chlomo's V2000 (PC) review

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Shooting bugs with spacecrafts.

Well here we are, I'm 22 years late but it's time to review V2000, having played the game on Playstation and PC I can say with confidence that if you want to beat this game throw the Playstation version out because the slow down will make that game unplayable.

From what I understood from the opening cutscene is that a meteor landed and brought with it the virus, that's spread and turned bugs into giant mutant bugs and has made more drastic changes to ecosystems on other worlds. You're task is to eradicate the mutated creatures, protect your base and save the natives who can be trained to produce more weaponry for your ship. You fail if either the virus percentage goes beyond acceptable levels, too many natives die, your base is destroyed or you straight up destroy your ship and any backups you had.

There's a wide selection of worlds to explore from underwater worlds where you comb the depths of the ocean to dense jungles and dry canyons, medieval forests and alien landscapes that resemble conditions on planet Venus, most of them have secret portals to other worlds in them which I always found great fun to explore due to the size of some of the worlds. The enemies also vary from basic insects like ants and beetles to coral fish and lobsters, sharks, dragons and finally outlandish alien like creatures, a lot of time has been spent in making the enemy variety interesting but the combat itself is a bit of a shambles. The arsenal of weapons is pretty huge with chainguns, lasers, explosive, bombs, grenades, water canons, flame throwers, missiles and an array of totally useless things like a spray that allows you to spread the virus, the exact opposite thing you want to do if you want to win and novelty weapons that allow you to possess enemy creatures and skulk around as a laser shooting lobster for a while.Most enemy types are weak to only a specific type of weapon with some weapons being totally useless against some enemies. Common sense though, water canon isn't going to hurt a shark.

The weapons are all fun and entertaining to use but the real problem is that the combat sucks. I find the controls extremely limiting for the kind of manoeuvrability you're expected to achieve whilst trying to shoot flying wasps out of the air with what feels like 3D tank controls, you're ship has two modes, hover and fly. Hover mode lets you control the ship with tank controls and is generally the easiest for traversing open plains and sea floors. If you're foe is close to the floor then thats fine you can adjust the height of the guns and just aim down. Then there's fly which is a combination of flappy bird and Chris redfield where you can tilt up and down swivel side to side but have to hold down accelerate to stay in the air, even after years of trying to master this mode I still can't get the hang of it, air combat is very messy in my opinion. With no locking on and you and your target both trying to maintain elevation, you tend to spray and pray you're ammunition because the targeting system is kind of temperamental, from my experience, air combat involves both of you flailing around until one of you dies.

Some levels have alternative objectives but some of these are exceptionally hard I found, in a certain level you're tasked with gathering enough natives and training them at your base to stop a meltdown at a reactor, whilst gathering them and training them isn't hard, for some unknown reason the reactor itself, where you need to drop off the natives, is on top of a plateau surrounded by a sheer cliff face which is next to impossible to try and scale since flying only allows you to raise the ship a certain and extremely limited altitude from the floor. Other areas have incredibly hostile enemies that attack the natives relentlessly and kill them before you've properly got a grasp on where everything is and once the natives have reached minimum, the world is lost and you might as well restart. Then finally there's also the chance that you'll travel to a world with a specific enemy you have no way of defeating until you get equipment from another world, but the problem is you won't know until you try.

Luckily there are a lot of gadgets you can beam aboard your ship to help you including lead weights to allow you to sink the bottom of bodies of water so you can explore them, portable turrets (that will always be a better shot than you), decontamination units that hover around and distribute a blue formula that reduces virus build up, teleporters that allow natives to be beamed directly to your base and radars that can fill in any blank areas on your map. You can also gain shields by finding hidden trophies or beating a level before the time limit and you can also upgrade your ship with increased cargo space and gain an extra "life" by having a second ship built, which is done slowly as you progress through the levels.

The graphics are quite impressive for the time and the sound whilst mostly stock ambient sound effects of forests and deserts are charming in their own simple way. It's difficulty spikes are random, it's story is mostly not there and using devastating weapons and tank flying controls will have you destroying your own ship by firing a missile at the floor or going 200mph backwards into a tree. It it still quite a cool game I have a lot of nostalgia for but it leaves a lot to be desired.

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