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More Than Ultra: Music-Driven SHMUP ‘Beat Hazard 2’ Is About to Enter Early Access

Many games already enable players to ‘play their music’ in one form or another – like Audiosurf which lets you race along a track with obstacles placed based on currently playing music, or the original Beat Hazard which generates enemies, power-ups and other things in a SHMUP environment, again, based on the current song. Oh, and this upcoming sequel thingie, Beat Hazard 2, is seemingly going to expand rather noticeably upon its precursor, with more of… everything. Very groovy.

Speaking of the original Beat Hazard, it’s hard to believe that I actually reviewed that one way back in 2012. Time sure flies, huh? Anyway, if you’ve never played Beat Hazard Ultra (ie. the original with the very important Ultra DLC) and you’re a fan of the SHMUP/bullet hell genre, you really should give that one a go. But not until you’ve read what’ll hopefully make the sequel even better. So keep reading first, eh?

So, first up: procedurally generated boss fights. Yup. No more ‘oh I have to fight this guy again. Instead, the archenemy ship you’ll have to deal with is… created based on the song you’re listening to. Which means that if you’re getting your ass kicked by insurmountable odds from a super powerful foe, well, maybe try something less metal next time? I mean, you really can’t kill the metal after all…

Beat Hazard 2 improves on and ramps up the awesome zen feeling of battling to your own music. Power up your spaceship and watch as the music boosts your firepower. Unleash hell on the enemy ships when you max out with weapon pickups!

But seriously, if it’s anything like the first game, difficulty will be defined more by the intensity of a song than the genre, so if you want an easy time, go with some chill pop instead of Megadeth or Iron Maiden – and vice versa. Oh, and this time around you won’t be limited to your personal collection or various internet radios either, as an ‘Open Mic’ system will be implemented, allowing players to use the likes of Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube and more. Incredibly useful in this day and age, considering how popular the streaming of music has become.

As for exactly what else we can expect from Beat Hazard 2, compared to the original, remains to be seen. Won’t be long now until we can finally get our hands on it either, as Early Access launch is planned for… well, sometime next month. Are you ready to rock and roll all night, shmup every day?

Beat Hazard 2 [Early Access] will be available on Steam come October 2018.

Beat Hazard 2 Trailer