You don’t see action platformers that often any more, so when we found Intrusion 2 thanks the marvellous Humble Bundles, we almost jumped from our chairs.
Intrusion 2 is a flash game follow up to the original Intrusion from VAP Games, a small Russian development team which is so small it actually only consists of one person, you can play the original for free here.
A quick glance makes evident that Intrusion 1 was basically just a prototype for this game, so you’re probably not missing much if you jump ahead straight to this little gem.
What do we have in front of us? Basically, a classic run and gun platformer in the vein of the classic Contra or Metal Slug, though its control scheme is closer to that of classic game Abuse (another little known masterpiece that will indeed feature in our Underrated section in the future). Now, enough beating around the bush, what’s in the game?
So, as mentioned, it’s a run and gun platformer done in flash. For those unaware or in need of a refresher, this means that you move your character through a 2D playing field while gunning down mostly everything that pops into the screen, as you evade obstacles, jumping and shooting your way through.
The interesting thing about Intrusion 2 is its inclusion of a physics engine. Scrap metal and enemy bodies pile up, you can knock down boxes and scenery to make pathways, pieces fall off of enemies and water moves and rushes when explosions happen on it or near it. One very interesting boss fight has an event where the room fills with magma and you’ve got to stay on some floating rocks away from the deadly “liquid”, made more difficult because the boss’ attacks make the magma flow rapidly and the rocks bouncy.
This is not to say the engine is without problems; the way things behave sometimes seems “floaty” and enemies feel more like paper dolls or action figures than real people, not to mention that sometimes scrap and debris from battle block important pathways. Weight also seems odd – you can knock down a tower of boxes of military equipment just by walking against it with a lot of determination.
However, this barely detracts from the game, and the engine does give the game some of it’s finer moments, like fighting inside a building that it’s being picked up by a giant robot.
The game controls fantastically well, using the WASD keys for movement (W being jump and S being crouch) as you aim with the mouse. The aiming sometimes causes problems with the paltforming, as you have to get used to the fact that the protagonist faces the direction you’re aiming, independently from where you are moving, and jumping towards the direction you’re facing carries you farther than jumping backwards.
As you progress, you’ll acquire a variety of weapons to carry, from your standard gun and sub-machine-gun to energy blasters and grenade launchers. Many of these weapons have very specific uses, making you switch strategies on the fly. Also, unlike other games of this style, human enemies carry the same type of weapons that you do, albeit with way more limited skill, making it imperative to recognize what each enemy carries and prepare accordingly.
To spice things up, in some levels you’ll be able to jump on a mech, metal slug style, and rampage through it with massive firepower. This levels are also interesting because of the addition of a grappling hook to your mech, which works more as a weapon, allowing you to grab items from the scenery and throw them with lethal accuracy to your enemies.
Graphics wise, the game is really colourful, though scenario recycling is evident, but the action usually keeps you from noticing. Specially impressive are the games bosses, many being huge machines with independently animated parts that interact with the scenario.
Review Round Up
Graphics: 4/5 - Keeping things in perspective, and remembering it’s an indie game done by just one person, one cannot but amaze himself with the games design and animations. A lot of work went into this, thumbs up!
Sound: 3/5 – No bad, but nothing that will elevate it over it’s peers.
Gameplay: 4/5 – Some annoying quirks of the gameplay keeps it from getting a perfect score, but is still a solid game with tight controls.
Longevity: 3/5 - While pretty short, it’s one of those games that, like all good arcades, entices you for a second, third, and maybe forth run. Will still not take up much of your time, though.
Overall: 4 Giant Robots out of 5
Intrusion 2 is a noble and grand effort for a sole developer. It reeks style and the passion that went into it is more than evident. It also helps that it’s really fun.
Considering that the current price for the game is only $10 you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you miss it.
- Jose Luis Pérez Zapata