Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Nidhogg 2′s Gameplay Justifies Its Art Style

When I saw the first trailer for Nidhogg 2, I didn't like it. The art style was a bit too funky, and a far cry from the minimalistic, expressive look of the first game. It seemed like an unforced error, going from a refined and elegant look to something chaotic and crowded. Watching the game in motion at this year's PlayStation Experience (and playing a few rounds of it), almost all of my doubts were assuaged.

When I asked the person demoing the game to me (and my opponent) about the change in art direction, he told me the team wanted to make sure the game stood out from its predecessor. "We want this to be its own thing," they told me. They know a lot of people like the simple look and gameplay of the original, but wanted to try new things with the sequel. Thus, the art style is a clear indicator. It screams "prepare for something different."

The more I played, the more my doubts about the art style began to fade away. The animations are great, not the least of which is a new, exaggerated stomping animation that plays when one player downs another and attacks their body. The titular Nidhogg (the giant worm that eats whoever makes it far enough on their side of the stage to win the match) looks as grotesque and ugly as you'd want it to, considering its insidious goal. The art as a whole is brutish, but fits with the game's savage competition and gives it a different tone. The naked (but, from what I saw, safe-for-work) bodies of the two competitors emphasized how dehumanizing a competition like this must be, and characters can spawn as different genders. Also, as skeletons.

Nidhogg 2's gameplay isn't wildly different from the first, but it is more varied. In addition to the rapier from the first game, you can now pick up larger claymores or smaller daggers, as well as a bow. As you might expect, the dagger is a bit faster to wield, but doesn't have the range of the other weapons. The claymore is a bit slower, but swings in a wide arc downwards, as opposed to the rapier's refined prods. The bow can fire an infinite number of arrows, but does not kill when thrown. I liked the variety in weapons since it adds to the chaos of having to scrounge your way to the upper hand from what you're given, but I feel like the bow and arrow is a bit too strong. I didn't have many issues evading arrows, but it put me on my toes more than the melee-range weapons, since I knew I was always in danger.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Besides that, most of the maneuvers in Nidhogg make a return. You can dive kick by pressing the attack button, and roll by crouching down while running. You can do full-body flail if you jump while crouched, which my friends and I dubbed "frogging" back when we played the first game.

Playing a couple of matches with one of the developers, my long-winded sessions of the original game came back to me, and I had a blast. Having to gain a new awareness of your situation every time your character respawns after dying, all while your opponent makes their mad dash for the finish line, still makes for a long of frantic moments that lead to emotions running high for long periods of time. Our first match went for almost six minutes, though I get the feeling the developer I was playing with let me win. But I stilled enjoyed what I played, and the new weapons enhance the game's chaotic feel.

After we wrapped up our demo, I asked the developer if the team was going to go more in-depth about the world of Nidhogg through a more expansive story mode. He told me the story mode won't be expansive, but it'll be more substantial than the original, and offer a few details about the world.

Though the changes Nidhogg 2 makes sound out of step with the simplistic philosophy of the first game, I came away from the sequel eager to play more. I'm more sold on the new art style, and the changes sound like enough to keep me up for a few more nights, yelling at my friends about how they're playing like jerks and how I totally pressed the jump button and should not have fallen into that pit. I swear I did.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Nidhogg 2′s Gameplay Justifies Its Art Style

When I saw the first trailer for Nidhogg 2, I didn't like it. The art style was a bit too funky, and a far cry from the minimalistic, expressive look of the first game. It seemed like an unforced error, going from a refined and elegant look to something chaotic and crowded. Watching the game in motion at this year's PlayStation Experience (and playing a few rounds of it), almost all of my doubts were assuaged.

When I asked the person demoing the game to me (and my opponent) about the change in art direction, he told me the team wanted to make sure the game stood out from its predecessor. "We want this to be its own thing," they told me. They know a lot of people like the simple look and gameplay of the original, but wanted to try new things with the sequel. Thus, the art style is a clear indicator. It screams "prepare for something different."

The more I played, the more my doubts about the art style began to fade away. The animations are great, not the least of which is a new, exaggerated stomping animation that plays when one player downs another and attacks their body. The titular Nidhogg (the giant worm that eats whoever makes it far enough on their side of the stage to win the match) looks as grotesque and ugly as you'd want it to, considering its insidious goal. The art as a whole is brutish, but fits with the game's savage competition and gives it a different tone. The naked (but, from what I saw, safe-for-work) bodies of the two competitors emphasized how dehumanizing a competition like this must be, and characters can spawn as different genders. Also, as skeletons.

