Preview: Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency – Making the Robot Overlords Bow Down
It’s certainly got an Apex Construct feel to it.
Neat Corporation released its first virtual reality (VR) title Budget Cuts last year after several delays, receiving a mixed response. A stealth-action experience using a rather unique teleportation system, the studio has teamed up with fellow VR developer Fast Travel Games for follow up title Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency. From what’s been shown so far the project is already coming along very well.
Demoing the title at Gamescom 2019, Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency still offers the same sneaky abilities as before, with a teleportation gun which can be fired around corners whilst offering a handy window to check for guards. You can also continue to kill robot guards by throwing scissors or any other sharp object at your disposal.
What has changed though is the inclusion of a rather deadly bow. This is no surprise as Fast Travel Games created Apex Construct, which just so happens to have some of the best bow mechanics found in any VR videogame. The bow almost feels like it has been directly lifted from Apex Construct, with a beautiful motion to drawing back the arrow and a satisfying and powerful thump when it hits a target.
The arrows look like crossbow bolts for some reason yet do behave like standard arrows once loaded into the bow. One notable difference between the two bows is the fact that in Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency you can’t liberally fire off arrows indiscriminately, they are valuable and in short supply. Which means every shot needs to count, especially as the level being demoed took place outside on the top of skyscrapers so it was very easy to lose arrows. On the plus side – and a very nice little feature – the arrows can be reclaimed from walls or heads they’re wedged into.
So killing stuff was easy and a lot of fun. What was a bit finicky and not so efficient was the menu system between the main items. So there’s the bow, the teleportation gun and the grab tool as your primary tools. Naturally, you want the bow out at all times, but this then means sacrificing one of the others. Movement is fairly key, especially when spotted by a guard. On the other hand, you can’t fire the bow without the grab tool. Hence there’s a choice to be made – and no strafing – with a slightly high learning curve for new players.
Which means you kind of need to find your own formula and preference when handling Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency. This creates very methodical gameplay so that there’s very little barrelling into a dangerous situation, and if that does happen then death tends to be inevitable as one-hit means it’s all over.
The collaboration between Neat Corporation and Fast Travel Games certainly seems to be paying off, with Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency offering a greatly improved experience. With a launch expected later this year the sequel turnaround has been quite rapid, however, the quality of the videogame shown didn’t feel rushed. As long as Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency has enough content for a robust experience then this is one to look forward to.