Flashback 2 Hands-on Preview: A Man Against the World

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Flashback 2 is the unexpected sequel to the 1992 smash-hit from Paul Cuisset, Flashback. Three decades later he’s come back to finish what he started with the sequel, as players take back the role of Conrad B. Hart, agent of the Galactic Bureau of Investigation. Intrigued? You should be. We went hands-on with the 2.5D side-scrolling action-adventure game, and we have some thoughts.

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Flashback 2, Back to the Future

flashback 2

For anyone who hasn’t played the original Flashback, it opens with intelligence agent Conrad B. Hart uncovering an alien conspiracy, before his memory is erased and he’s sent on a path that pits him against forces far bigger and stronger than himself.

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A product of the times, the side-scrolling may seem dated now, but at the time it was considered revolutionary, and the original won multiple awards and became both a critical and commercial success. After over an hour of playing the sequel, it may seem unlikely, but three decades on Paul Cuisset seems to have captured the same magic. The technology has improved, but the heart of the content is the same.

Related: Flashback 2 Gets Exciting New Trailer Ahead of Launch

The sequel follows the same story, with The Morphs now readying their final attack to try and enslave every civilization in the solar system. Of course, this is less than ideal, and so Conrad B. Hart has something to say about it – and this is where we, the players, will take over and attempt to thwart the invasion.

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Featuring some of the most fun 2.5D side-scrolling I’ve seen for a long while, Flashback 2 features an incredibly eye-popping set of visuals. The cyberpunk style is not lost or wasted here, with every inch of the screen showcasing something. Nothing is wasted.

Flashback 2

Throw in a semi-open world, the ability to go backward through a level, sometimes a requirement to progress, the depth of a level coming into play, and sharp, intuitive, yet easy-to-pick-up controls and you have a game that after minutes of playing, I felt like a master at. Not to mention I wanted to know every little detail on offer in the universe, something that was made easy by the exposition and world-building on offer.

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Effective and satisfying dodge mechanics, an abundance of weapons, and a selection of special skills will leave you enjoying your time over the twelve to fourteen-hour campaign, and the platforming, whilst nothing groundbreaking is always fair to the player. You mistime your jump? That’s on you. After our time was over, we found ourselves wondering why Paul Cuisset had left it so long to bring the IP back and continue the story.

With an alien conspiracy, local mafia, and more all involved, it’ll be interesting to see if the team at Microids is able to stick the landing as well as Conrad B. Hart does when he leaps from one ledge to the next.

What do you think? Are you likely to pick up Flashback 2 come release? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Luke Addison

Articles Published: 425

Luke Addison is the Lead Video Game Critic and Gaming Editor. As likely to be caught listening to noughties rock as he is watching the latest blockbuster cinema release, Luke is the quintessential millennial wistfully wishing after a forgotten era of entertainment. Also a diehard Chelsea fan, for his sins.

Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd