Around a year after being released on PC and the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One owners can finally get their hands on 2Awesome Studio’s highly innovative Dimension Drive, but was it worth the wait?
You can tell immediately that designer David Jimenez put a lot of love into this game. Presentation is outstanding and there is an air of class to the menus, interfaces and comic book-style cutscenes. The soundtrack, similarly, is incredibly fitting with the kind of adrenaline pumping up-tempo metal/synth tunes that are always associated with these types of games. Dimension Drive, however (much like most of its predecessors and peers) is a game that lives and dies by its gameplay.
It’s a good job then, that DD is largely successful in what it sets out to do. The main selling point is the dual screen mechanic, where players are essentially playing two shooters at the same time. The screen is split down the middle with different enemies and obstacles present on either side. Players must alternate which side of the screen their ship is on to navigate past various perils and objects that would be unavoidable if you couldn’t swap sides in this way. You start off with only two buttons (‘shoot’ and ‘jump’), but more powers are introduced in the later levels, such as the ability to safely phase through walls.
It’s worth noting that Dimension Drive is certainly not for the faint of heart. The dual screen mechanic, although very well implemented, can be a bit of a head-scratcher at first and may be a bit much for some to fully master. Couple that with the fact that the difficulty ramps up significantly and rather quickly, it’s fair to say, this isn’t a game the majority of people will be completing.
If you are a fan of (or are familiar with) the classic Treasure games Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga you’ll feel right at home with Dimension Drive. A modern take on gimmicked vertical shmups with a huge amount of challenge and content that represents excellent value. The difficulty may be a bit much for some, but if incredibly hard shooters are your thing, you can’t go far wrong with Dimension Drive.
DIMENSION DRIVE / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: 2AWESOME STUDIO / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH, PC, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE (REVIEWED) / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW