By Roberto Nieves
Developer: SideQuest Studios
Platform: PlayStation 4
I absolutely love spaceship shooters. They are quick, easy, exciting, and engaging, providing a fine balance of instant, addictive action and a challenge that pits the players against endless hordes of enemies in a desperate attempt to save the universe. There are hundreds of spaceship shooters out there, ad they are available on every platform, from the Nintendo Switch to your smartphone.
Söldner-X 2 Final Prototype Definitive Edition is one such spaceship shooter, coming from the fine folks at eastasiasoft and SideQuest Studios. After making an appearance on the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita, Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition arrives on the PlayStation 4 for the first time, bringing its signature combat and gameplay to a new generation of players, quickly becoming one of the best action games on the platform.
The original Söldner was released on the PlayStation 3. While it has a fantastic gameplay mechanic and presentation, it was a challenge as hard as crystal, requiring much from the player to master and complete. Söldner follows a massive interstellar war, with the elite Söldner Squadron tasked with defending the Frontier from a vicious alien race known as the Da'arg. Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition follows up the events of the first Söldner, introducing a more vengeful foe with far more dangerous enemies.
Söldner-X 2 Final Prototype is a game I played endlessly on my PlayStation Vita as I remarked on its incredibly interstellar presentation and a gameplay mechanic that actually worked to best adapt itself to my skill level. Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype had this way of jumping off the screen, feeling like a high-quality arcade title that shouldn't be on a small system like the PlayStation Vita. Still, it managed to perform greatly, becoming an excellent companion for gaming on the go. I played the game anywhere and everywhere I could, working hard to master and eventually defeat the game.
Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition is a welcome return for such a talented and strongly made spaceship shooter that everyone should have in their library.
Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition is a horizontal spaceship shooter that features what one would expect from a Shoot 'Em Up. Players move up and down, avoiding enemies and enemy fire while dishing out offensive power from one of three weapons. Depending on the ship chosen, players use spread shots, mine launchers, magma beams, and a large assortment of other weapons. The biggest draw is its core gameplay systems.
Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition utilizes a special ranking and chain system that adapts to the player's play style. The better players play, the higher the rank becomes. Subsequently, the higher rank brings deadlier enemies onto the screen and in larger numbers.
This means that players, who may be new to spaceship shooters, will not necessarily be punished for failure, though they will not be granted automatic immunity from a challenge either. Players can crash and get shot down but be given a chance to find their groove and increase their rank again. Coupled with the rank system are chains, which formed in small cycles, and the cycles are completed as players decisively engage enemies.
Most enemies drop rings, not unlike the ones seen in Sonic The Hedgehog. Collecting these and letting go of the fire button when possible completes chains and unlocks special power-ups from increased weapon power to special attacks and health. These systems are easy to learn, and they benefit the players if they are willing to play more and get better at learning the many challenges Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition will send their way.
There doesn't seem to be much in terms of new content or great improvements for Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition. Nonetheless, Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition features much faster load times and a cleaner look to visual assets. Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition sounds as strong as ever, with a wonderful score by Rafael Dyll. A new art gallery accompanies the entire package, and the ability to play with another player heightens the already incredibly enjoyable gameplay.
Newer levels or chapters would have been a nice addition, but Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition has a bevy of content to choose from. There is much to return to for completionists, from finding the secrets keys to playing additional levels and a long list of challenges that will test even the most confident pilot.
Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition is the kind of game I strongly recommend everyone to play as it clearly was made for players of all skill levels to enjoy and master. Most of all, it was made for fun and excitement. The visuals pop off the screen, the intergalactic shooting on display is interstellar, and there is enough content to keep players occupied for many Earth hours. After Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype I am bursting with enthusiasm for what the team has created, and I encourage players to embark on this intergalactic voyage.
Soldner- X2: Final Prototype Definitive Edition was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 console thanks to a review key generously supplied to Stack Up by eastasiasoft.