Blast factor is a top-down shooter controlled primarily with the two analog sticks. The left analog stick is used for movement, while the right analog stick is used to aim and shoot. As with similar games, you have a 360-degree range of fire. You also will have a repulser (bomb) that will slow down time and push enemies away from you. It also implements the use of the sixaxis very well. You simply flip the controller left or right, causing a wave to roll across the screen, shoving all enemies to one side. The controls are implemented perfectly, and once you get hang of these simple mechanics you will have very few issues completing game.
You will use these weapons to navigate the seven specimens in the basic research. Each specimen is made up of 13 cells, seven of which you need to complete. The path you take from level to level deviates between different play sessions, which is a nice touch. The path you’re given is determined by on how well you complete each cell. Finish the cell without dying and under the time limit, and the game will think you’re skilled and hand you a harder level next time around. But if you die a lot or take too long, the game will go easier on you.
The first six cells are standard battles, with the final cell including a boss fight. Along with the boss, there will also be other enemies that it will periodically appear and try to distract you. Although these may seem rough at first, each boss follows a certain pattern which can be learned rather easily. Throughout each cell you will pick up different upgrades to your weapons. Each upgrade has a limited amount of time to use it, and you can only use it for the cell you pick it up in.
There are also multiple kinds of enemies that will test your skills. There will be some you will need to tilt the screen to kill, some you will need to use your repulser on. There are also enemies that will increase their speed when you use tilt or the repulser. All these factors add up to an extremely hectic atmosphere, and actually adds quite a bit of strategy. It can also lead to cheap deaths, especially when enemies suddenly spawn right next to you, only giving you a split second to react.
Since Blast Factor’s release, it has received an enormous expansion pack. This is as much a sequel as it is an add-on since it nearly doubles the number of levels at your disposal. This expansion pack adds the Advance research levels, which include seven new specimens, 11 new enemies, two new bosses, as well as new music, lighting and sound effects. This was a welcomed addition to a solid game, but doesn’t really upgrade the gameplay itself.
There are a few negatives though when it comes to the game. The initial game only shipped with seven specimens, and although it did receive some DLC it would have been nice to see more in the beginning. In Basic Research, there is only one type of boss the entire time. His fighting style changes from time to time, but even that can get old. The DLC doesn’t add much either in terms of boss fights.
One thing that really would of been nice is a little more variety when it comes to weapons. More often then not you will only be using your mini laser. It is nice to see the occasional upgrade, but those are far and few between and can not be carried over from cell to cell. It was nice that they added in the repulser and tilt, but the lack of an upgradeable main weapon that can be leveled up is a pretty glaring issue.
Blast Factor is an addicting game, but a frustrating one as well. The DLC was an attempt to fix some faults within the game, but there’s a lot more that could have been upgraded. Overall, this is a pretty decent game that fans of the genre will probably want to try out. And it is a fairly easy game to gain trophies in.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Lacks a main, upgradeable weapon.
Fast paced and addictive, but often frustrating as well.