Gamechuck unleashed Speed Limit demo on Steam on 13 March 2020. This unassuming game turned out to be a pixelated but highly addictive creation from Keanu Reeves fans since this projects some major Speed and John Wick vibes.
Speed Limit pays homage to both retro games and over the top action that was the staple of '80s and '90s action blockbusters. The dip in decades long-gone does not overstay its welcome, however, since the player has to focus on staying alive by popping enemies at all times.
Just like the name implies, Speed Limit's action is happening constantly and it's fast enough to make one's hands all sweaty from all the inputs. With great speed comes great difficulty in action games though, and this one is no exception.
It looks like Speed Limit was indeed made to not hold the players' hands since I got thrown into the moving train, handed a gun by a dying dude while also being held at gunpoint by some agent and his SWAT entourage. There were only mere seconds for me to get my bearings and start moving to the train's next car but I was late the first time around and got an achievement after someone blew my character's brains out.
The demo consists of three stages in total and it would take roughly three minutes to complete all of them, if not for all the fails along the way. Thanks to the game's difficulty, it took me 28 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the demo while I failed 44 times across all stages before finishing the last one.
Don't get me wrong, the difficulty is not Speed Limit's downside. If anything, the challenge to overcome the obstacles became one of the high points since it's both satisfying to finish a stage that was failed some many times before while doubling down as an excellent memory exercise.
The reason it can be classified as memory exercise is that enemies enter the scene at the same intervals, with the exact same groups of different types as on previous attempts. Therefore, memorising the enemy's movements can positively influence subsequent attempts and eventually let players overcome the hefty challenges.
Memory alone is not enough to conquer the challenge Speed Limit poses - some mechanical prowess will be needed as well. The controls are rather simple with four directional buttons that decide where the character aims or moves with two action buttons, with one of them being for shooting the gun and the other depending on which stage you are playing.
In my case, it turned out that playing on a gamepad was much better than on keyboard since the inputs were much easier and quicker. Furthermore, it allows the player to fully dig into the retro gaming nostalgia that reminds of the consoles such as the legendary NES.
Regarding the button that alters its function depending on the stage - Speed Limit is not stuck to just one format. It is kind of like the classic Contra in that regard since the perspective will shift regularly. I started off with the massive sidescrolling train shootout but the third stage is a top-down car chase.
This is where the jump button became obsolete so the function switched to pulling my gun out, after which I would aim it at the agents' car chasing after mine. While the gun is out, car controls get locked in so balancing between the two is crucial, lest one fancies decorating another car's rear end with their own. Gameplay diversity was indeed fun even in the limited demo experience but it's bound to be even more diverse with the full release since the demo didn't feature the bike sequence.
It might be worth noting that Keanu Reeves' awesomeness didn't escape the developers in the ranks of Gamechuck either. Besides the game's vibes that remind of both Speed and John Wick, there is even an achievement named Keanu for the first level. Since it requires the player to not miss a single shot, it is a reference to either Keanu Reeves destroying a target practice course or the aforementioned crack shot assassin.
Either way, this challenge was not something I embarked on but when someone inevitably pulls it off, it should look as awesome as 2D action can get.
Overall, Speed Limit is a highly promising title that should prove to be a blast in Q2 2021. Until then, any fan of the retro shooters and proper challenge can treat themselves to the free demo on Steam .