Unlocking the Secrets of escapeVektor (part 1)
Can you help Vektor escape?
Welcome to the first in a series of three features detailing the ins and outs of escapeVektor™. This is our first release on PlayStation®Vita and first Nintendo eShop title, so we’re super excited to give you some details on what you’ll be up against!
Avoiding Patrols, Electric Fences & Cannons!
escapeVektor is a retro styled arcade game in which the player controls Vektor, an entity trapped inside the player’s CPU. Each node (level) consists of a series of interconnected lines which form cells. These are claimed as Vektor moves along them. Claiming all of the cells in a node unlocks the exit to the next node, bringing Vektor closer to his escape.
However, this is no ordinary CPU. It has held Vektor captive for what feels like an eternity and it doesn’t want him to leave now. As Vektor progresses with his escape, the CPU sets up obstacles and sends out its army to destroy him.
In the first part of our escapeVektor feature we have a look at one of the enemy types and some of the obstacles Vektor has to deal with during his escape.
Patrols are the most basic of the enemy types and are the first line of the CPU’s attack. Not the brightest, they each take a set path and stick to it, over and over and over again. Once you know their route, navigating the node becomes easier. But watch out, if you cross their path they will become alert, increase their speed and chase you.
You can avoid being destroyed by the Patrols by timing your escape through their paths. This is easier once the Boost ability has been unlocked as you can Boost faster than they can move, even when they’re in alert mode.
Vektor has some coding abilities and after a while he is able to code up an ability called Boost to help with his escape. As you claim parts of a line, your Boost bar fills up, allowing you to use the ability to travel faster around the node. When you use Boost, your Boost bar is depleted. Boost is only replenished when you claim new lines though, so use this ability wisely. As you get further through the game, you can unlock more Boost bar sections so you can move quickly for longer. Just as well, you’re gong to need it!
Later on Vektor will create an upgraded version of Boost called Super Boost. This is a much faster version of Boost which consumes the Boost bar even quicker. It is really handy for out running some of the harder enemies like Locusts, Interceptors or Munchers!
The Patrols, and other enemies, can also turn electric fences on and off when they pass through switches. Be careful, if you’re passing though an electric fence when it’s triggered by an enemy, you’ll fry.
All of the Electric Fences have switches but not all of the switches are the same. Some are timed switches, where a fence is switched on or off for only a certain amount of time before it reverts to its previous state. Others switch the fence on or off until they are switched back off or on again by Vektor or an enemy. Sometimes two linked switches will need to be triggered before a fence is switched on or off. Before heading towards one of these obstacles, be sure you know what triggers it – you don’t want a burning Vektor!
Cannons fire out bullets every few seconds and the same number of bullets are fired every time, so you’ll need to time your moves carefully. Make sure you’re not in their firing line when those bullets are released otherwise Vektor will be Cannon fodder.
There are 150 cool nodes (levels) to complete in the game, spread over 27 zones. 18 of these zones form the main escape route for Vektor with the remaining 9 acting as hidden bonus zones. The nodes contained in these zones are usually harder versions of those found in the main zones. Not only that but if you are smart you can use the bonus zones to take shortcuts through the game and jump ahead into harder zones!
Wildcards and Leaderboards
escapeVektor makes use of PlayStation®Network and Nintendo Network™ leaderboards and allows you to compare your scores with your friends, other players around the world and also people nearby you by using either your region setting (Nintendo 3DS) or ‘near’ (PlayStation Vita). When you finish a node you can see the online leaderboards to the right of the score tally. By using the R and L shoulder buttons you can change between location based leaderboards, those closest to you in score (from all over the world) or your friends.
That’s not all! Each time you set a high-score on a node (by beating your personal best) you will earn a Wildcard. You can then use a Wildcard before starting a node and if you successfully complete the node without dying (or quitting) you will DOUBLE your score! These double scores will also be uploaded to the online leaderboards!
Wildcards are also collected and distributed through ‘near’ on PlayStation Vita too. Each time you set a personal best you’ll automatically drop a Wildcard via ‘near’ allowing others to pick them up! You can store 150 Wildcards at one time so they will come in handy!
Do you think you’re up to it? Can you help Vektor escape? A few Patrols and some electric fences with the occasional Cannon thrown in won’t stop you, especially when you have Boost. Right?
Wrong! Take your eye off these Patrols for a few seconds and you’ll lose track of what they’re up to. Then you’re in deep trouble. Too much focus on the Patrols and you’re liable to forget what’s happening with the Electric Fences, or you just might run into some Cannon fire by mistake. And that’s not the end of it. We haven’t even told you about the Hunters or the Interceptors yet!
We’ll tell you more in Part 2. In the meantime, take a look at the PlayStation Vita trailer to find out exactly what we’ve been talking about.