The Collider 2 (PC Review)
It was around twenty seconds into my first playthrough of The Collider 2 that I realised that this game may not be for me. That’s precisely how long it took me to fail the tutorial.
But let me back up a bit first. The Collider 2 (from Techland’s sister studio, Shortbread Studios), is what you could probably classify as a “twitch racer”. Piloting up to six different starfighters, your job is to navigate through a series of tunnels connected to a mothership that’s systematically destroying your homeworld, whilst dramatic orchestral music soundtracks your progress. So far, so Star Wars.
Where The Collider 2 differentiates itself from the destruction of the Death Star (sorry for the near 39-year-old spoiler!) is that it’ll take a lot more than a single trip to do so, with The Collider 2 breaking up its levels into smaller missions, generally lasting no more than 30-60 seconds.
In fact, this is where The Collider 2 begins to reveal its true style, adopting a mobile-like progression structure that will seem very familiar to anyone who has played a game on their phone in the last couple of years. As well as those quickfire levels, you’ll instantly recognise the progression gating and three-star scoring system that so many mobile games adopt.
Truth be told, this structure has always left me a little cold, even in the best examples of it, but it does have the advantage of making The Collider 2 a good pick-up-and-play title. This, in turn, makes it a pretty good title to show off your brand spanking new VR headset, coming with – surprise, surprise – VR support as it does (unfortunately, I have yet to master shitting money, so a headset remains outwith my grasp for now but I’m led to believe by others that it actually works exceptionally well).
And, to be fair to The Collider 2, the title’s mobile sensibilities don’t mean that it feels budget. Running on Unreal Engine 4, movement is exceptionally smooth. Whilst many of the tunnels you’ll traverse are somewhat plain and the draw distance is kept intentionally short, you’ll be moving so quickly and so reactively that you’ll rarely notice.
Speaking of which, and now that we’re all caught up, let’s go back to my original point. The Collider 2 is pretty unforgiving. Actually, if I’m being honest here, it’s pretty unforgiving for me. Because I’m old. No, seriously. You see, as well as its ever increasing speed, your ship is very fragile – one touch of the outer walls or two touches of the inner walls and you’re done. Combine those various factors and you’ll quickly need cat-like reflexes to make it through the early levels, let alone those tricker later levels.
And, well, I don’t have those reflexes any more. I’m rapidly approaching 40 and, as such, my reactions are less instant and more “in installments”. Therefore, The Collider 2 became something of an exercise in frustration for me, which is a shame, because I can absolutely see its appeal.
So, my recommendation comes with a caveat. Under the age of 30? This is absolutely worth your time. It’s quick, exciting and instantly accessible with genuine replayability. Over the age of 30? I don’t know…have you tried chess? Chess is really good…
Editor’s note: This post was written by none other than Andy Manson, you can find his work on various sites ranging from Playboy to InsertDisc. If you want to pester him about his choices or show your support for his work, you can find him on Twitter under @PsychTyson.