These enemies can be absolute bastards.
Yes, everything is trying to kill you. Enemies can fill the air with bullets, rockets, or little stars as seen above. Don't get me wrong; this isn't a "bullet hell" title. The fire fights come in short bursts, punctuated by fluid dynamic puzzles and hazards, and they can be punishing. This is my biggest gripe with the game: PixelJunk Shooter 2's difficulty ranges from cakewalk to soul crushing.
Enemy spawns are triggered by different events. As you pick up that last survivor you may hear a little shriek, and these tiny little sentient shurikens may come spinning at you while you have no room to move. Boom, you're dead. Now you get to play the map all over. You have limitless space crafts, so you can die all you want, but if you lose too many survivors, it's game over. You then have to play the whole stage, which comprised of several maps, from the beginning. For every one hundred stars you collect the game un-kills a survivor, so it is pretty hard to actually see the fail screen. You'll be turning this game off due to frustration long before you run out of survivors. Oh, by the way, your weapons can and will kill the little guys, too.
Prepare for awkward controls in multiplayer glory!
There is a competitive multiplayer mode titled Online Battle. In this one on one mode you take turns playing defense and offense. One player tries to rescue survivors while the other tries to blast him out of the sky. You earn points that can be used to upgrade your vehicle. The odd thing is that your ship controls differently than in the game. Each shot fired has a recoil and makes your vehicle unwieldy. I tried it once, and somehow won. I then retired, undefeated.
If you make it to the light and dark areas, congratulations, you are a masochist!
The co-op in this game is identical to the first. Two players share a screen and follow one another through each level. If you enjoyed the co-op in PJS, you'll find more of the same here. The addition of a second player offers a nice safety net, since if one player dies and the other survives, the crashed player will respawn after a time penalty. Manipulating the puzzles can become a chore, as one of you will inevitably be left off to the side while the other gets to play with stomach acid. Asking your partner to cram themselves into a corner while you control the flow of liquid hot magma does not make a good co-op game. The difficulty will turn off casual gamers, and hardcore gamers won't want to sit and wait while someone else handles the puzzles. PixelJunk Shooter 2 is a fun, solid, title if you can look past the frustrating challenge. The harsh difficulty becomes even more apparent with a second person.
The Co-Op Experience: Players work together to rescue people in an underground world filled with dangerous lava, rushing water, and other creatures. Players are able to revive fallen team mates by grappling them and dipping them into water to "cool off."
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.