FuturLab is definitely one talented studio. Having released the critically acclaimed Velocity Ultra, one would have thought it would be a tough act to follow. This creative dev team didn’t even bat an eyelash. What do you do when you already took a classic game genre and made it your own? You add another one to the mix, of course. Enter Velocity 2X, a sci-fi shoot ’em up and platformer that will test your reflexes and put you through your paces.
You are Lieutenant Kai Tana, a pilot from Earth trapped in an area of space you don’t recognize. Having traveled through a black hole, your body has been all but completely torn apart. Your Quarp Jet, a state-of-the-art combat vehicle, is nowhere to be seen. Having been saved from the cold embrace of space only to be experimented on, you awaken. And thus your adventure begins. Your mission is to fight through the ranks of the Vokh empire that has captured you in the hopes of learning more about your Quarp Jet and utilizing its technology. Velocity 2X has a surprisingly deep story line from this point on as you journey to not only save yourself, but a few others you come across. Bringing this all together is the amazing artwork and wonderful gameplay.
Continuing the theme from the last installment Velocity 2X features some of my favorite artwork from recent games. Using beautifully colored stills, the story is conveyed through action packed panels and some some clever, humorous writing. Far too often did I find myself lingering on one of these screens when I should have been continuing my adventure. Not only did these shots capture the action present throughout Velocity 2X, but they also captured the characters perfectly. Kai’s attitude and confidence seep through your television screen, as does the anger and ferocity of the Vokh general. It’s sort of amazing how the artwork between stages makes the gameplay all the more enjoyable.
For those of you who’ve played the Velocity Ultra, you are no stranger to the top down shoot ’em up gameplay that sets the tone for the action. Utilizing speed, weapons, and your short range teleportation, you can blast through squads of enemies with ease. Navigating tight passageways and phasing in and out of locked off areas keeps the flying segments engaging. Velocity 2X adds some new upgrades to keep it fresh.
Teleporting pods allow you to explore multiple paths and bring yourself right back to selected areas. Temporary weapon upgrades help to slaughter otherwise tough groups. But being the smart developers that they, FuturLab left the top down piloting mechanics largely unchanged. After all, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ right? Instead of messing with what has already been proven, FuturLab instead introduces whole new gameplay segments to mix up the formula.