Looking through my games library for things to play for this weeks review, I stumbled upon a game I have no recollection of purchasing: Pressure. Intrigued, I went online and instantly searched for a gameplay video, to see what the game was about. Needless to say, I enjoyed what I had seen and proceeded to instantly download the title and start playing.
Pressure is a top down driving shooter that doesn’t push any boundaries when it comes to reinventing the genre, but does make itself stand out with its fantastic design and art style. You control a car as you race through 30 different levels and 3 bosses, killing as many enemies as possible whilst also trying to race to the end of the level as fast as possible. You have 2 bars that track your progress through a level, your health and your pressure. Health is pretty self explanatory, where as pressure is what’s needed to get your car going through to the end of the level. Enemies will try and steal it, and will drop tubes of it whenever you kill them. It’s a nice system that rewards a player for doing what the game wants you to do, and if you choose to just race, you’re gonna have a hard time getting to the end.
Pressure looks and feels like a Pixar film, something I say with high regard for the art style of the game. It has cute little cutscenes which will be shown to progress the story, which are so high in quality you could indeed mistake it for a pixar film. They have some humour, which is always welcome in games. The art style is so polished and lovely, that every aspect of the game, from menus to upgrading your car, all the way to the gameplay itself is dealt with such charm that it’s impressive. Levels change as you progress through the story, from forest and fields to caves and castles, the levels show enough progression that you don’t get bored of seeing the same scenery for every stage, that is, they progress with the story.
Levels are designed in a way that there’s no way to really go wrong, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Pressure could of come up with more diversity in the way levels are played out. Secret paths or different routes would have done wonders to the games ability to be played multiple times, but what we’re left with is a seemingly linear experience with no diversity.
The gameplay looks the part, but controlling your car can occasionally feel very “airy”, by which I mean that your car doesn’t feel heavy and can be chucked around the stage when hit by an enemy. It makes controlling your car difficult with many enemies on screen, especially when you’re trying to race to the end of the level as fast as possible. Apart from the airiness of your car when hit, the car feels good to handle, and its rare you’ll hit the sides of the stage, even with the camera changes. As a whole, the controls were enjoyable, if not a bit irritating at times.
Your vehicle consists of 4 main parts: the shell, the primary weapon, the secondary weapon, the ram and the buggy upgrades. Depending on how well you do in a level, you get an appropriate amount of coins to spend on upgrades for your car. These can range from a new shell that’ll help you boost longer and increase your health, to a new weapon that fires mortar rounds. These vary up the gameplay, and can be sold as and when you’d like, allowing for some flexibility in how you take on the certain enemies that appear in certain areas. I found that saving up my money and buying the most expensive weapon and secondary weapon was worthwhile, as every enemy died in one hit from then on, allowing me to only worry about aiming, and not enemy management.
Overall, Pressure was a throughly enjoyable game that I had no idea existed. It’s a short ride (3-4 hours max), but that’s just about the right amount of time you’d probably play the campaign before getting bored or annoyed at the mechanics. I’m surprised how much fun I had playing Pressure, and I hugely recommend you play it too.
P.S. A Quick Look of Pressure can be found below: