PixelJunk Shooter Review
Shooter is an interesting physics puzzle game wrapped in a classic and welcoming 2D shooter shell, making it one of the best downloadable titles to hit PSN in several months.
Posted by Christian Sorrell (sirdesmond) on Dec 13, 2009 - 4:49pm EST (Dec 13, 2009 16:49)
PixelJunk Shooter is the fourth title in the PixelJunk series from Q-Games. Shooter is an interesting and well executed physics puzzle game hidden beneath a layer of traditional spaceship shooter. With the previous titles in the PixelJunk series being a bit hit or miss amongst gamers, does Shooter up the ante or simply follow the status quo?
PixelJunk Shooter carries a unique visual style that sets it apart from both the standard PSN faire as well as the former PixelJunk titles. The game looks great from the get go with each level being populated with lakes, waterfalls, lava flows, boulders, and cavernous backgrounds. Despite this strong first impression, the game seems to lose track of most of its aesthetic beauty as the player progresses through the campaign. The game’s 2nd episode is bathed almost entirely in blue and white while the 3rd episode brings little more than a bland and geometric industrial environment. Although the stages may be varied, it’s a shame that Shooter couldn’t have kept the colorful and interesting environments of the early levels as the complexity of the gameplay increased.
It's in the gameplay that Shooter really shines. Despite the title, Shooter is as much (perhaps even more so) about puzzle solving as it is about shooting. Players will be navigating lava flows, cooling off in underground ponds, digging through rock, and melting their way through ice in order to collect as much treasure and save as many scientists as possible. You’ll blow up caverns to allow water to cool lava into rock, put on a magma suit to spew lava over a troublesome block of ice, and put on your anti-magnet suit to keep a roomful of oil at bay. The game controls well and keeps things simple with a rock-paper-scissors formula for many of the game’s puzzles. The puzzles are intriguing and the fluid physics are some of the most impressive I’ve ever encountered. The game is brimming with collectibles and invites exploration with an array of hidden areas in each episode. With full leaderboard support and time tracking on every level, it’ll feed the competitive desires of many perfectionist gamers out there.