Actually bothering to complete a game before reviewing it is probably the general industry standard in this writing business, but when a game produces the amount of problems that Intrusion 2 does in the first 7 out of 9 levels it becomes clear it’s going to be impossible to recommend.
The tragic part is that Intrusion 2 has a really good side scrolling action game buried in it somewhere, and it has it moments, but those moments aren’t likely to last more than a few seconds before the experiences gets infected by one of the many issues the game has. Let’s start with the game physics, the levels are littered with crates and other objects, and enemy corpses and robot parts will also stay on screen and clutter up the screen even after you’ve killed them. This causes all sorts of problems, one that stands out as especially frustrating is health pickups and weapons being stuck under of pile of dead guys because their robot buddies are at the back spamming míssiles.
The physics of having objects be pushed around and blown around screen makes the game play differently every time, but not in a good way. It just means that you’ll get lucky sometimes because a pile of scrap metal gets knocked in a way that it gives you good cover, and other times it’ll block paths temporarily and get you murdered, which is where frustration starts to come in. But they really start to become unacceptable when they’re incorporated into gameplay, one boss battle has a part where you have to start on rocks before lava shoots them into the sky, but the physics seem to act differently each time and sometimes the rocks will bounce off each other and unavoidably send you crashing into soaring flames.
There’s also something wrong with the jump button, I was using a gamepad which the game does support but maybe the keyboard controls work fine, but then again any side scrolling action game that doesn’t have strong gamepad controls best report to the woodshed for its daily whipping. It’s weird because there’s no issue with the controls 90% of the time, but then for no reason it just won’t work, and a fast paced action game which occasionally takes the jump button away from you at random will irritate you and it will get you killed. Just to recap, out of all the hazards in this game, the two that are mostly likely to get you killed are the controls and the physics.
Intrusion 2 really struggles to maintain any sense of flow which is really important to the genre. The best way to combat larger enemies and minibosses is just to keep backtracking and shooting or just run past them, there’s no intense mid-level battles to be had here. Checkpoint placement seems all the place too, sometimes it’s preferable to just run to the next checkpoint taking hits, then die, and respawn at the new checkpoint than you know, actually playing the video game. Then of course there’s checkpoints that seem to never come and force you to do large sections of the level again. It’s not fair to have a go at an indie game for being short (although Intrusion 2 is) but it is fair to have a go at it for padding itself out artifically with bad design this like.
Weapons in the game are alright if somewhat lacking in variety. The biggest problem with them is that pickups are small and not obvious, there’s no big glowing letters like it Metal Slug screaming at you “THIS IS THE SHOTGUN YOU SHOULD TOTALLY PICK IT UP BRO!” In Intrusion 2 they’re just kind of squares on the ground, which will lead you to run over them unknowingly at it automatically switches your weapon to the one you just picked up. This would be fine if one of the weapons, namely the grenade launcher, didn’t also hurt you if you fired it too close to an enemy which was a foolish design decision. It means that you can be in a shootout, accidentally pick up a grenade launcher and blow yourself into a million pieces causing more frustration.
One part where Intrusion 2 picked up was the first boss battle, which although not exactly original was fairly well designed and had strong checkpoint placements which kept frustration away at least for one level. Of course, the tick and happy face Intrusion 2 gets for this boss battle gets immediately taken away for the second one which is way too long and doesn’t have enough checkpoints forcing you more often than not to start the entire fight again when you screw up, and also has the pre-mentioned issue with the rocks.
It’s not nice having to be so mean to Intrusion 2, as mentioned early on in this review there’s a perfectly decent action game in here somewhere, and just having a patch to fix the issue with the jump button would instantly improve it. At the same time though, the levels feel very samey, the music is repetitive and dull, the action is generally quite slow and it’s plagued with poor design decisions, and all these issues drag what could have been a good game to one that becomes difficult to recommend to anyone.
Frankly, the biggest issue I had personally with this game is the entire time I was playing it I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wished I was playing Contra on the NES instead. Which on reflection, had more appealing graphics, better music, better controls, faster action, more variety, a two player mode and you can download it on an emulator in about 15 seconds and not have to pay 10 dollars for it.
So I slam Intrusion 2 without finishing it with my head held high and reviewer integrity intact despite advising to pirate a game from 25 years ago over supporting an indie developer. What a scumbag I am.
Craig CEO I personally found the game OK when I was playing it, It a 2D action shooter based on retro style shooters with huge bosses to take on throughout the game. To me it was very enjoyable and took me back to my childhood, I would like to see two playing support and maybe a slight improvement within the graphics, as we do have the technology to it.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.