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Review: Speed Limit – PS5, PS4

I was a kid during the 90s, which means my parents got harassed for coins whenever we went shopping in town. I’d moan and moan until I was given some pennies and allowed to go in the arcade. They were good times and I remember pushing coins in the machines of… well… I can’t actually remember. It was more than 20 years ago and my brain has had to make room for other things like; remember to pay bills, remember to put money into the savings account (which I haven’t opened yet) and remember to feed the child I co-own. I rarely get all three right…

I’m only spinning three plates, but Speed Limit is spinning many and doing a far better job at it.

The game opens with “RUN” and… I died straight away. My man, who has no name but we shall call him Dave, was on a commuter train and on the left side of him were a dozen or so armed men. Were they cops? FBI? CIA? I don’t know, all I know is that they shot me dead and a few seconds later I was given another go. And I screwed that up, too, and continued to do so until my gaming instinct kicked in (it takes time these days, about as long as it takes me to get off the potty) and my thumb directed Dave from the left side of the screen to the right. A bad guy stood in front of me and those instincts kicked in – a little quicker this time – and with a quick pull of R2, he was gone.

That’s not the end of the story, it’s barely even the beginning. From here on out, Speed Limit slammed me and Dave through ten levels of madness and death, all inspired by the great forgotten arcade games.

The action is fast and the deaths are faster. You can expect to die many, many, many times in Speed Limit, and that’s by design. It’s not a rogue-like, though, so unlike Dead Cells, which I recently failed to review, I could actually finish Speed Limit in one sitting. When you die, you come back almost instantly and fairly close to the location of death. The game uses invisible checkpoints so it’s not always obvious when you’re “safe” to die. What I can tell you is that you’re never safe to take your hands off of the controller. I had to rearrange my genitals as I had accidentally sat on the saggy sack, and I died twice while doing so. Once on the inside when my four-year-old son called me a “minging grandpa” and again when Dave got splatted by a barrier on top of a moving train. Keep your hands on the controller, that’s my advice.

Speed Limit hits more than it misses with its twisted take on old arcade games, but some sections really did annoy the hell out of me and I can’t say I’m looking forward to doing them again. Namely, the helicopter sections. They were just not that fun. The rest? Really good, give or take a few spots where the supposedly ‘easy’ mode I was playing on had me frustrated enough that I could feel my blood pressure rising.

Despite the constant barrage of bad guys and the inevitable death every minute – no joke here, I did literally die at least once a minute – I still had a bloody good time with the game. It made me laugh, it made me angry, and it made me feel a little younger. It’s silly and it’s serious at the same time; if you’re a hopeless fart like me, the easy mode will give you an hour or so of challenging, funny, and thrilling gameplay. If you’re a speed-demon who likes setting records, then the higher settings are for you. The game is a speedrunners paradise with detailed stats on your best efforts, and I can see the hardcore time chasers having a riot with this one. Not me, though. I’m happy enough to play it for laughs and to enjoy the really well done old-school-made-new graphics. And, for the first time in my gaming life, I’m loving the cinematic black borders. I don’t know why, but it just works.

Speed Limit isn’t an easy sell. The game is great, sure, and the price is fair. However, you should know that you’ll be done within a handful of hours at most unless you’re going for 100% completion or to wave your e-peen around with some “sick” speed run times.

[You can pick up a physical version of Speed Limit for PS4/Switch via Strictly Limited Games. There are som wicked cool extras, too.]

Speed Limit PS5, PS4 Review
  • Overall - Fantastic - 8/10
    8/10
8/10

Summary

Speed Limit drags the best of the past to the present and then spends a few hours killing you repeatedly. That might sound like hard work but it’s some of the best fun I’ve had this year. The only question now is: when’s Speed Limit 2 coming out?

Pros

  • Fast and simple gameplay – you only use the sticks and R2
  • Some nice callbacks to classic arcade coin suckers
  • Easy mode for those who want/need it
  • Very cool presentation; one of the most stylish pixel-art games out there
  • Detailed stats breakdown for speedrunners and number nerds alike

Cons

  • A little too difficult at times
  • The helicopter chapters were not fun
  • Can be beaten in under an hour (on easy) but it’ll definitely take a lot longer to master

Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a code provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.

Reviewed using PS5.

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