Beat Hazard Ultra, an add-on for the hit shooter Beat Hazard, hit the Steam storefront last week. As you may remember I’m quite a fan of the Xbox LIVE Indie version of Beat Hazard for which you can read the review here. Is the $4.99 add-on worth having? HELL YES – and here’s why!
Beat Hazard Ultra adds some great new features and improves upon the original in a variety of ways. You’ll have access to three new weapons including the Ultra Beam, Micro Missiles, and Reflect Shield – in addition to everything you could use previously. If you want to quickly take a look at the powered up weapons without working your way through the game, check out the new ‘Chill Out’ mode where you start fully powered. There’s a new perk system that allows you to unlock various enhancements, some of which can be purchased using in-game currency dropped from enemies. Perks vary from giving more power-ups automatically at the beginning of a song, or to allow you to carry more of a specific item at any given time – stock those bombs! Once you’ve purchased a perk, make sure you equip it, and also check out the possible upgrades because most perks can be upgraded numerous times!
There’s now a co-operative mode in the game and during your time in single player you may see a ticker at the bottom of the screen to press F1 and join somebody for a co-op or head to head match. Be quit because the matches get filled instantly. You’ll probably have better luck trying to have someone actually join your game. You can also go head to head now, but I honestly haven’t had the opportunity to do so – I’m more into the single player and earning to big points.
You probably noticed the lack of variety in enemies in the original game and that’s been heavily addressed. A ton of new enemies have been added including new bosses to battle. You’ll find yourself maneuvering through an array of mines being dropped on the screen, all while trying to avoid a giant work weaving throughout the screen. If there’s one word to describe the experience it’s intense. If you don’t want to work through various songs to fight the bosses you can jump right into the Boss Rush mode and fight ‘em there.
Maybe I’m just used to the XBLIG version, but navigating and selecting a song seems to be much smoother now. You can press V to open the windows browser and choose a song, or search for a keyword in the filename. This is a fantastic setup for those of you who keep 1000+ songs in a single folder. If you prefer the in-game music for some reason, there’s a bunch of new indie tracks to try out – but we know the best feature about Beat Hazard is using your own music! The faster and heavier the song – the more intense the visuals will be… plus with the Ultra add-on, you can increase it up to 200% visual intensity which is pretty insane.
For $5 there’s no reason not to own the Beat Hazard Ultra add-on. New in-game content, new gameplay modes, and many more options to tinker with – that’s more than you get in some $15 add-ons.
Your firepower doesn't always match up to music, but everything else is perfect in this shooter.
The use of lighting and strobe effects is unmatched by any other game in existence, and enemies designs are pretty awesome across the board.
Included Indie tracks are great, but you choose your own songs from your own library. It can't get any better than that.