This game quite interestingly combines platform shooter and vertical scroller with stylish cutscene drawings reminiscent of Flashback. Velocity 2X is easy to get into, yet the controls take a little bit longer. However once these are mastered, you’ll be creating your own swathe of carnage as you rescue hostages, drop bombs, teleport through enemies and unlock secret levels!
The story begins with your character, Lt Kai Tana, an unconscious injured human, rebuilt with cybernetic limbs in an unfamiliar place which quickly escalates into a high intensity escape. Aided by a local, you find your way back to your ship and begin your journey back home, taking a few detours along the way.
Velocity begins as a platformer, you take control of Lt Tana in the typical way, moving with the left thumbstick and firing with the right. As she progresses, she will unlock various abilities, such as the teledash which is a short range teleport to help you get through doors, rocks and even past enemies. Later she will have teleport grenades used for getting through difficult areas or even dropping on the ground to return to later.
After a few missions she claims her ship back, a Quarp Jet which is also equipped with teleport technology. This is used in a similar way whilst playing the vertical scroller action. It is also used to teleport into secret locations to gain additional codex’s, items in the game which allow you to unlock secret levels.
Between each mission there is a comic style cutscene which has brilliant artwork lending the game depth which it would otherwise sorely need. The script which has been written for the few characters adds comedy value which I thought was a nice touch. Unfortunately though the music has little variety, it tends not to change much and soon becomes repetitive.
When flying the ship I found the default controls a challenge to get used to. A is fire main weapon, RT is boost and the right thumbstick is to drop bombs. Combine this with holding X and using left thumbstick to aim the short range teleport and soon I ended up dropping mines instead of teleporting and boosting instead of firing! So after a small learning curve, this frustration soon faded and I quickly got hooked into this game even more. Unfortunately the controls are not customisable to suit our own preferences.
Now the game has introduced both means of game play it allows you to swap between the two during the missions. As you pilot your ship, you will need to deactivate shields to progress. These buttons which are found both in space and on foot are often numerous, and need to be fire at in a specific order. Also they can only be deactivated by being shot from a particular direction too.
The buttons to be activated are usually numerous, each have to be fired at both from a particular direction and in order. These are found both in space, with limited time, or on foot, inside areas wrought with danger.
As the missions get more complex, this is where you need to pay attention. When you approach a fork in the road, drop a telepod, either from your ship now, or on foot, and once a section is complete, you can pop back and complete the rest.
There are 50 standard levels to get through, each one is of 3 different types; Critical Urgency which is a speed run. Search & Rescue, a collection mission. Lastly Hostile Forces, defeat all enemies. Each level has a time limit, however the speed runs have less so you must be as quick as possible. Throughout the game you will collect this purple matter, Rekenium Shards, and during the collection missions this will be abundant. The rescue missions are straightforward, shoot everything you can destroy to release the hostages. You can track how many shards and hostages are remaining at the bottom right of the screen.
At the end of each mission you get a report, I appear to be good at collecting and rescuing but abysmal on the time! So if you want you can re-run any previous mission to improve your score, and beat your mates!
Even once the main game is complete the game isn’t finished! There are the daily challenges to complete along with the Dual Core and Critical Emergency DLC to extend your gameplay. There is quite a lot to the game, however I believe the price is a little steep by a few quid for the content that is available.
Velocity 2X is a fast paced game, and the transition between ship and on foot is clean, quick and doesn’t hinder the gameplay. The collaboration between the two styles of gameplay has been put together really well, it adds a dynamic which I wouldn’t have believed should work.
The visual style is stunning. Both the cutscene artwork with it’s hard lines and colours along with the imagery throughout the missions gives a nice sense of futuristic immersion.