Posted on 30 May 2016 by Jordan Fong

The Collider 2

The Defence

Developer: Shortbreak Studios
Publisher: Shortbreak Studios
Genre: Action, Casual, Indie, Racing
Platform: PC
Review copy: Yes
Release date: 19 Apr 2016

The Case

The Collider 2 is a 1st/3rd person game in which takes its concepts from endless runners with a touch of the shoot’em up genre like R-Type. Pilot your ship through the cavernous hull of the enemy’s ship in order to stop it from destroying your planet. Evade moving obstacles, collect coins and artifacts, and shoot down enemy defences. Speed is its own challenge as obstacles get closer together the faster you go. Precision and reflex is the key. This will be a review based almost exclusively on the VR elements of the game. My HMD for this review is the HTC Vive, but fear not, it also works on the Oculus Rift.

The Trial

I was apprehensive at first. When this game first came to my desk I was uninterested. I spent about an hour in the game before I really started to enjoy it. Starting off the game for the first time in VR, I realized right away that I could not navigate menus without a controller. A mouse can be used, but it is related to where it is on your monitor, and not where it is in the HMD which will be different. Counter-intuitively, when I tried to play with said controller, I learned that you cannot navigate your ship in VR. I spent a while tinkering with my controls. In VR, you move with your head, your position is directly related to the ship’s position. This of course is a step taken to remove as much motion sickness as possible while moving at such a high speed.

Things definitely get crazy, stay calm. One way or another it'll be over soon.

The other option for those with their sea legs is to move using the mouse, my choice. Mouse movement is much snappier as it’s a much smaller, lighter device to swing around, whereas head movement becomes exhaustive as your neck and back may become sore from jerking around. Now as I’ve said, when you move your head or your mouse tracking is spot on. To eliminate motion sickness, it has to be. But this is not the case for the Desktop version of the game, movement has a bit of a lag as your ship flies around in whatever view you have, be it first or third person. The ship not only seems to drift, but actually has a good sense of weight to it. I see this as a potential issue. Since the game revolves so heavily on reaction, having a weighty ship gives you even less of a chance to react. Thanks to VR for rectifying this.

Missions follow a nine-level format. Eight stages, then one for the boss. And after every nine levels, the game allows you to buy a new ship and upgrade their shields and boost. The game starts you off with simple time trial levels. Evade objects, pick up coins and boost to beat the required time. Soon after you’ll see Artifact collection, where you must pick up glowing blue objects by flying into them. Another level type present is the destruction on the ship’s defences, flying behind these red cubes, you will automatically fire until it’s destroyed. The bosses are comprised of a varied amount of targets in order to drop its defences to attack its core while also evading its own attacks. An entirely separate mode is Survival, this gives you the option of infinitely flying through the base without stopping. Face countless obstacles that that become harder over time, and introduce new barriers to block your path. Here, you’re racing for recognition as your highest score will be posted to the leaderboard.

Everything is a close call. Don't let your guard down, not even for a second.

The Collider 2 is a pretty game to look at. It’s not super flashy, and that’s a good thing as too much flair would be distracting. In the menu you’re offered a look at the ship you pilot, and the vessel you’re set out to destroy. But once you’re in the ship, graphics change from big lights and effects to information and situational awareness. Textures and objects inside the ship have big details to help you identify from a distance what exactly is coming your way. That’s not to say it looks bad, it’s all very well put together and you definitely get a sense of speed as you burn through each level.

The Verdict

The Collider 2 didn’t take long to win me over. It didn’t seem like a game I’d like just by looking at trailers, but once you start playing it becomes a wonderful experience. The game feels good and responsive. Full disclosure, I don’t get motion sick from anything ever, even in VR, so I can’t promise this game won’t be uncomfortable to some users. But for its current price of $10, it’s a must have for a VR enthusiast.

Case Review

  • Ultimate Speed: Getting far feels incredibly rewarding.

  • Superior Reflex: The Collider 2 will test your mettle in the best ways.

  • Harrowing Victory: Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. In both cases, it drives you to be better.

  • Ace Pilot: Ship upgrades help, but colour customization is worthless in VR, you can’t see your ship.

4 Score: 4/5
While it’s a shallow game, it’s incredibly fun and serves up the experience as its own reward on a silver platter.


  • Controls: All the controls that are available is selecting your input and sensitivity. But controls are simple and not much customization is actually required.
  • Video: Graphics has almost no customization. All you can set is the resolution, display mode (full screen, windowed or borderless), brightness and v-sync. At the very least you can select from two third-person and a first-person view.
  • Audio: Has all the basic volume controls: SFX, music and voiceover.
  • VR: When in VR mode camera is restricted to the first-person mode only. Graphics remain the same but without any display mode options as those are handled by your SteamVR settings.


2.5 Score: 2.5/5

If the word “generic” was a game, The Collider 2 would be a perfect example. Taking the core concept of getting from point A to point B might sound alright on paper but it was quite boring in practice. Flying through a generic grey tunnel with generic gameplay and generic objectives can only be so fun.

You might find yourself enjoying the game more if you actually own a VR machine which is what the game is made for but for owner of a simple monitor this is a let-down. Flying around through a corridor shooting red cubes can only stay fresh for a short period of time.

Even though the game does offer an extensive amount of customization to your ship, you don’t even feel compelled to bother getting into it since they were all very tagged on basic skins and upgrades that are just generic. Unless you must really own it – avoid it.

3 Score: 3/5

I missed my goal just barely. Only a good second short. Just one more try. This time I will get the full score. I have to! This will be the perfect run! If thoughts like these sound familiar, you probably games like The Collider 2. Games that are based on a simple concept, but demand all your skill and attention while playing. One other title that comes to mind would be Super Hexagon, but while Super Hexagon is nearly perfect for what it is, The Collider 2 ultimately fails at delivering the same excellence.

Speed is everything in The Collider 2. A good portion of the levels is time trials. You have to reach the end of the level as quickly as possible. Excessive use of the boost is an absolute necessity. You often need to slow down before difficult obstacles if you don’t want to crash into a wall but you also have to watch the timer and speed up whenever possible. You need to find the perfect balance between control and speed. This is where the fascination of this game lies. The game is best when it gets really hectic. The other level types (collect items, shoot enemies) are generally slower, and therefore not nearly as entertaining. But even in those you are forced to speed up, for instance when a gate closes right in front of you and you have to slip through. Still, I feel like this is one of the problems of this game. The time trials feel superior to the other level types but you don’t get to play them all the time. If you feel the same way, you probably will have way more fun with the endless mode. Here speed always matters, as your score multiplier is directly dependant on it. The endless mode however is probably the best experience this game has to offer.

The Collider 2 is a good game. The core gameplay is potentially great. Had they put a little more thought into how to utilize it, it could have been a brilliant one.

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