Nov 25, 2016
Calm me down as my heart stutters. Space Marshals 2 is here.
See, the first one was awesome. It’s hard to m=nail down why. Was it the space cowboy storyline? The chapter-based gameplay? Or was it the lead character that would have Tom Selleck begging for an autograph? Either way, it is a game that still resonates.
The sequel manages to bring back all that goodness, with a dash of more that makes it even cooler.
The core gameplay remains similar to the first iteration. We get some backstory — our famed Marshal Burton and some comrades are stolen off the marshal transport Artemis while in stasis; they awaken at a mining colony. Seems like there is bounty on the Burton, and some enterprising space bandits are only too happy to collect.
The opening scene helps folks get in on the controls and take in the visuals. With the help pg TAMI, and AI mechanism, the player learns how to control the lead character (through leftwards gestures) and the shooting mechanism (which is by touch/targeting). The player has to roam about, collecting items, working minor puzzles and interacting with people and objects.
The action works through missions which are further broken down into tasks. Each mission as an overarching goal, and there might be additional extras to get at as well. A lot of the action involves taking out space pirates, and there is a logic with regards to the best way to tackle this. They generally roam around, and have a visual field of vision that moves with them. If the player is “seen” by the enemy, they start shooting, and that might bring more baddies running.
To combat this, the game not only allows Burton to crouch into stealth mode, but he can actually creep around and, if the enemy’s back is turned, can dispatch them quietly. Or, one can take the bull by the horns and come in with guns blazing.
There are goodies to collect, and health and safety bonuses that can be used during missions.
The visuals help make this game pop. Fine animations, a hint of ragdoll physics and the landscape presentation make it all so becoming. Good guys are green, bad red and the oranges can go either way… interesting all round.
It’s hard to come back from a great game with a worthy sequel. This is how it’s done.