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PixelJunk Shooter review

Excellent
AT A GLANCE
  • Simple art style has personality
  • Perfect controls
  • Clever gameplay that keeps evolving
  • Visuals don't exactly spit out 20,000 polygons
  • Only three worlds to conquer
  • High score function isn't really suited to it

How many brain cells does it take to shoot an explosive barrel? Considerably less than you’ll spill with a well-aimed headshot. That’s the trouble with shooters - melon-splatting aside - they’re just not that cerebral. Quite why this game is called PixelJunk: Shooter is a mystery. There’s no over the shoulder viewpoint, sniper rifles or those ubiquitous explosive barrels. But there are more puzzles here than in a bumper book of Sudoku.

The aim of the game is to navigate a series of subterranean caverns, shooting weird lifeforms, gathering jewels and rescuing miners as you go. But there’s more to it than that. Complicating your progress are deadly flows of lava that can be diverted by creating pathways through the rock or cooled with water.

The physical properties of the liquids (and later gasses) are brilliantly realized – particularly the way in which they react together. For instance, introducing water to lava will create rock, dousing oil with water will make gas, and so on. Understanding these principles is often the key to success. That, fast flying and even faster thinking.

The gameplay develops beautifully by introducing flammable gas, fast freezing ice and ship seeking oil. There are even temporary ship upgrades that allow you to spew lava, squirt water and excavate the rock with an improved grapple. Developer Q-Games have excavated several generations’ worth of evolution and taken things back to basics. The end result has more in common with Asteroids than Gears of War, but its smart physics-based puzzles make it so much more than a retro oddity.

Dec 16, 2009

More Info

Release date: Dec 10 2009 - PS3 (US)
Dec 10 2009 - PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Shooter
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: Q-games
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Lyrics, Mild Fantasy Violence
PEGI Rating:
7+

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5 comments

  • Anduin1 - December 29, 2009 4:26 a.m.

    The game is a lot of fun, it is a little short and wouldve been better if there were 5 worlds to explore but as it is, it was more worth it than the dozens of DLC packs priced at $10. This and Eden are my favorite pixeljunk games
  • NorwegianKingOfNames - December 17, 2009 9:58 a.m.

    @ DasavageJ If you can't understand why it's stupid to declare you're first when commenting on something, you can't understand LIFE.
  • garnsr - December 17, 2009 4:30 a.m.

    that should of course be having trouble, not troubling.
  • garnsr - December 17, 2009 4:30 a.m.

    If Rory's having troubling understanding why a game with a spaceship is called a shooter, he was probably born in the late 80's or early 90's. I'm enjoying this game, just watch out when you're spraying lava around, it'll get you back.
  • DasavageJ - December 17, 2009 12:51 a.m.

    Woo I love this game. It's addictive just like Monsters and Eden before it. (Would it have really ruined your day if I said first? I'm just curious as to why its so bothersome to people) Anyway thanks for the article Rory Smith.

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