Nidhogg 2 will be available for PS4 on August 15, developer Messhof has announced. Studio co-founder and creative director Mark Essen confirmed the news in a post on the PlayStation Blog, where he also said preorders will begin on July 18.
Although Messhof has previously said Nidhogg 2 is also coming to PC in “summer 2017,” a specific date has not yet been revealed. It is unclear whether the PC version will be available alongside the PS4 launch. GameSpot has reached out for clarification on the PC release date.
In the PlayStation Blog post, Essen went on to talk about the new and somewhat divisive chunky art style, which he said “grew out of practicality more than some daring vision.”
He continued: “Nidhogg was a game of fast reactions and precision, so fluid animation was a major priority. The flat style meant that I could iterate quickly, drawing and adjusting animations on the fly without having to worry about matching dozens of intricate design elements between frames.
“Rather than setting up mechanics and then moving on to art, I’m someone who needs to be able to tweak both constantly. The major drawback to this approach is that adding any sort of detail, like a piece of armor or a mask, means hours upon hours spent redoing animations again and again. While these limitations helped to define Nidhogg’s distinctive style, we felt constrained.”
According to Essen, when he and fellow co-founder Kristy Norindr started thinking about the sequel, they decided to experiment with bone animation programs that allow for individual body parts to be animated independently, instead of having to constantly redraw characters entirely.
“It seemed silly to use all this potential on pixelated stick figures,” Essen explained. “So, instead of minimalism, why not try out some maximalism? Animated faces, sweet outfits and hairstyles, bustling environments – the doors had swung wide and Nidhogg 2’s visual style was born.”
Nidhogg 2 features “completely overhauled” environments and animations, more than 10 levels, and a new soundtrack (with music from Dose One, Daedelus, and Mux Mool). There’s also support for local and online multiplayer (along with a tournament mode), plus a single-player mode where you compete with the AI and face “occasional special challenge rounds.”