As it turns out, running right and shooting dudes is still pretty fun. Many classic arcade shooters have aged incredibly well due to their addictive jump-shoot-dodge cycle complemented by varied level, enemy, and boss design. There are few modern games that can stand beside those classics.
These days the genre is used for flawed experiments, genre mashing, and ‘80s arcade tributes. Yet, Intrusion 2 is none of these things. It is a meeting point between old game design and new, with every other moment punctuated with some of the most thrilling level and boss design to grace the genre.
As improbable as it may sound, this game made by one guy not only stands up to the classics, it is every bit as good as Gunstar Heroes and Contra.
Intrusion 2 (PC, Mac)
Intrusion 2 is the sequel to a 2008 Flash game. Its sole developer, Aleksey Abramenko, worked on the game for three years, spending upwards of five months on the final boss alone. The effort shows. What doesn’t show is that this is a solo effort with only music being handled by someone else. The graphics, design, and presentation are great, if not better than much of what you'll find on Xbox Live Arcade.
There is a certain control scheme that I love but has, for whatever reason, been unpopular throughout the years. Abuse had it. The Showdown Effect will have it. Intrusion 2 has it and the game makes a perfect case for why fluid, non-restrictive mouse/thumbstick-controlled aiming is so much better. Instead of shooting diagonally, awkwardly trying to position yourself in the right area to hit the enemy, you can jump up and accurately aim. It gives the player so much more freedom in action and helps make Intrusion 2 a fluid and fun shooter from beginning to end.
The rifle mech has a heat-seeking missile and you can use its rifle as a weapon once the mech is destroyed. The sword mech is slow on the draw but can do a lot of damage. Boosting into enemies and timing your swing just right never gets old. My favorite is the harpoon mech which has a bionic arm that can grapple to anything. You can grapple enemies, bring them toward you, and shoot them off into the sky. You can also swing around the environment with it. These moments add some nice variety to this otherwise standard run-and-gun shooter.
[Intrusion 2 is available for purchase at the developer's website and will be on Steam by the end of next month.]
THE VERDICT - Intrusion 2
Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
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