I was actually going to write about something else this week, but I haven’t been able to get myself to write about it and have instead been playing Run 2 all day. So I figured I might as well talk about that instead.
The original Run came out over two years ago, and it was pretty good. The concept was pretty simple: you control a weird gray alien thing and freerun across platforms in space. The big innovative feature was the fact that when you jumped onto a wall, gravity would shift so that the wall became the floor. It made for some entertaining and challenging gameplay where you’d have to observe the level to figure out which way is the best way to avoid falling off the map.
My problem with the game was that while the game made a fairly big deal about how you were navigating in a 3D world, the platforms themselves were completely two-dimensional. This made the level design very limited. Yeah, some of the levels came up with pretty creative ways of throwing you off, but eventually it all started to feel samey.
Well I’m happy to report that this problem is gone in the sequel. Now the platforms are all three-dimensional, and you have to jump between blocks that are set at different levels of height and depth. This opens up all sorts of new possibilities for level design, and if you thought the first game was tough and confusing, you’re gonna have a lot of fun with this one.
That innovation alone probably would have been enough to hold up a whole new game, but it’s only the first of three new ideas that this game came along with. The second one can be seen right on the title screen, and it sort of renders the name of the game half obsolete. See, this game only involves running in half of the levels. In the other half of the levels, you’re skating. The skater is a lot harder to control than the runner, but he can jump farther, so he’s essentially like Luigi in Mario: The Lost Levels (that’s Mario 2 in Japan). Oh, and when the game says that he’s “harder to control,” good lord, it is not kidding.
The last new feature is probably my favorite. In each level there’s one glowy thing called a bonus, and if you collect them you can unlock extra bonus levels. This obviously isn’t an original idea in the slightest, but it adds a lot to the gameplay. They’re always hidden in clever places, and you have to come up with alternate ways of getting through the levels by jumping onto the bottom side of a platform or going on a very dangerous jump to get to it or even just to see it. It makes every level at least twice as replayable. I still haven’t gotten them all yet.
So in summary, this game is really creative and clever. I see no reason not to like it, unless you aren’t experienced with platformers (which is totally understandable, mind you). On the whole, I say you should definitely give the game a shot if you have time.