When I first got my hands on Nidhogg, I loved the sheer simplicity of the game. It was easy to grasp and you could quickly become a champion of the Nidhogg universe. While it wasn’t the most graphically pleasing game, its back-to-basics approach was refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable. In comes Nidhogg 2, where more focus has been placed on environments and character models, and it’s just as good as ever.
Nidhogg 2 takes the best things about the original game and improves on them tenfold. However one of the biggest things you’ll takeaway from the game is the new graphical overhaul and the new “meaty” character models. No longer are you a faceless pixelated character, players now have the ability to create their own character complete with faces, clothing, and hair styles.
While it’s not the most robust character creation system, it offers players a chance to add some personality into the game and build a character they can grow to love throughout their fight-to-the-death battles. It’s definitely a nice touch for sure.
Aside from character models, the entire game has become more visually pleasing with each match having a different environment to play in each with their own unique theme and characteristics. A lot of work and love has certainly gone into this game and it shows, once again Messhof has pulled it out of the bag with Nidhogg 2.
There are also some environmental hazards in levels, whether it’s large gaps between platforms, moving conveyors, or simply meat mincers that are just inviting you to push your enemy into.
The biggest change to Nidhogg 2 however is the addition of new weapons which cycle after each death. Now, along with the fencing sword, there’s a broadsword, a dagger, and of course a bow and arrow. Each of these weapons have their own strengths and weaknesses and it’s up to the player to evolve their play style depending on which hand they’ve been given.
While the dagger might not see much of a match against the broadsword, if you change the way you play slightly, you can come up on top really easily. Though don’t get too comfortable. Much like the original game, Nidhogg 2 is incredibly fast paced and you need to have your wits about you in order to get ahead, that’s not to say you can’t ham-fist your way through, but taking your time as you zip through the level can really pay off.
Nidhogg 2 is a great example of “if it ain’t broke”. The game, for the most part, is largely the same. Players need to maim their opponents and progress towards the end goal which is to become a Wurm snack. Once the player has killed their enemy they dash forward as far as possible before their opponent respawns and it starts all over again.
The weapon variety does shake things up a bit and makes the game a little more interesting, but for the most part, it’s the same great game as before, just with some meatier visuals.
In terms of gameplay, while there is a more robust single player campaign featuring a Crash Bandicoot-style level selector, the game really shines with its local multiplayer. Online multiplayer is good too, however it relies on other people playing as well as the connection to be decent enough so that there’s no lag.
Overall while there’s not a lot to say about Nidhogg 2 compared to the original, the new release is a definite improvement both visually and gameplay-wise. It’s still a fantastic local-multiplayer game, and the changes are a welcome addition to the game.