You know that bit in Return of the Jedi, right, when they fly the ships through the second Death Star—weaving around poles and spinning through tight spaces? Somebody made that into a game, and it’s called The Collider 2.
The original Collider was a mobile game in which you piloted a “ship” as it flew through a particle accelerator—I might be wrong, but I don’t think that’s what the Large Hadron Collider is for. The Collider 2 has a far clearer setting. A giant alien craft is firing lasers at Earth, and you, in your dinky little starfighter, are going to fly up its rear and destroy it from the inside.
Each mission has one of four objectives: beat the clock, collect all the orbs, destroy all the blocks, and the final mission of a sector is a boss fight. Completing a mission awards medals, and as you would expect, finishing within the time limit, collecting or destroying everything, and beating the boss quickly will award you all three medals. Unlocking more levels is achieved by earning more medals—it’s the classic mobile game formula.
I’m not exactly a fan of this structure; however, it works for The Collider 2. The missions are never longer than a minute, with exception to the boss fights, and the controls are incredibly simple—move the mouse to move the ship, and left click to boost. If you didn’t manage to grab every item or were just a second short of the time, you won’t be irritated by having to hit that restart button. The pace is fast and fun, with the easy control not a detriment at all.
When blasting through the inner workings of the alien craft, you have to navigate your ship past a variety of obstacles. The early levels simply consist of walls with holes you have to pass through, and with time the complexity grows—walls begin to spin, are positioned closer to one another, or only appear at the last second. Every group of nine missions is considered a sector, introducing new obstacles and variants of the previous.
Each sector also unlocks a new ship for purchase. Missions are tied to specific ships, and have to be upgraded to ensure you’ll be earning those three medals each time. Successfully completing a mission also gives you coins, and more can be collected during play—earning XP and levelling up also comes with periodical rewards.
The system works well to begin with, allowing you to fully upgrade each ship without trouble. That is until about sector four when it asks you spend 10,000 coins to unlock the ship you need for the next mission. Having collected all of the medals up to this point, the coin and XP rewards I was earning by replaying old missions was almost negligible, effectively punishing me for how I chose to play the game. I still have not progressed beyond this point.
A good game soured by this poor design, The Collider 2 could have been great. As a sequel to a mobile game, you would not expect much visually from this, but I was surprised by just how great it looks it motion—and that’s without toying with the VR mode. By no means lacking in terms of content, releasing with 54 missions and an endless mode for competing on leaderboards, The Collider 2 is a flawed gem of a game, but worth a punt if you’re looking for something to play between all the AAA releases this summer.
The Collider 2 (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
Some poor design holds The Collider 2 back from being great, and a surprisingly good looking game. While the number of individual missions is high, the differences between the objectives are negligible - play this game is short bursts. Worth a shot over a weekend.