Pixeljunk Shooter getting a sequel should come as no surprise for those who played through the first title to the end. The cliffhanger ending was a first for the Pixeljunk series and has left me wanting more. Luckily this fall I will get my wish and go back on the hunt for stranded survivors in Pixeljunk Shooter 2.
I got a chance to play this game on the show floor and I am happy to say that it still has the same feel of experimentation that made the first game so fun. The first stage I went through was one designed around acid in liquid and gaseous form. For a while I was able to avoid touching the acid completely but then I came upon a pool of acid that I had to plunge my way through to get to the other side so I gathered my courage and dove in. Surprisingly the ship was barely overheated so I went along my merry way until my ship overheated and died. It seems that acid sticks to your ship until you can wash it off with some water.
Feeling slightly embarrassed I continued through the demo with a bit more caution when I came upon a room filled with purple bubbles and seeing no way to go around I again dove into the unknown. As I touched the first purple bubble my ship started spinning like a top and became much more difficult to control. I bounced the ship on the walls until I was able to make it to a pocket of the room without any purple bubbles and the ship stopped spinning.
Having more liquids and gasses to play around with is interesting, but the next stage I played changed the dynamic for the Shooter series by focusing on light and shadow. The level started in a pocket of light in an otherwise mostly dark stage. When I made my way into the darkness I noticed that a large number of slowly floating circular creatures became visible. They appeared to be docile so I decided that they were there for aesthetic reasons. As I sat there and thought about how pretty the effect was the circles charged toward me and my ship was quickly blown to smithereens. It was around this time that I realized the dark is not a place you want to be in Pixeljunk Shooter 2.
Not only can you not spend much time in the dark because of the aforementioned extremely dangerous creatures but when in the dark you can’t fire your grappling hook so you can’t save survivors. I spend the level scouring for ways to bring light to areas with survivors by using a flare bomb similar to the water and lava bombs from the previous levels. The most impressive use of light was a light on a pendulum that I had to shoot rockets at to start swinging and then time my activities with the period of the pendulum.
Overall my time with Pixeljunk Shooter 2 has just reaffirmed my love for the Pixeljunk series. I can’t wait to not only see what other obstacles the game puts in my way but also how these elements interact with one another in later levels. Q Games has done it again.