The moment Luke Skywalker flies through the trench of the Death Star is one of the most iconic in science fiction and a scenario any fan of Star Wars would indulge in a heartbeat. The Collider 2 helps you to feel like the notorious rebel pilot and Jedi Knight in an original, albeit generic space game filled with some intense twitch-heavy gameplay and nostalgic throwbacks to the original PlayStation era of gaming.
Where the Collider featured psychedelic tunnels hypnotising you as you played, The Collider 2 has gone for a more sci-fi edge. It looks a lot like the original PlayStation-era Wipeout, and it certainly shares similarities to games like Colony Wars, G-Police and Assault Rigs, giving you a warm, fuzzy and sentimental feeling inside.
The Collider 2 sees you fly your ship into the mothership of an alien race to try to destroy them internally, speeding through over 50 tunnels of challenging missions. There isn’t much more to it than that and the overall enjoyment comes from how quick your reflexes must be as you move through spinning panels and closing barricades, collecting credits and alien artefacts as you go.
The crux of the gameplay is how fast you react to constant obstacles as you make your way through each level of the 6 different sectors. Each level has separate goals you need to reach, and as you make your way through the levels they help to keep the cerebral cogs turning. You may have to make your way to the end in a set time, collect alien artefacts or destroy a certain amount of targets, but they never feel miles apart in terms of diversity. There are other objectives where you need to destroy bosses or take out high-tech equipment before you can progress and these sections work really well, adding to the existing task of progressing through the mothership.
I’d happily fly through the tunnels dodging and hurtling at breakneck speeds without any additional responsibilities because the gameplay is so unrestricted as it is. Using the mouse as your control is a fantastic mechanic; you don’t need to worry about firing with the keyboard, and the responsiveness of your movement is excellent. All you need to do is move the mouse wherever you want to fly to and click the left button to use your boosters. If you need to fire at anything, the ship will automatically lock on and fire.
Outside of the main adventure, you have Survival Mode which allows you to compete with other players’ scores around the world. You’ll start off travelling pretty slowly through a random tunnel, but as you move further down the rabbit hole the speed increases and you’ll wonder how the hell you’re still alive; you reach a zen-like status and somehow manage to keep going as everything moves past you in a blur, rapidly disappearing. I spent a fair amount of time in survival mode because it’s so much fun and probably the best thing about The Collider 2, helping to add another layer of appeal.
Customisation in The Collider 2 features some upgrades to your ship’s basic functionalities, but after you’ve built upon the foundations there isn’t a lot else. You can change your ship’s colours, and after each sector you can buy new ships like the Taurus 1500 and the Scorpio M20 which have faster regeneration speeds and boosts. You can purchase all your upgrades and ships with the credits you earn in the campaign, and it’s important to upgrade your cooling systems and boosters because levels get harder as the game progresses.
The difficulty suddenly goes from normal to utterly berserk within a few levels. I found myself comfortably making my way through the game until about halfway through Sector One, then having to up my game significantly to get any further. You will get angry and you will shout, probably unaware you’re doing it until your friends or family jump out of ther skin as a result. The Collider 2 is tough, but if you’re used to a challenge it’ll be like taking space candy from a xenomorphic infant.
There is a solid challenge here and even though you may get pissed off with the man who keeps telling you you’ve failed after every crash, it shouldn’t put you off. With VR capability available when they launch, The Collider 2 will be even more chaotic than it is on your monitor and it will no doubt cause a heart attack or two. For the time being, if you like a simple science fiction game that requires quick reflexes and one hell of a challenge, The Collider 2 is for you.
Great control system.
Survival mode is entertaining.
Twitch-heavy gameplay pushes you to your limits.
Customisation is lacking.
Difficulty can be too much at times.