To keep faith in its origins, Nidhogg 2 is a title that simply asks to be played, does not have a real story mode and options count on the fingers of a hand, but if you are kidnapped by the duels along the horizontal arenas, you are sure you will come out of that delirium made of barrel and blood only after tens and tens of hours spent online or challenging a friend in multiplayer locally. There is also a ten-level arcade mode, but it’s more like a kind of workout to warm up the muscles before going to the real test bench, driving into PvP, the true heart of the game.
The main danger, however, is to have ducked into the tip of a stump with many opponents around the net or side by side already in the first Nidhoggand this is exactly where the paradox is involved: Nidhogg 2 is a real joy for newcomers thanks to its fresh and immediate game formula (for them) but for long-time players it is likely to be a stab behind , orphans of that graphics that seemed to have come out of a Philips Videopac or an Atari VCS and play mechanics as simple as functional.
With Nidhogg 2 , the Californian team has followed the ” bigger is better ” philosophy , stratified the combat system by expanding the weapons park, while the arenas have gone from four of the first chapter to the ten sets available now.
On paper the idea seems to be winning and in large part it is. At least in its basic base, Nidhogg 2 hasnot changed and the purpose of the game is always the same: eliminating the opponent who is ahead, as you progress horizontally at the various stages of the stage, until the huge Níðhöggr – a sort of huge flying worm – eats the winner who reached the far end of the level.
However, the rules of the game have been stunned by the introduction of new weapons: alongside the already known Nidhogg 2 also has space for a dagger, a bow and a heavy two-handed sword, each with its own motion and reaction / reaction time, each with weak points and strength.
What had made every duel in Nidhogg unforgettablewas their democratization: the same weapon for everyone and winning the best. Nidhogg 2 differs from this formula and forces the player to learn to handle the best weaponry to understand where, how and when to hit. For example, the sword is much slower than the knife and can not be used at three different heights, such as stubble, able to hit the head, abdomen or legs.
Again, the bow has the advantage of flickering from the distance but if it hurls against the opponent does not hit the shot, the recharge times are rather long and between one arrow and the other, his virtual alter ego remains exposed to the blows of the enemy.
More brain and less muscle
I would not know whether in this second chapter the challenges are more or less technical than the first Nidhogg, but certainly the fights follow a different and tighter pace, because every new respawn can happen to a different weapon and fate forces the brain to react quickly, unless you want to end up being the victim of a still-fending stomach or with the skull cleansed after a series of kicks.
But not all of them fit into perfection and some weapon combinations seem rather mischievous, favor or disadvantage one of the two contenders, risking losing the balance to that thin line that maintained the perfect balance. In many clashes, a knife in my hand, I liked to hurl the quick but cramped blade against my armed enemy of stubble, then maybe attack it from above with a flying kick: Nidhogg 2 always forces to elaborate different and imaginative strategies and in this sense it is important that the greatest variety of equipment is read.
In addition, clashes are also embellished by a more sophisticated and articulated level design; in their disposition, the arenas are nothing more than a succession of horizontal screens, but being able to play with the various environmental elements means gaining a remarkable advantage, a tactical factor that was almost absent in Messhof’s previous work because of its essentiality.
Now, instead, you play among dense, tall grassy bushes where you hide, on a deadly treadmill that culminates in grim steaks or, moreover, on bridges of a ship with doors and gates to exploit to strive for ambush.