Nidhogg 2's gameplay isn't wildly different from the first, but it is more varied. In addition to the rapier from the first game, you can now pick up larger claymores or smaller daggers, as well as a bow. As you might expect, the dagger is a bit faster to wield, but doesn't have the range of the other weapons. The claymore is a bit slower, but swings in a wide arc downwards, as opposed to the rapier's refined prods. The bow can fire an infinite number of arrows, but does not kill when thrown. I liked the variety in weapons since it adds to the chaos of having to scrounge your way to the upper hand from what you're given, but I feel like the bow and arrow is a bit too strong. I didn't have many issues evading arrows, but it put me on my toes more than the melee-range weapons, since I knew I was always in danger.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Besides that, most of the maneuvers in Nidhogg make a return. You can dive kick by pressing the attack button, and roll by crouching down while running. You can do full-body flail if you jump while crouched, which my friends and I dubbed "frogging" back when we played the first game.

Playing a couple of matches with one of the developers, my long-winded sessions of the original game came back to me, and I had a blast. Having to gain a new awareness of your situation every time your character respawns after dying, all while your opponent makes their mad dash for the finish line, still makes for a long of frantic moments that lead to emotions running high for long periods of time. Our first match went for almost six minutes, though I get the feeling the developer I was playing with let me win. But I stilled enjoyed what I played, and the new weapons enhance the game's chaotic feel.

After we wrapped up our demo, I asked the developer if the team was going to go more in-depth about the world of Nidhogg through a more expansive story mode. He told me the story mode won't be expansive, but it'll be more substantial than the original, and offer a few details about the world.

Though the changes Nidhogg 2 makes sound out of step with the simplistic philosophy of the first game, I came away from the sequel eager to play more. I'm more sold on the new art style, and the changes sound like enough to keep me up for a few more nights, yelling at my friends about how they're playing like jerks and how I totally pressed the jump button and should not have fallen into that pit. I swear I did.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Blog: Finding the visual style for your game – a few tips for young artists

A developer behind the indie game Flat Kingdom explains how his team came to the game’s unique oragami-inspired “flat” visuals. …


Gamasutra News

XCOM 2’s Latest DLC Adds Mechs And Terminator Style Enemies

XCOM 2 is getting a dose of Terminator in the latest DLC. Shen’s Last Gift is upping the stakes with more mechanical combatants.

Chief Engineer Shen is the center of the story, as she leads a team to recover her father’s final work. Once recovered, players will be able to build mechs to add to their forces on the battlefield.

Shen’s Last Gift is out today and joins the Anarchy’s Children and Alien Hunters DLC. XCOM 2 is available now on PC and coming on September 6 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

For more, check out our review.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Creating the paper-craft art style of Book of Demons

“We put a lot of effort into making everything the way it looks now and the road to getting here was a really bumpy one. Hope you will enjoy the story of how it all came to life.” …


Gamasutra News

The birth of Ico, and Fumito Ueda’s visionary style

“What I wanted to do was something very stylish, and very playable. As for the beautiful graphics and such, I guess you could just call that an unconscious habit on my part.” …


Gamasutra News

Puzzler 101 Ways To Die Demands You Kill With Style

101 Ways To Die tasks you with killing creatures in creative and devious ways for the sake of science. The physics-based puzzler casts you as an assistant to one Professor Ernst Splattunfuder with the goal of rebuilding the professor's destroyed manuscript after it's been destroyed.

This means reproducing and solving every single puzzle by sending tons of little critters to meet their deaths. You can watch a cartoonishly gory video of the game in action here: 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

101 Ways To Die will be out on PC on March 22 while the PS4 version is out on March 23. The Xbox One version will be released on March 24.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Puzzler 101 Ways To Die Demands You Kill With Style

101 Ways To Die tasks you with killing creatures in creative and devious ways for the sake of science. The physics-based puzzler casts you as an assistant to one Professor Ernst Splattunfuder with the goal of rebuilding the professor's destroyed manuscript after it's been destroyed.

This means reproducing and solving every single puzzle by sending tons of little critters to meet their deaths. You can watch a cartoonishly gory video of the game in action here: 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

101 Ways To Die will be out on PC on March 22 while the PS4 version is out on March 23. The Xbox One version will be released on March 24.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Sunset: Not that seventies style

Tale of Tales’ Michael Saymn writes about capturing the style of a decade through reference material — not just visual, but political and cultural — in Sunset. …


Gamasutra News

Bikes Meet Wacky Blade Runner Style In Trials Fusion DLC

Ubisoft's Trials series isn't shy about injecting its high-octane courses with spectacular backdrops and explosions. The upcoming Fault One Zero DLC ratchets things up even further, taking Trials Fusion (read our review) into the futuristic city of Megalopolis. Check out the robots, neon skylines, and holograms galore in the newly revealed trailer and screenshots.

The trailer below begins by teasing fans into thinking the DLC's art style might feature a Sin City-esque black-and-white look before exploding into a cityscape of color. You can get another look at Fault One Zero in the screens below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The Fault Zero One DLC is available now, complete with 10 new tracks, 24 challenges, five trophies, and new track editor options. Season pass owners who already paid up $ 19.99 have access to the content now, while everyone else can grab the DLC for $ 4.99. The game is available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed