Hands-on: PixelJunk Shooter 2 for PS3

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Q-Games and Dylan Cuthbert are cooking up plenty of new tricks for PixelJunk Shooter 2, the follow-up to the 2009 PSN title that mixed retro-styled audio-visuals with progressive gameplay mechanics. But once I picked up the controller at last week’s NYC PlayStation media day, I discovered that PixelJunk Shooter 2 expands upon this formula in several key ways.

Light and dark. I quickly learned that darkness is not your friend in PixelJunk Shooter 2. Traveling though a dark area for more than a few seconds will attract invulnerable apparitions – the spectral remnants of a “lost civilization” — and almost instant death. Faced with a long, shadowy tunnel, I turned my cannons on a nearby phosphorescent mushroom. While it bobbed like a metronome, I was able to stay within its small orb of light to pass through the tunnel unscathed.

That’s when I discovered another threat lurking in the darkness: worm-like parasites that latched onto my ship’s hull and slowed my movement to a crawl. Once exposed to light, the worms quickly wither and die — but their slowing effect can spell doom when you’re desperately trying to escape the ghosts.

PixelJunk Shooter 2 for PS3

New elements. By and large, the original game tasked players with manipulating magma and water (plus that magnetic black fluid found near the end of the game) to advantageous effect in order to rescue stranded explorers. But being set inside the “Belly of the Beast,” PixelJunk Shooter 2’s various substances have a more organic theme: I saw a caustic bile-like fluid as well as a mysterious purple ooze.

PixelJunk Shooter 2 for PS3

Eden…found? In another sequence, I encountered vast clouds of a smoke-like substance that caused my ship to spin like a top and careen helplessly out of control. Trouble was, I had to traverse the cloud in order to reach the end of the level. What to do?

While spinning, I used my grappling hook on an oddly shaped object placed nearby, which caused me to swing around and around like a kid on a merry-go-round. By releasing the grappling hook at the right time, I was able to propel myself out of the cloud and safely into the level’s exit. PixelJunk Eden fans will feel right at home!

My first hands-on experience with PixelJunk Shooter 2 didn’t last long, but it also gave me a chance to track down answers to a couple of PlayStation.Blog reader-submitted questions, which I’ve posted below.

plaztiksyke asks: Will PixelJunk Shooter 2 have a longer campaign than the original?

Q-Games is still hard at work on PixelJunk Shooter 2’s development process. From what I’ve been told, they haven’t yet nailed down the set number of levels and environments for the final game, though the game’s overall length is expected to be roughly comparable to the original game.

I was also reminded that PixelJunk Shooter 2 will also include a new competitive arena, as well as a “ghost attack” mode, both of which will add further gameplay options.

plaztiksyke asks: Who’s doing the music for PixelJunk Shooter 2?

High Frequency Bandwidth will be returning to create new music tracks for PixelJunk Shooter 2.

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54 Comments

5 Author Replies

  • I’m totally stoked for this!

  • Only two questions was ask and answer? lulz?

    Glad to see online co-op. co-op was the only reason I purchased the original and will the only reason why I buy the second one. its fun to play with others

  • Awesome! Any idea on release date D:

  • This looks awesome.

    Is Pixel Junk Racer 2nd Lap still coming?

    I’ve been waiting for that for a while and haven’t heard a peep about it in months.

  • Awesome! Instant buy on release day! (If I have enough €’s in my PSN wallet).

  • looks okay, but until i complete the first 1 i probably won’t get it.

  • Looking forward to it.

  • Weird as it may seem, this is one of my most anticipated games right now; the first game was one of the first that I got 100% trophies for, and one that my non-gamer partner enjoys playing also. Even if it were just a level pack with the existing mechanics, I’d be sold; looks like very solid new mechanics coming into play, though, so I’m even more eager

  • is it ea that is publishing the ps3 version portal 2

  • Sure would like to have the music for PJ Shooters BUT..I went to Itunes and HFB’s web site and the songs that I found from the game,they are rapping in them and that ruins it for me..
    Maybe release just the music for the game minus the voices.
    I think ithe music is very good.Rapping..Nope..not so much.

  • Better looking than most Wii games

  • PS..This is undoubtably one of the TOP games on the Network…
    If you have never played the first one,dont let the quirky 2D world fool you…Very thought out game.
    Actually..I praise it all the time.

  • Hey BloodyCow.

    Its not online co-op, its versus mode online.

  • no online coop? :(

  • SPOILERS!!!

  • This game is already released on the Japanese PS Store?

  • Or was I getting this confused with 2nd Lap?

  • @12 musicman1234:

    That can be said for all of the Pixel Junk series. Q-Games are a group of briliant developers.

  • Thanks for SPOILING the game for people like me that have not played the 1st one!! Great job Sony’s marketing department!!

  • Hey I didn’t play the first one, but this looks engaging and fun to play!

  • 15 bucks right?

  • So, how’s PixelJunk Lifelike coming along?

  • I love every PJ game and hope for many more to come. Thank you Pixel Junk!

  • thanks for the game spoiler in the trailer -.-

  • Awesome! can’t wait

  • @22

    I asked Dylan about this on twitter a few days ago.

    “nothing yet… but maybe something soon”

  • @13 Kluzot
    you just crush my interested in this game by a lot :(

  • @19 DZORMAGEN
    The game has been out for 8+ months. Deal with it. Its not SONY fault that haven’t played the game yet

  • @28 BlooodyCow
    There are movies that have been out for years and years, but I don’t see studios spoiling the movie for me or anyone.

    • If you haven’t reached the end of PJ Shooter, there are still plenty of surprises in store for you.

  • I love The team that keeps throwing out these AAA psn titles (AAA to me) but where is the mysterious PJ Dungeon that was announced over a year ago? this is the game im really looking forward to

  • @27 BloodyCow

    Sorry dude, but recheck the trailer if you want.
    Check at 0:43

    – Online versus mode
    – Ghost attack mode.

    There isn’t Co-op in this game isn’t it ?!

  • Wish they put this on the PSP.

  • Campaign the same length? Hopefully the game is a little cheaper, then. When comparing the time of quality gameplay we got from Eden and Monsters for $10, Shooter just comes up short.

    Nice to know HFB is doing the music, but what about the sound quality? PixelJunk games have always had AMAZING music but poor encodes. With other indie games like Critter Crunch and Braid taking good advantage of the PS3’s unique HD audio features, I would really like to see Q Games do the same.

    I’m glad to hear of some Eden influence. PixelJunk Eden was the reason we bought our PS3, and it (and Eden Encore) gave us many, many hours of great entertainment. We are really looking forward to a great Rogue-like co-op experience with PixelJunk Dungeons.

  • @29 DZORMAGEN
    So you are telling me that SONY should take YOU into consideration when releasing a video? ahahhahahahhahahahhahaha….go back to playing WKC…hahahahahahahhaha

  • I’m so jealous of Sid Shuman’s Doctor Manhattan avatar.

    P.S. Sid could you give a ring to DC and possible get DC to put up avatars on the Playstation Store based on there properties, I would love a Lobo avatar.

  • looks SHWEET

  • @34 BlooodyCow

    I didn’t just say ME! I said everyone that has not played the game!

  • getting it

  • I was hoping it would be longer…

    but, I really just can’t wait for this game. It was so much fun.

    Loved the co-op mode as well.

  • I enjoyed the first one. Certainly looking forward to this one.

  • Game looks great so far, I havent played the first one yet :( But I will definitely buy it if it went on sale *hint* *hint*. I played the demo and I really enjoyed it, when the boss came out, I was like “OH **** AWESOME!”

  • will pixeljunk shooter 1 get an update for online coop?

    or have they dropped support

    i hope so..but either way ill be enjoying the 2nd great game 8) my #1 psn game..out of two i decided were good enough to buy

  • *i also liked flower

  • Cant wait.

  • Please, at least a warning of spoilers for the first game :(

  • Is this going to support the move? Everything evolving targeting and shooting stuff should use this controller!

  • involving* lol

  • You teased something about online multiplayer. I was hoping for online Co-op, but now we’ve got a competitive mode. Not as cool, and I hope we still get our online Co-op.

  • Yeah…. thats good news.

  • I hope this gets custom soundtracks! There’s nothing like saving scientists while listening to some of your favorite tunes! (although the same applies to most of my games)

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