If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

Freeware Garden: Level 2 - Virus Master

A heavy metal shmup

Listening to a thundering heavy metal soundtrack while blasting enemies straight from the 16-bit demoscene is, almost surprisingly, exactly as awesome as it sounds. Level 2 - Virus Master, on the other hand, is not as awesome as it sounds. It's way better.

Looking for more free games? Check out our round up of the best free PC games that you can download and play right now.

It's a perfectly choreographed, on-rails, twin-stick 2D shmup through a master pixel-artist's fever dream, where everything is happening in sync to the music of progressive metal band Last Chance to Reason and their Level 2 album*, and singing monstrosities and odd bosses seek your destruction in a wild mix of art and action. Yes, this is as Dionysian a celebration of metal and its iconography as the venerable medium of the shoot-'em-up can offer.

Surely, the Amiga could never pull these effects off.

Nothing ever gets in the way of your enjoyment either, as death only results in losing a few percentile points and nothing stops you from trying again. Level 2 - Virus Master, in its painstakingly created stunningness, could only ever last for a few minutes you see, and restarting it feels as natural a thing as giving Super Hexagon another try. Anything longer would have probably required a Kickstarter methinks.

Still, a modicum of longevity is provided by its scoring system. You'll get a percentage representing your performance in each of its four stages and should you do well enough a fifth one will become available, though after a couple dozen or so playthroughs I've only comes close to unlocking this fabled stage once. So, yeah, longevity indeed. Should you see it, please let me know what the real finale of the thing actually looks like.

[* Level 2 - Virus Master is a promo game for the band and its titular album by Lazy Brain Games.]

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Sign up today for access to more supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More News

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch