Space Elite Force 2, like its predecessor, has released on the Nintendo eShop. While the games were originally released on Steam two years apart, Switch owners can now quickly drop in and annihilate alien ships in both titles from the comfort of a handheld. I really enjoyed the first Space Elite Force title, so now it’s time to see how well the story has continued in the next chapter.
STORY – RECOVERY MISSION
SEF2 picks up right where the first game left off: an exploratory crew was sent to learn more about the nearest galaxy. In this sequel, we learn that they mysteriously disappeared, and the alien species Klyvu are once again to blame for wiping them out. With important data missing from the human wreckage, the Space Elite Force is reformed, and players take control of this superior crew once again to shoot the heck out of all sorts of enemy ships.
We see more characters and set up in this sequel than we did in the last game, which is a welcome addition for the second title in a series. The developers at Moraes Studio have fleshed out the narrative a bit more to make Space Elite Force 2 a more well-rounded package right from the start.
GAMEPLAY – DON’T SPACE OUT
Space Elite Force 2 has done a great job of improving where the last title was lacking. Controls are the same, as with most other shoot ’em up games. You will be flying a tiny ship through a level destroying enemies with your initially weak weaponry, and as you progress you may upgrade the ship and weapons accordingly. The upgrade system got an overhaul. Rather than using a money system as in the first title, this time around there is a more streamlined point system. Every enemy ship drops energy cores, and those build up over time, with bosses dropping larger cores. These are then used as upgrade currency. It looks a lot better, and it’s fewer numbers to deal with than in the first SEF game.
There are a few new upgrades and weapon options, many of which are worth a try. Skill trees are meant to be explored, after all, so the more than you play Space Elite Force 2, the more combinations you’ll be able to try. With a longer campaign, there’s more room to play around with different loadouts.
The main campaign is definitely longer than the first title, and even beyond that, there’s still a good reason to keep coming back. Endless Mode returns as the renamed Arcade Mode, and there are difficulty options throughout the game to keep the challenge alive. And once again, 2-player local co-op is supported. Bringing a friend along on your mission as easy as pushing a button.
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO – OUT OF THIS WORLD
Some of the problems with repetitive objects return from the first game. There are more enemies, but mostly they all shoot in the same manner. There are more bosses, but they tend to be completely identical. The level backgrounds are slightly more varied but remain nothing more than a picture in the distance.
But the art style is still blocky and colorful. Nothing clashes with the gameplay to cause confusion. The UI and menus have been revamped to be easier to navigate. There are clear upgrades from the first Space Elite Force, and those include changes to the visual package. The audio is once again great, but it’s similar to the previous game. How much more arcade sounding can you get?
Space Elite Force 2 was reviewed on Nintendo Switch. A review key was provided by QUByte Interactive.