This is Gaming Cypher’s PC review for The Collider 2 by Techland’s subsidiary development team, ShortBreak Studios.
If you enjoy a fast-paced racing game, then The Collider 2 is definitely for you. Set in a futuristic setting, the player controls a tiny starfighter infiltrating the interiors of a massive spaceship. With numerous existing tunnel action-games like Super Hexagon, The Collider 2 introduces a new-approach to the popular genre, a continuation of the previous game, The Collider. Instead of moving around the circumference of the tunnel, The Collider 2 makes use of the entire circle, with a starfighter free to weave and dodge through the entire screen. Instead of being controlled by arrow keys and limited controls, movement is entirely controlled by movements of the mouse, allowing for faster responses as well 360 degrees movement. Instead of repeating backgrounds and obstacles, The Collider 2 utilizes a beautiful technological background with new mechanics and obstacles as well as an option for virtual reality.
If I have to describe the gameplay, the only word that comes to mind is “fast.” Even in the most basic of campaigns, with different missions, it feels like you have to face an onslaught of obstacles, wave after wave. The most basic obstacles are walls, walls with only one or few openings you can pass through. And immediately after the opening, you guessed it, another wall. Factored in with floating destroyable obstacles, artifacts you have to collect, coins you have to collect, there really isn’t much time to think, with constant reaction after reaction. Then guess what? The starfighter you control also has a booster, which can be activated by pressing down a button on the mouse. In missions with a time limit or walls that slowly close, it is imperative to generously use your boost. However, boosting comes with two caveats besides for making the game that much faster. Boosting essentially disables the starfighter’s rechargeable shield, which can withstand one collision, rendering you space dust if you happen to crash. Excessively boosting results in an ominous beeping and flashing red on the screen… for good reason. Overheating results in the starfighter self-destructing, whether or not you want it to.
The first few missions in the campaign are simple stages to get you used to the gameplay and the general pace of the game. There are four power-ups available, which for a short duration that can be upgraded: double your score/coins, allow you to pass through obstacles, have unlimited boost, or attracts all the coins. The coins you earn through missions can be used to purchase progressively better ships or upgrade your current one. Upgrades consist of power-up durations, boost duration, and shield recharge rate. Higher-tier ships have higher base stats and can be upgraded more.
In addition to the general mission modes: collecting coins, collecting alien artifacts, destroying enemies, and beating a certain time limit, there is a special boss stage at the end of each section. Outside of missions however, there is a special game mode called “Survival,” which pits players against other players in an online leadership board. Survival is much higher paced, with exponentially increasing difficulty in an endless stage. The reward of reaching a new high score is a place on the leaderboards, a large number of coins, and a large number of experience.
Experience can also be obtained from missions and increasing your reward multiplier by your level. The graphics and sounds for The Collider 2 are beyond adequate for an arcade game with this type of gameplay. The walls are beautifully constructed in a futuristic manner, with materializing panels and rotation. The tunnel ripples, turns, and bends, adding more depth and difficulty to the game. Overall, The Collider 2 is a well-designed game with enjoyable gameplay but there are definitely areas that can be improved. The single-player missions are generally lackluster in terms of objectives, which are constantly repeating over the course of the campaign. Purchasing new ships does not add any sense of customization or uniqueness, due to the fact they have the same upgrade options and there aren’t that many game mechanics ship-wise. There are also minor bugs, such as having the cursor disappear at the end-screen of a stage, caused by clicking anywhere outside of the provided buttons.
Despite these issues, The Collider 2 is definitely well-suited for its purpose as an arcade game, with praise worthy gameplay and graphics. I would give The Collider 2 a 4 out of 5, given the lack of end-game content, game modes, and for its somewhat repetitive campaign.
Here is The Collider 2 launch trailer:
The Collider 2 is now available for PC on Steam for $9.99 / €9.99 / £6.99 with full VR support.