The end of PixelJunk Shooter
saw a rescue operation ultimately stalled out by a giant monster who simply wanted a bit of lunch. PixelJunk Shooter 2
picks up from that very point, with your ship plunging into the depths of the creature's digestive system. You're not all the beast has eaten, though. Its appetizer appears to have been a large number of scientists and a bunch of diamonds. So your work is cut out for you.
You'll navigate your tiny craft around each level, alternating between saving scientists, collecting treasure, blasting hostiles, and saving your own skin. The game is at its best when it requires you to multitask between the four, and the dynamic environments certainly help with that. For example, you'll often have to use your trusty grappling hook to pull on one of a number of uvula-shaped switches; which almost always results in some bizarre biological response. For example, one might trigger an influx of purifying water, while another might trigger peristalsis in a cavity that you need to traverse.
PixelJunk Shooter 2 features a two-player online mode, and while it's interesting, it lacks the pull to stand up to larger-scale multiplayer modes. The setup is solid and the fundamentals are nailed, at least. There's a persistence system with unlockable in-game items, as well as a nifty betting system you can use to rub your opponent's pride in the dirt. The action plays out like you'd expect it to; the player on offense must bring survivors to a designated circle, while the player on defense must make sure that doesn't happen. However, players on defense can't see players on offense unless they are in plain sight. This makes for an interesting game of cat-and-mouse, but it's not something I see myself (or anyone else) returning to.