November 13, 2015 10:00 AM | Joel Couture
Sometimes you're shooting huge antimatter tributes that keep firing fruit at you in Uriel's Chasm 2. Sometimes you're putting out fires in a garden. Sometimes you're looking out over an abandoned car park. Sometimes you're surfing. Whatever you're doing, you'd better figure out how it works in a hurry, as your destruction is only moments away every second you're playing the game. When you're not playing, though, the question of why you're doing what you're doing, and how these actions tie to Uriel's Chasm 2's sci-fi biblical storyline, will challenge you more than shootouts and garden-caretaking ever could.
And all the while, a blue guy will be playing the bongos. He's...kind of awesome.
If you don't want to think at all, Uriel's Chasm 2 is still a lot of fun. Brutal fun, but still fun. Drawing from several play styles, it's hard to tell what you'll be doing next. At times, the game has players shooting at huge bosses that fling fruit the same way enemies in Ikaruga fire bullets. Dodging that fruit is all well and good, but if you can get the fruit to slam into the two tiny shields that orbit your character, you'll fill up a Graze bar that lets you do a lot of damage. Later, the game has you collecting water and letting the droplets loose to fight tiny flame soldiers in a garden while you pick up fruit so you can have a prophecy. It also features a surfing game where you have to keep switching lanes to avoid logs while watching the skies above for oncoming fruit. Each style is vastly different from the last, so not only is the game difficult, but you also have the additional challenging of trying to figure out what you even need to do before you die.
Uriel's Chasm 2 isn't a game that can't make up its mind on a play style, though, though. The continual switches in style, many resulting in failure before you can even begin to understand what's going on, draw some interesting biblical parallels with the game's plot. The story, told in walls of text that shift between biblical stories and a sci-fi narrative about being adopted by a galactic being, can help frame why your actions can be so confusing and challenging, but also so satisfying when you get them right. There are complexities at work in Uriel's Chasm 2 that will take a little thought and a lot of practice to come to light, but reaching that understanding is a satisfying journey. Plus awesome blue bongo dude.