Publisert: 15. mars
Intrusion 2 is a modern take on Contra/Metal Slug. And when I say modern, it is not an empty word!
However, let's start with what is familiar: Intrusion 2 is a 2D side-scroller with action and platforming, shooting soldiers and robots (some of which can be piloted) while occasionally negotiating some jumps. A lot of games have tried to ape the aforementioned classical games, but very few have come close to touch their greatness. Usually, they are dull with scarce enemies, repetitive levels and clunky controls.
The controls of Intrusion 2 are not beyond any criticism. There is some floatiness to the main character, but it does not make it clunky. It just feels weird, but it is still reactive and shooting is instant. One of the reasons for this feeling is that the characters are not sprites with all their animation frames pre-rendered. Every limb, every object in the game is actually controlled like a puppet by the physics engine. A modern spin that sets this game apart from its ancestors, in addition to the ability to shoot at 360°. The physics make the game feel both awkward and awesome at the same time, as robot legs fly around and kill soldiers in their fall. And there are mechas with grappling hooks battling by throwing rocks at each other when they are not flying around pulled by their ropes before a sword finish.
Sounds cool? Wait until you see the boss fights. I have rarely seen such amazing boss fights. They have tons of different stages and are hard while still being easy to learn, making them an entertaining challenge. They also look good, which helps making those fights memorable.
However, if the game keeps things fresh and cool during the first hour, once the novelty factor wears off the levels feel too lengthy and look-alike. There is very little variation in the settings and formula despite the promising snowboard chase at the start. The music is not especially interesting and too repetitive/annoying rather quickly. The robots have terrific art and animation, but the backgrounds look oddly photo-realistic and not very awe-inspiring. Since I am tackling the negative points, the difficulty associated with whimsical physics might frustrate quite a number of players. If you are not a good player, set the game on easy and enjoy the awesome beginning. If you like a good challenge with still more leeway than a very demanding game like Contra, you will no doubt pull through the short campaign and have a good time despite the less entertaining later levels.
A concession to make to the physics engine is that the game runs slowly. The framerate does not go higher than 30 frames per second, and some slow-downs can be experienced even on a good machine. This is most likely due to the fact that the game was coded in Flash, just like the original Binding of Isaac. Surprisingly, despite the intensive use of physics, there are very few bugs and issues. The controls are well tuned so that the player can instinctively achieve any action without pestering, such as grabbing cords or moving over physics-bound objects.
As a conclusion, this game is not perfect but an impressive example of what a modern Metal Slug/Contra would be. There are a lot of very cool stuff in here, so I definitively recommend trying out this game. Especially for the battles against larger enemies and the boss fights. The game feels like it is great and could almost be placed up there with Metal Slug/Contra, but it is dragged down by a few negative aspects and lack of variety once the beginning is behind.
Good news, most if not all of my gripes appear to have been corrected in the next game from the same developer: Jetpack Squad. This is something very promising that I am definitively looking forward to, and hopefully Intrusion 2 was the stepping stone to a masterpiece!