Yupitergrad 2 Preview: Tighter Controls & Aerial Skirmishes
Yupitergrad 2: The Lost Station is an innovative Spider-Man-style action adventure swinging its way onto VR headsets this year. We played the first few hours of an early access alpha version for Quest 2 – read on for our hands-on impressions.
Step into the space shoes of a plunger-wielding cosmonaut once more in the upcoming sequel to Yupitergrad from developers Gamedust. Yupitergrad 2: The Lost Station follows in the same footsteps as its predecessor with players avoiding hazards and solving puzzles whilst vaulting at break-neck speed through a space station using an innovative plunger and rope grappling system. This latest installment promises to be bigger and better than before, with new features such as a combat system and weapons that attach to your grappling appendages.
After a brief tutorial, the alpha dropped me straight into the action. One of the first features to strike me was the beautiful cell-shaded environments, which look stunning even on standalone VR systems like Quest 2. Similar to the previous game, Yupitergrad 2 is set in a seemingly abandoned space station you stumble upon after detecting traces of activity. However, this time you are also accompanied by an artificial intelligence named Alsha who acts as a guide to support you through the station’s many challenges.
Gameplay will be very familiar to fans of the original game, delivering the same exhilarating, fast-paced swinging action. Traps were still challenging but the controls seemed tighter when compared to its predecessor, which made the experience feel a little less demanding and frustrating so far.
Another thing that’s noticeably different from the first game is the open-ended exploration that encourages searching the space station for pickups and new passages. In true Metroidvania style, the game now includes a dynamically-updating map to aid your wayfinding through the large interconnected station. The original Yupitergrad had little need for navigational support, as it was a much more linear affair that tended to funnel players from one area to another with little deviation.
The newly introduced combat system was also a welcome addition, providing a healthy dose of action that changes up gameplay nicely. Alternating your arms to swing through the air while taking out a drone with a Boltgun is an experience somewhat reminiscent of the VR arcade action game SWARM. However, traps and combat felt unbalanced at times and there was also an assortment of bugs to deal with. The latter is understandable given the game is still in alpha though, and Gamedust says it’s aware of the bugs and intends to fix them by the final build.
The alpha preview took me about two hours to complete, with the final campaign said to be 4-6 hours long – around twice the length of the original Yupitergrad campaign. From what I played, Yupitergrad 2: The Lost Station takes the best parts of the first game and improves upon the formula with welcome additions that are likely to appeal to existing fans and newcomers alike.
Gamedust says Yupitergrad 2: The Lost Station is slated to cost $24.99, subject to change, when it arrives later this year. It will release first as a timed exclusive for Pico 4, before coming to Meta Quest 2, PC VR, and PS VR2 platforms at a later date.
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