It is always a little scary when you come to review the second game in a series, having never played the original. What if there is a story arc that carries over? Will I get all the little easter eggs and in-game jokes that may be headed my way?
Well, fear not fellow games players, I’m here to tell you that to enjoy Moving Out 2, the latest from SMG Games, DEVM Games, and Team17, you do not have to have played the original, the aptly named Moving Out.
What we have here is a physics based moving simulator, where we are given a series of items and trucks, left to (usually) bring the two things into close proximity. How hard can it be?
The story of Moving Out 2 doesn’t really matter, but an attempt has been made, so I’ll explain what is happening, slight as it is.
We are employees of a company called Smooth Moves, and after a few training missions, we are asked to move a new piece of kit into the headquarters that will make moving out a whole lot easier. Of course, it doesn’t go according to plan and a portal is opened. The boss is sucked into it before it blows up. However, three more portals have opened up around town, and so we need to venture to new dimensions, find and recover some Tech Gnomes, who can then mend the broken portal and get the boss back. Like I said earlier, how hard can it be?
Presentation is next on my reviewer’s big list of things to talk about, so here goes. The graphics are very pretty to look at, with an appealing style to the various weird and wacky characters that we can not only find and unlock, but choose to play as.
The action is viewed from a top three quarter perspective, like any good ARPG, but the camera is fixed, which can make it hard to find the last item you need to move out in order to complete the level. Each dimension that we visit, and each level within those dimensions, are all very different; the design of the levels is good indeed.
There is always an optimal route through the level, in order to move out as efficiently as possible, and as each stage is played against the clock (with two targets, the par time and the pro time) it is important to try to see what the best course of action is.
Sound is very nice as well, with a lovely line in breaking glass and smashing crockery. All dialogue between the characters is done via text boxes, and so all in all Moving Out 2 is very nice to look at.
So, how does the gameplay add up, I hear you ask? Well, the answer is, by and large, very well indeed.
The basics are pretty easy to grasp – pick things up with RT, and keep it held until you wish to put things down. While holding an item, X will throw it, and A will do a jump. If you are feeling very fancy, a jump throw will get more distance. Certain things cannot be dropped or thrown without smashing, so be careful with the fragile packages is all I’m going to say.
Now, obviously, if all we had to do was drag items from one place to the truck, it wouldn’t be a challenge, would it? Well, Moving Out 2 loves to be a challenge, and so that isn’t all we have to do. There’s a variety of things to get involved in, like catching chickens and cows in a farmyard, or getting a goat to break fences so you can get the sheep into position. You’ll also find yourself doing things in reverse, starting with everything on the truck and putting it back into a house, and much, much more.
With the addition of three new dimensions, the scope for moving out silliness has increased. You’ll find yourself needing to smash gingerbread walls to get to items. You’ll also have to move items from a wizard’s library, where the doors and walls have a mind of their own. Oh, and you’ll get sent into the future to move things there as well.
All in all, there are a lot of different scenarios to take in; every one different from the next. It all leads to much hilarity as you try to work out what the flipping heck you need to do to get that item on the other side of the locked door…
For maximum hilarity though, you need to play Moving Out 2 with friends, either in couch co-op mode or via the medium of the internet. Apparently there is cross platform play too, but as all my friends are on Xbox, I couldn’t test this.
However, having a friend or three along for the ride makes things a lot easier, whether that being throwing couches (yes, two people are required to throw a couch, just like in real life) to helping each other by opening doors. Having some buddies really helps. The netcode is very good, and I never noticed any slow down or lag when playing with friends. Just be sure to get them in party chat as this makes things better still.
Don’t let it feel like the Moving Out 2 single player isn’t fun, but it is hard sometimes with heavy objects. Multiplayer though is all-round genius.
While we are busy moving people out, there are other things to keep an eye out for too. There are arcade carts to find, which unlock mini games in the arcade, there are style crates that allow us to have a whole new look, and there are even new characters to find, including some of the cast of the first game. As each level also has a series of special challenges to try and finish, there is a lot of replayability built in as well.
All in all, if you have three friends, four controllers and a couch, Moving Out 2 is a cracking game. Single player is tougher, no doubt about it, but the game really comes alive in multiplayer. With a host of levels, and a lot of objectives within those levels, Moving Out 2 is a game that you’ll have a lot of fun playing. The only negative I have is that the camera really needs to be repositionable, as it is hard to see what is behind certain walls. Other than that, Moving Out 2 is a great deal of fun.