All of us here at Double Eleven are excited to announce that PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate is coming to PS4 and PS Vita this Summer, and we can finally start to talk about it!
PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate is a twin-stick shooter that’s as much about blasting things as it is about exploration, puzzle solving, and collecting things. Within Shooter Ultimate, players interact with environments that run an advanced fluid dynamics simulation. These interactions are needed to solve puzzles, overcome enemies, and progress through levels.
For those who remember the original PixelJunk Shooter games, Ultimate combines the campaigns of Shooter 1 and 2 into a single experience. It certainly doesn’t stop there, as we’ve done a ton of work on top of that to make this the third game in the series!
So here’s our list of nine things that hopefully make our PixelJunk Shooter worthy of the title “ultimate.”
1. Full Visual Upgrade on PS4
When we were trying to decide what a PS4 version of Shooter should look like, we knew that it needed to remain true to that classic, razorsharp, vector-based aesthetic — which continually threw new ideas at the player — while still being able to stand besides modern PS4 games. From a gameplay perspective, we wanted to make combat more intense, engaging, and overall provide for a more rewarding experience.
So, we decided to introduce real-time environment lighting, along with a host of new visual FX for things like projectiles, explosions, thrusters,and more. And it didn’t stop there — we’ve also worked on making the fluids look even better by increasing the resolution of the particles, improving shaders, and adding anti-aliasing to the edges of the fluids. We’ve also revisited the color palette, and color grading has been added to every scene, which hopefully makes it look and feel more immersive.
2. A Redesigned Ship on PS4
Something that a lot of people loved about the ship in Shooter 1 and 2 was the way it managed the relationship between momentum and resistance to changes in motion. This is not something we wanted to mess with, but we did want to improve the visual feedback to the player, to make that relationship more accessible.
To achieve this, we decided to introduce a 3D ship, which allowed us to add animations for aeronautical maneuvering that gives better visual feedback. The ship is also treated to the newly introduced real-time lighting, as well as the other visual improvements.
3. 60 Frames-per-second on PS4
For the uninitiated, higher frame rates capture much more of the action every second, so there’s much less opportunity for action to blur when you’re in the thick of it. Behind the scenes, our physics and fluid dynamics simulations also run at 60 FPS, meaning that the game is more responsive to how the player interacts with the various environments. It also improves on the control feedback and responsiveness.
4. Awesome Environments on PS Vita
One of the most understated aspects of the Shooter series of games was the highly complex fluid simulation. Most of the puzzles in the game require the manipulation of various fluids (water, lava, magnetic fluid, acid), each of which are made from several thousand particles to get the simulation looking perfect.
The computational power to run this has even given some quad-core PC processors issues, so bringing this game to a portable handheld was always going to be a major challenge. This has all been made possible thanks to some excellent research and development by our team, and we’re really excited that we can bring this experience to PS Vita.
5. One Seamless Experience
PixelJunk Shooter introduced us to the Yellow Dart, and its mission to save trapped scientists. PixelJunk Shooter 2 picks up exactly where the first left off. In PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate, you can enjoy an uninterrupted and complete experience, with all the new features introduced in Shooter 2 — such as the super spin — across all chapters.
6. A New HUD
Ultimately, we wanted the HUD (heads-up display) to be more intuitive and informative. After evaluating the original HUD elements, we also realized that too much screen real estate was being used up — that was particularly problematic on PS Vita.
The newly designed minimalist elements have a level of opacity, which allows for more action to be seen. More so, we thought about what other information the player should know and we’ve added new elements to reflect this.
PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate on PS4 and PS Vita
7. Cross play
As gamers, we love it when consoles and handhelds work well together. So cross play was one of the first things we looked into. Now you and your friend can play together, without both of you needing the same device.
8. Cross Save
Another thing we find useful as gamers is cross save functionality, and this is something we’ve added to Shooter Ultimate. With this, you can take your save game on the move on Vita, and then continue your experience at home, with all the new graphical effects on PS4.
9. New Scoring System
We’ve reviewed the entire scoring system, and without giving away too much, we’ve hopefully balanced it to accommodate those who are just starting out, those that enjoy competitive play, and to those that would challenge their friends on the leaderboards.