time it took you to complete, how many rescues you made, how many crystals you collected and your overall points score, which includes bad guy kills. To aid you on these missions both Tana and her ship are equipped with a powerful blaster weapon, a speed booster and a short-range teleporter and as you progress through the game you will find weapon improvements and even bombs.
Graphically this game reeks of 1980s arcade nostalgia with a HD twist and it looks beautiful. Much like the PS4 launch title Resogun, this game has taken the style, look and feel from the past and added a modern twist to make something visually appealing and yet not losing it’s arcade influence.
The soundtrack is also well above par for a game of this nature. Though the sound effects for both game-play modes fit well they aren’t mind blowing, the music however is another story. Joris de Man, a famed Dutch composer, well known for his work on the Killzone series, was involved in the original games soundtrack. With Futurlab bringing back de Man and expanding his musical duties the results here are fantastic, a genuine pleasure to listen to. The score as a whole fits perfectly with the story-telling as the scale of the game increases, the intensity of the soundtrack follows suit.
This game is a joy to play, crisp graphics met with original game-play create an extremely addictive game that you may find it difficult to turn off at times.