Unearthing Mars 2

Take a trip to the future and visit Mars and what is left of Earth while taking down hundreds of enemy droids, robots and monsters. This sequel of Unearthing Mars tops the original in every way and incorporates fun game play, an in depth plot and excellent use of the Aim controller.

Quick Notes
Genre: FPS
Controller: Aim or Dual Shock
Price; $19.99
Length: 3-4 Hours
PlayPSVR Score: 7

Right off the bat I want to admit I was impressed with Unearthing Mars 2. I wasn’t expecting much especially after hearing so many mediocre/bad things about the first one. However, the interesting take on game play, use of the Aim controller and beautiful environments left me wanting more.

To be honest, I didn’t play Unearthing Mars 1 so I had no idea about the plot or idea. But this game did an amazing job on not being so dependent on the first game to confuse the players who had not played the first one. It was so good, in fact, that if you told me there wasn’t a prequel, then I would never have known. So I commend the development team for this and if you are on the fence about this game because you haven’t played the first one, don’t let that be your deciding factor.

I will say that the plot is much more complex and intricate than I expected. Especially near the end, it was even a little too complicated. There is a lot of bouncing around and complex ideas and twists being thrown in. It’s good, but you really need to be on your toes at all cut scenes or you’ll be lost real quick. At the ending they could have toned down the mind bombs and twists so you could keep up, but regardless the plot was great, even though it was confusing (again, some of this may be because I didn’t play the first one).

The first thing I need to mention about the game play is the Aim controller, God’s gift to PSVR fans. I mean it doesn’t disappoint, just like it never has. Tracking works perfectly and as you navigate through the game with the 6 different weapons, it is an utter blast blowing those suckers into smithereens with the controller. It ups the immersion and fun factor by 10. Great decision to include it.

At it’s heart, this game is actually a wave shooter. I don’t like wave shooters. However, it is disguised so well that it took me like 1.5 hours in to realize that it was. So that is how fun and crazy the plot/game play is. So even though I don’t like wave shooters I didn’t mind this game at all. Although near the end, it got a little old with the wave shooter-ness.

So you play as a person collecting as much info about the past and the war on Mars which also involved Earth to some degree. The game is not full locomotion unfortunately and uses a teleportation technique I don’t remember seeing on PSVR before. So you teleport, but you can only teleport where it tells you. So essentially your route is predetermined and there is nothing you can do about it. That is a bummer, but when you teleport to different areas sometimes time slows down and you can go ham on the enemies while in mid-air and other times you get some cool transition scenes. This isn’t an ideal, top-notch quality of a game, but it wasn’t so annoying and bad that made me want to quit the game whatsoever.

You have two guns and can switch between then. You teleport to an area, enemies pop up around you and it’s your job to destroy them with your people (or I guess in this case robot) killer. It is very simple but really somehow it really kept me enjoying it for a long time. The game play is really fast paced and again the Aim controller makes it so fun. The last 30 min of the game gets to be a lot though and it becomes very painful and not fun. But I mean, to push through only 30 minutes of boring repetitious game play isn’t bad.

The thing I like best about this game are the environments.  I played the game on the PS4 Pro and even with that it's fuzzy.  But only some things are fuzzy, it's strange.  But the environments, especially, when you are looking for enemies and in the middle of action look amazing and really sets the tone for the game.  The use of vibrant colors mixed with dark ominous ones helps you "feel" the game and grasp the dire nature of the situation. In several circumstances I just stood there in amazement of space, the technology around me and crazy psychological worlds I was in.  It really did remind me of Super Metroid in many parts where there were aliens in large vats of liquid, advanced looking tech and maze like paths.  If you purchase this game be prepared for some awesome atmospheres.  

The most negative thing I can say about the game is its repetitious nature.  You will only note this near the end of the game when you just have wave after wave of enemies coming and they are strong enough to take several rounds of bullets.  It’s literally just shoot, shoot, reload.  Shoot, shoot, reload.  Shoot, shoot, reload.  After about 20 minutes of that straight, not only does your hand start to get tired but it wears you patience thin.  Overall, the game again masks that it is a wave shooter well but near the end I was ready to quit playing due to the level design here and the amount of enemies that popped up.  Another disadvantage this game has is the fact that once you play it once, the plot is ruined, so unless you just want to blast some robots away again, there isn't a big incentive to replay it.  

Unearthing Mars 2 was a huge surprise that delivered with fun game mechanics, sweet environments, down to earth game play and overall quite the enjoyable experience.  Even though the game has its faults and somewhat confusing mechanics at times, it was an enjoyable ride that I honestly would advise to take a plunge on.  Especially if you are considering a wave shooter this one easily excels in immersion, combat and graphics.  

PlayPSVR Score: 7