Pixeljunk Shooter 2: Official Review
by Gauss


Basic Information:
Developer: Q-Games
Publisher: Sony
North American Release Date: 3/1/2011
European Release Date: 3/2/2011
Trophies: Yes, 1 3 9


Overview
Pixeljunk Shooter 2 takes place directly after Shooter. The campaign revolves around escaping the planet you have been trapped on. It uses the same basic gameplay formula from the first with additional suits and new types of fluids to introduce new strategies. The other major area added is multiplayer, which brings about a whole new dynamic.


Gameplay
The gameplay for Shooter 2 is mostly the same, the big changes come from new suits and new obstacles introduced throughout the levels. The most interesting ones are inside the beast in the first episode, the fact that organic structures grow and change and the addition of acid and what it does with the existing obstacles and elements.

That being said Shooter 2 is by in large the same as Shooter, each level has a certain number of treasures that are optional and a certain number of stranded workers you must rescue. This is not necessarily a bad thing though, this is what a sequel to a PSN game should be. The first was great, and this one doesn't screw with the formula, just adds a few new things to it.


Some of the bosses are challenging

Singleplayer
The singleplayer campaign picks up right where Shooter left off, you literally find yourself in the belly of the beast. Your mission is to continue your rescue, but now you must also ensure your survival by escaping the planet.

The campaign has no real narrative outside the bits and pieces of information you pick up from the rescued, but thats really beside the point. This is an arcade game and the point is solely to get from one level to the next with the best score possible. In that regard this game delivers, there are several new levels and while portions of this game feel like an expansion pack, it is just as long as the first Shooter. The only real complaint I have is while there are several high quality levels, you don't spend enough time in the beast who swallows you at the end of Shooter.

There is one thing that is different from the first Shooter, the difficulty. Shooter 2 presents much more challenge to the player as many more boss fights rely on true skill and there are portions of this game that definitely demand attention.

Multiplayer
This game has the same co-op mode that came with Shooter, and it is still a whole lot of fun. The problem here comes with the addition of online multiplayer. In theory this isn't a horrible idea, the execution is less than stellar.

The problem is the organization of the servers, while this may be fixed in a later patch at the current moment either the matchmaking is horrible or the servers are slow because it can frequently take 10-30 minutes to find a proper match without a friend.

That being said the multiplayer is still fun and a welcome evolution from the previous title. The upgrade tree is nice, and the multiplayer is alot of fun once you are in matches. The additional weapons and upgrades make for a whole new dynamic in gameplay. The addition of betting to the multiplayer also adds a nice spin on how you play and can create rewards faster.


Co-op is back in full force

Technical
Pixeljunk games, as always, set a bar for quality on PSN that is difficult to beat. The sound is brilliant, high frequency bandwidth returns with a stellar soundtrack. The game is colorful and very well presented, and like many arcade games and the game that preceded it Shooter 2 has a sense of style that is remarkable.

A game this short and of this ilk is difficult to develop a sense of immersion but thats really immaterial. This game is fun and the graphics and sound carry that throughout.


Trophies
The trophies for Shooter 2 are pretty much identical to the first, its easily doable in 8-12 hours. The MP trophy can be easily obtained in a few matches with a friend. The SP trophies will likely take a couple playthroughs.

Closing Thoughts
Pixeljunk Shooter 2 is a good addition to the Pixeljunk library and a great expansion for fans of the original. Ultimately though it is not as good as the original. Still, its worth the purchase if you are looking for a unique shooter or are a fan of the original.


Gameplay: 8/10
- A couple interesting gameplay elements have been added and some of the new suits and enemies are cool.

Singleplayer: 7/10
- The campaign is missing some of the charm of the first, but it keeps that "B-Movie" feel and answers some questions left over from the first entry.

Multiplayer: 7/10
- The single blemish on an otherwise solid PSN title. Multiplayer is a great idea, but its execution has some issues.

Technical: 9/10
- Pixeljunk is still the class of PSN.

Overall: 8/10 Superb