V2000 is a commercially underrated sequel to Virus, David Braben's innovative 3D action game released in 1988. Developed and released 10 years after Virus, V2000 received favorable reviews in game magazines and was one of only three nominees for "best game" in the first BAFTA Awards in 1998. However, it fared much worse commercially, and today remains relatively little known even to fans of the original Virus.
The plot of V2000 is the same as Virus: your goal is to save 30 levels spread across 6 different worlds from a virus that has infected them. The virus is being spread by evil alien creatures, so you have to hunt them down and kill them.
The fun gameplay of the original Virus is here, and even more addictive with numerous enhancements. The game could best be described as a 3D hybrid of Thrust and Defender, except much more difficult than either game. What makes Virus a memorable game for hard-core gamers is that it is very challenging - you will crash and burn every few seconds until you master the mouse-based controls, and that can take several weeks. Fortunately, V2000 allows you to set things up so that you don't have to be so precise with the controls. There are many new weapons and pick-ups not present in the original game, the same elegant but subtle real-time strategy element, and gorgeous SVGA graphics that offer plenty of eye candy such as rolling ocean waves.
Even though it takes less time to master than Virus, V2000 is still an extremely difficult game. Like in the original game, later worlds are virtually impossible to finish without mastery of controls and near-godlike reflexes. If you are new to action games, V2000 will probably prove too frustrating to be fun. If you consider yourself a hard-core master of 'twitch' games, though, V2000 is a blast to play. Highly recommended, with caveats for beginner players.
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