Nidhogg 2 is a side-scrolling fighting game like anything available nowadays. Developed by the Californian independent studio Messhof, the game is a sequel to the award-winning title from 2014 in which two players fight to the death using cold weapons to reach the end of the level… just to be devoured by some giant flying worm. That’s weird, I know, but its simple concept design shines with colorful scenarios and intense gameplay, making it a perfect call for a gaming night with friends! Choose your favorite weapon and fight your way to the though one of the arenas after reading our review.
- Nidhogg 2 gameplay something unique. Each one of its levels is composed by seven large stages positioned side-by-side. Your fight starts in the central stage. When you get rid of your opponent (in some good-looking gory ways… more about that later), you gain access to the next stage. As your opponent will respawn a few seconds later, you better run avoiding the combat or defeating your opponent again until you reach the next stage. If your foe manages do kill you, he gains access to the next stage and starts to run toward his goal… until you kill him again. And in this apparently infinite swapping, the player (or bot, when playing against the CPU) who beats the fourth stage wins the fight… and gets devoured by that giant flying worm.
- The combat is where the game shines! Using one of four different weapons (a rapier, a claymore, a dagger and a bow and arrow) held at three different heights (upper, medium or lower), you try to disarm your opponent or simply finish him with a single blow. If your opponent tries to stay way from you, you can throw your weapon at him (no worries if you miss or if he parries it since you can always pick up another one on the ground). If things go bad, you can use your fists to knock him down and step on his head until it explodes. The combat is one-hit-kill with some gory but beautiful animations that’ll leave puddles of blood on the scenario. The developers were smart in not using red for the blood (it always matches the color of your character) to avoid problems with the age ratings for the game.
- You will find a good level of customization in the game. Besides their colors, you can customize your characters hair, accessories and clothes, giving them some personality. You can also customize the rules for each match, like disabling weapon throws or slides. One of the customizations of the gameplay that made laugh out loud was the boomerang… but I won’t spoil the fun: you’ll have to try it for yourself!
- Levels vary a lot between one another: you have castles, offices, trains and much more to choose as your battlefield. And Nidhogg 2 has some of the most beautiful and detailed 2D scenarios I’ve seen this year. Characters animations don’t fall behind either: they’re very fluid, granting a beautiful overall visual for the game.
- The sound is a show apart. Although it has some very good sound effects, the music is where your eyes (or ears) will stay focused. With tracks from artists like Mux Mool, Baths, Doseone, Osborne e Daedelus, the soundtrack of the game will keep you really excited during the gameplay.
- The game can be played in three different modes, Arcade, in which you’ll face the AI level after level, Local, in which you can play in solo matches against a friend or in tournaments up to 8 players, and On line, where you’ll fight players all around the world. And that’s it. The game feels shallow in content.
- When playing alone, after a few matches you will find it hard to keep playing. Even with all the modifiers you can apply to the gameplay, you may lose interest on it. It isn’t a problem of lack of content, but a taste of “ok, what else now?” that stayed in my mouth after playing it that I cannot answer.
[Score: 76/100] Nidhogg 2 expands the concept of its first game, delivering a solid gameplay with beautiful graphics and amazing soundtrack. It’s perfect for game sessions with friends, although hard to recommend it for playing alone: you will have some serious fun with it, even though it lasts for only a couple matches, making you lose interest on it quickly. Its one of that games that deserves the label ‘better with friends’ to be really enjoyed.