The word ‘revolution’ no longer means the same in western culture as it does in less developed parts of the world. Talk about revolution in certain countries and you’ll either be shuffled off into a hidden backroom or arrested.
Revolution in this country means a new type of bagless vacuum cleaner.
It’s also a word that’s bandied about a lot in the field of video games. Publishers stick ‘revolution’ onto the title of their new game when they want put across that they’re trying something radically new with a long-established genre. Such is the case with Brick Breaker Revolution 2, although the very fact that it’s a sequel might suggest a bit of a contradiction.
The first title, released around two years ago, took the classic bat ‘n’ ball game play of Breakout and added a bunch of whizzy new features. These included a host of power-ups as well as a multi-tiered Revolution Mode.
Brick Breaker Revolution 2 keeps the power-ups but ditches its predecessor’s vertical structure. This time you’re presented with a game grid that offers you as many as five level choices at a time, allowing you to inch your way towards the level boss in a fairly open manner.
Some of these levels retain BBR1’s expansive spirit, scrolling in all four directions and opening up Peggle-inspired ball-launching sections. While the latter is a welcome addition, the more regularly used scrolling feature isn’t wholly successful, disorientating as much as it impresses.
The power-ups too are used a little too heavily, as you’re often bombarded with half a dozen or more at a time. This cheapens the experience a little, and often serves as more of a hindrance as the ball becomes obscured in a hail of fireworks and laser fire.
Still, Brick Breaker Revolution 2 tightens the retro cool aesthetic the first game dabbled with, introducing a Tron-like story of sentient programmes and continuing with the Lumines-styled mix of ambient techno and vibrant colours.
With a number of other decent Breakout clones being released in the past few years, added to one or two evolutionary dead-ends found here, Brick Breaker Revolution 2 doesn’t quite win our unreserved praise. But with typically excellent Digital Chocolate presentation and longevity, perhaps a revolution wasn’t necessary.