Sci-fi Fun with Indie Game Velocity 2X
This is Benjamin Pope from IGS with a new game review for the readers. Velocity 2X is a game I was not aware of but soon came to enjoy. The game was released in September 2014 by FuturLab and has received good reception. This title is a sequel to Velocity Ultra released in 2013 on Steam.
This new offering is quite similar to the previous title seen on Steam. Velocity Ultra and Velocity 2X both take place in a futuristic, sci-fi setting and follow(s) the story of Lt. Kai Tana, an Earth space pilot tasked with rescuing survivors from a collapsed black hole in the first game using a Quarp Jet (a version of a space ship). She now finds herself in another galaxy with a new set of challenges. The developers slowly introduce her new situation aboard a mysterious alien ship where Kai struggles with overcoming temporary memory loss as to how she got there. Along the way she meets an alien companion named Hjun Ralan III, a scientist of the Jintindan race, whom she found on the planet Altranda. They soon fight together against the oppressive and mysterious Vokh race while rescuing Jintindan survivors.
The challenges are similar in both titles when it comes to space flight and piloting the Quarp Jet, a spaceship with upgradeable features that can use bombs, quarp through walls, upgrade its guns and more. In 2X, Quarp Jet levels are now accompanied by additional platform side-scrolling levels. Sometimes both are combined in one level, where the player must destroy obstacles and activate triggers for forward level progress. This is done by blowing space switches in a certain order; some are located inside buildings.
My first impressions of the game were positive based on the vivid graphical art style and musical score. Even now I like to leave the game at the menu and let the musical score play tunes reminiscent of Tron with techno grooves. Graphically, the game is beautiful with painted 2D cutscenes, space and platform levels. The 2D art found in menus is also quite well done. As the player progresses in the game more is unlocked in menus to provide more information as well as other bonuses. While playing through the 50 core levels of the game, I found them to be a bit easy for my liking; the ship flight missions and 2D platform levels were repetitive. I then realized, however, that the game developers were providing a scaled gaming experience that offered fun and challenge to those who stuck with it.
This experience centers on building players up through a slow introduction of new mechanics and features with continued addition to the narrative. Although early levels appear simple, the game keeps adding new levels with additional commands to focus on to increase challenges. Multi-tasking is a definite skill worth having in this game. The new features and mechanics include ship and suit upgrades in areas such as warp ability for the ship, bombs, better guns, and arm cannons and other special abilities for the suit.
While playing the game I found it nice to see how well I did in the areas of completion time, finding collectibles, and rescuing survivors. The best feature was having the ability to post on Facebook directly so I can show off. Hopefully I can move enough of my friends to hop on board Velocity 2x for a fun ride.
Benjamin Pope is a Game Design and Art/Animation student at the University of Advancing Technology working toward giving something back to the gaming industry through great deep and addictive game titles. His blog can be found at http://www.creativegamingexpressions.tumblr.com/