Video Game / Vector
It's a highly conformist, totalitarian post-cyberpunk world, where strife and conflict have been ended by erasing freedom and individuality of every kind. The workplace is an dark room in a skyscraper filled with blocks of identical cubicles, manned by identical men in suits, screened by security and with Big Brother always watching. There's no need for you to rush, because you are already where you are meant to be. There's no need for you to think. The pressure is removed, all decisions are made. Comfort, harmony and order are offered, providing only that you... obey.
One cubicle worker, driven to the edge, snaps. Throwing his earpiece to the ground and clutching at his head, he immediately draws the attention of the security forces who try to take him down. He escapes by running through the endless rows, smashing through the large glass window at the end of the room... and keeps on running.
Released in 2012 for iOS Games
and Android, Vector
is best described as a cross between Canabalt
and Mirrors Edge
, especially the iOS prequel to the latter. Like Canabalt
, the game is a side-scrolling action game with simple touchscreen controls, with a silhouetted man constantly running across the rooftops of a futuristic city. And like Mirror's Edge
, the character has to evade pursuit by the taser-wielding police, using a wide variety of realistic Le Parkour
moves to slide, tumble, swing, vault, roll, leap and run towards the end of each level set in parts of a large shiny city.
Simple to learn but difficult to master, timing is crucial
if you want to keep the runner moving fast enough to evade capture; for example, when you slide upwards on the touchscreen while approaching an waist-high obstacle determines whether you leap onto it, completely over it, vault it (the fastest way to get past) or simply roll over the top as you practically crash into it and come to a near-complete stop. Aside from the impressive opening
, there's not much of a plot, although one sequence half way through the game thus far hints at more to come.
Not to be confused with the Vectrex
, Vector Stunt
, Vector Man
, or Vector the Crocodile
Vector provides examples of:
- Ascetic Aesthetic
- Awesome, but Impractical: Some of the fancier free-running tricks will actually slow you down compared to normal jumps and vaults, or at least not be any faster. Apparently, if you're going to thumb your nose at The Man while you're running for your life, you might as well do so with style.
- Casual Video Game: Levels are short, no more than two minutes for each complete run, and the only controls are to swipe up, down, left and right anywhere on the touchscreen.
- Conveniently Empty Building: You go through the middle of a lot of these.
- Crapsaccharine World
- Deliberately Monochrome: The runner, the pursuer, and everything the two of them can interact with are black silhouettes. The backgrounds, however, avert this.
- Disturbed Doves: On most rooftops, and one of the many shout-outs to Canabalt.
- Escape Sequence: Every level has you escaping from an armed pursuer.
- Freemium: The core game is free. The paid edition has bonus (non-story) levels, and you earn more coins from each level, which makes it a lot easier to earn all the coins you'll need to unlock all the special moves required for 100% completion. Being a freemium game, of course, you can also buy these coins with real money.
- The Steam release averts this, costing about €5,99. It's planned to get DLC, on the other hand, let you be the hunter and creating your own levels.
- Le Parkour: The entire gameplay is built around this, and aside from some of the long distance leaps, is fairly realistic. While you can complete the levels with normal jumps and slides, you can earn extra points by doing location-specific 'tricks', which are accurate reproductions of actual free-running moves.
- Police State
- Roof Hopping: Along with Le Parkour, the entire point of the game.
- Rotoscoping: Certainly looks like a rotoscoped game, at least, with an incredible amount of detail in the runner's movements.
- Scenery Porn: The backgrounds are highly detailed, in stark comparison to the wholly-black foreground.
- Soft Glass: All the windows you'll be jumping through. Especially bad since, in the intro, the runner strips off his jacket and shirt before going through the first one.
- Sinister Surveillance
- Super Window Jump: Generally one per level, and especially the one highlighted in the opening movie.
- Too Fast to Stop: Sometimes you need to slow down at the end of a sprint to avoid splatting into a wall or overshooting your target.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Some levels only have a single safe route through, which you only find out by going down the wrong ones.
- Wall Jump: Later levels can have you gain height by leaping between two closely-set walls.
- X Meets Y: Canabalt meets Mirror's Edge, naturally.