Gaining critical mass...

Since its release in 2014, fans have been asking incessantly for a physical release of FuturLab’s critically acclaimed Velocity 2X. Now - after announcing a partnership with BadLand Games back in March - that promised release finally hits store shelves and the publisher were kind enough to provide us a copy for review.

This slightly heftier than normal physical release - titled Velocity 2X: Critical Mass Edition - comes packed with a few extra goodies inside. You’ll find a soundtrack CD, exclusive studio booklet (or manual to us normal folk) and of course the game itself, which also includes all downloadable content and a making-of documentary on the disc.

Upon cracking open those plastic jaws the first thing you’ll be greeted by - well aside from that addictive new game smell goodness of course - is the soundtrack CD neatly tucked away within the manual compartment.

Now I will say as a hoard- I mean collector, never store your soundtrack CD’s here (unless you want it to get damaged); instead laying them flat atop the game disc is the best option, otherwise you’ll find their edges easily creased from the consistent opening and closing of the game case.

The soundtrack itself comes encased within a cardboard slipcase adorned with Kai artwork on the cover and the twenty track list displayed on the back.

For those unaware, the soundtrack for Velocity 2X was composed by Killzone and Horizon: Zero Dawn composer Joris de Man - or Joe as he affectionately likes to be referred to - and FuturLab studio lead James Marsden.

Unlike Joris de Man’s orchestral work, the soundtrack of Velocity 2X is far more techno and chiptune in nature, befitting the sci-fi thematics and fast-paced arcade gameplay of the critically acclaimed title.

Listening through the 20 tracks (totalling well over an hours worth of audio goodness) it’s hard to specifically pinpoint a favourite - as they’re all excellent - but my personal list would have to include #3 Frontier, the Tron-like #8 Hail Vokh and #10 Boost.

But regardless, much like the best gaming soundtrack’s out there, whether you wish to sit back, relax and reminisce about Velocity 2X or use it as background noise for a bit of mindless gaming or a workout session - it’s the perfect audio companion.

The studio booklet meanwhile is emblazoned with the exact same Kai artwork as the soundtrack CD and game case - with the artwork now featured three times, a little more variety wouldn’t have gone amiss - containing 11 individual pages, totalling all together for 22 pages of full colour content.

Whilst the manual does contain the usual game control and credit information, FuturLab have managed to inject the same creative culture fuelling their studio into the booklet itself; with James Marsden detailing a personal biography of sorts, illuminating the reader on how he started the company and there path through the Velocity series - a small but great little 5 minute read.

Aside from the written content you’ll also find a few pages of studio photos and concept art, but nothing too elaborate in that aspect.

Now the game disc itself is where we finally see a welcomed artwork changeup. As mentioned at the outset, all three pieces of downloadable content are included on the Velocity 2X disc itself - those being Critical Urgency which adds 6 extra levels, Dual Core which adds 10 and Daily Sprint which generates a random level for you to speed run each day - along with a roughly 20 minute making-of video produced by Picture Book Films.

All in all the Velocity 2X: Critical Mass Edition is the culmination of what fans have been waiting for and more, and a must buy for anyone who is a fan of the series or just great games in general.

If you prefer the game on the go, then you’re in luck with a PlayStation Vita release also available, though be warned that particular release doesn’t include the studio booklet or soundtrack CD.

Both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita European version's are currently available to purchase (whether it's Amazon or Play-Asia) with publisher BadLand Games confirming a stateside release for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on October 3rd.

A copy of Velocity 2X: Critical Mass Edition was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Are you going to pickup Velocity 2X? Let us know in the comments below.

NewsInfo

BadLand Games are a publisher split between Spain and UK that release a slew of independent titles which become sought after by collectors.

FuturLab are an award winning game developer based in Brighton, UK.

The Velocity series started it's life as PlayStation Mini title, before being upgraded for the PlayStation Vita (with Velocity Ultra) then receiving it's eventual sequel Velocity 2X in 2014.

Opinion of: David Robinson
Twitter: @5ypher

Posted on 15th September 2017