Space Marshals 2 review
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Space Marshals 2 review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on August 30th, 2016
Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: SEE YOU, SPACE COWBOY
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This dual-stick shooter isn't too different from its predecessor, but that's also not a bad thing.

Developer: Pixelbite

Price: $5.99
Version: 1.0.17
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

If you haven't already played Space Marshals, you probably should. Its mix of stealth action with dual-stick shooting is downright awesome. With Space Marshals 2, it seems like Pixelbite decided they shouldn't really mess with their formula too much. Most of this new Space Marshals game looks and plays like its predecessor, but that's totally okay. Space Marshals 2 is a fantastic sequel.

Interstellar gunslinger

Much like other dual-stick shooters, the Space Marshals games are played from an overhead perspective. You run around space-western-style environments, taking down all sorts of bad guys, completing objectives, and picking up collectibles along the way.

The thing about Space Marshals that makes it play pretty differently from something like Geometry Wars 3 or Xenowerk, for example, is that it's also a stealth game. In fact, sneaking around is likely your best option in most situations, since enemies can gang up on you and take you out easily. In Space Marshals 2, they've doubled down on their stealth mechanics, adding in a lot more non-lethal and quiet options, including melee stealth takedowns, throwing axes, and more.

Build up your arsenal

In order to get your hands on more of this gear, Space Marshals 2 has a loot reward system that is similar, though not exactly like, the previous game. At the end of any level, you are graded on your performance, which is generally tied to how many times you died. Based on the score you earn, you'll be given up to four rewards to choose from, which are generally in the form of new weapons, armor, or items. An interesting aspect of this system is that each piece of loot is tied to a specific level, meaning that when you see two rewards you want at the end of a level, you'll have to play through the level twice to get both.

In addition to this system, Space Marshals 2 has an array of collectible hats and CORE-V coins you can find tucked away in certain levels. The hats you pick up are purely cosmetic items you can equip between levels at will, while the coins can be collected and used in what is essentially a loot vending machine. If you collect enough coins, you put them in the machine, and receive a random piece of loot in return.

Same old cowboy

If you were expecting a huge overhaul of Space Marshals with Space Marshals 2, you'll be disappointed here. Although there are some improvements and differences, the game looks, feels, and plays pretty much exactly like the first game.

That said, this game takes the building blocks of what made the original so good, and repurposes it such that levels feel more open, choosing the right gear feels more important, and ignoring stealth feels a lot more dangerous. So while not a total evolution, Space Marshals 2has plenty to offer over the first game.

The bottom line

Space Marshals 2 takes what was great about the first game and adds to it ever so slightly. In some ways, this makes it feel like a half-step of a sequel, but it's still great fun.

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