First PixelJunk 1-4 Details, Hands-On Impressions

The fourth game in the PixelJunk series doesn't have a name yet. That's going to be up to you, as Q-Games is letting its fans decide exactly what we'll call... whatever PixelJunk 1-4 is.

So what is PixelJunk 1-4? It follows in the tradition of previous PixelJunk games for the PlayStation 3, with 1080p resolution visuals running at 60 frames per second in two glorious dimensions. The fourth PixelJunk game, not unlike Eden, is about exploration, as you'll pilot a small subterranean craft searching for survivors in cave-like environments.

You'll blast through rock and battle underground enemy lifeforms, not the most worrisome of obstacles facing the player in PixelJunk 1-4. The deadliest foe in Q-Games' latest is the lava.

PixelJunk 1-4's gameplay highlight is its spectacular fluid dynamics. With jets of magma spewing forth from volcanoes and precariously placed in pools by loose rock, you'll need to be mindful of the game's "Heat" meter. Simply put, if you get too hot, you'll explode.

The other fluid that you'll find below ground is water. It not only cools your ship, it will turn flowing lava into rock when the two fluids interact. This can help protect survivors and your vehicle, as well as form new rock formations.

You'll be able to force water and lava to interact by destroying the rock that keeps those liquids in check. Your ship's blaster is powerful, removing earth and eliminating enemies with ease.

So PixelJunk 1-4 is part fluid management game, part rescue scenario. It smacks of old school shooters like Asteroids, Defender and Choplifter, but has a more casual, puzzle-solving feel about it.

Visually, as you can see in the game's first screen shots, the visual style is a little more earthy than Q-Games most recent effort. On the audio front, the independent developer has tapped Alex Paterson of the Orb's spin-off project High Frequency Bandwidth to score the game. Q found Dylan Cuthbert says the soundtrack will be a hip-hop techno affair, layered like a film score.


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