Review: Nidhogg 2 (PS4)

Review: Nidhogg 2 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Nidhogg 2
Format: PSN (1.21 GB)
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: MESSHOF
Developer: MESSHOF
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
At long last the follow-up to the surprise hit Nidhogg is upon us. The first game was a fantastic local multiplayer affair that sparked a small competitive scene and became a staple in my household. Now with a completely new art style and the addition of new weapons, Nidhogg 2 maintains the same level of fun the first game had while feeling like fresh experience.

The rules are simple, kill your opponent and run to your end of the screen. The combat is similar to fencing in that you have a weapon that you can aim high, mid, or low and you have to outmaneuver your opponent. Matches can be fast or slow depending on your playstyle.

I tend to play at a frantic pace allowing myself to catch my opponents off guard, but I can play a more slow and methodical style if needed. I’ve seen matches last two minutes and I’ve been in single matches that have reached well over the twenty minute mark.

One of the biggest changes made from the first game is the introduction of new weapons. Now along with the fencing sword there’s a broadsword, a dagger, and a bow. Each weapon is vastly different from the other in terms of what they bring to a match.

The broadsword is extremely powerful and can easily knock an opponent’s weapon from their hand but it’s slower than the other weapons. The dagger is quick though it requires a much closer fight. The most “controversial” addition, the bow, is a long range weapon that can sometimes feel overpowered, especially when someone gets on a roll with it. It can have its arrows deflected so it isn’t completely devastating though it has definitely been a hotly debated addition to the game.

One important thing to note about the weapons is they are not randomly given. Instead, they’re in a rotation so after each death you’ll spawn with a different weapon and you’ll know which one it’ll be.

There are a fair amount of options for customization both in the character models and the rules of the matches. Match options allow for a timer, weapon choices, and gameplay elements.

The is fantastic and I loved every minute I played. It’s a perfect game for local multiplayer. I do wish it had some small things from the first game, like a stats screen after a match that shows how many deaths and kills happened though that’s a minor quibble in what is otherwise a fantastic game.

Visuals:
To say Nidhogg 2 is a vast departure from the first game’s art style would be an understatement. This is a complete overhaul of the visuals and it’s disgusting in the best possible way.

At first I didn’t like the new art style because it was so different from the pixelated original, but the game looks so much more lively. The character models look bizarre and the gore is so much more brutal than before and I love it.

All the levels look great and have some of the coolest backgrounds to take full advantage of the new art style. Old players might need some time to get used to it but I’m confident after a few matches you’ll fall in love with the new visuals.

Audio:
The music is good too, it has a chilled vibe similar to the previous game. I enjoyed what I listened to though I spent most of my game time playing locally yelling amongst friends due to our competitive nature.

Online/Multiplayer:
Nidhogg 2 features online multiplayer which, so far, has been somewhat of a mixed experience. I can’t tell if my issues connecting to other players are due to a lack of people playing online or a netcode issue.

Either way, the developers have issued a patch or two since launch that have improved the online play allowing me to connect to more matches. Once in a match, the gameplay is pretty solid but it does occasionally get a little laggy with some flaws with hit detection.

I also ran into some other issues that probably can be patched. One is the ability to pause the game during a match that often leads to me getting griefed. For example I played against quite a few people that would pause the game right before I was about to win and this pretty much left me unable to do anything until they unpaused or quit. Other players would just spam the pause button until I got fed up and quit, giving them the win. There has to be a solution to this problem and I hope it can be found.

The online also features ranked play despite it not doing much to differ from a quick match, especially since there doesn’t appear to be much in terms of stat tracking. I hope over time they can flesh out a meaning to ranked play.

This is a local multiplayer game at its core so I’m not too upset by the online issues.

Conclusion:
Nidhogg 2 is a great follow-up to what was a surprise hit. The addition of new weapons makes for a deeper experience that the hardcore community should enjoy sinking their teeth into.

The new art style might throw people off, but what it brings to the table in terms of details and and life is well worth the change.

I’m hopeful that the online will find its footing since not everyone has the ability to play locally with their gaming friends. With that said, the game shines when playing locally. It has the ability to bring out the competitive nature in anybody and the mechanics are simple enough for people to learn relatively quickly.

If you’re looking for a new local multiplayer game I highly recommend giving this one a shot. If you’re a veteran of the first game don’t pass this up simply because the art style is different. It’s too much fun to pass up.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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