'Nidhogg 2' to come out in August sporting a brand-new art style

The original Nidhogg was something of a surprise hit thanks to its simple but addictive multiplayer formula. But while the fencing game was praised for its fast-paced gameplay and sense of humor, its pixel-art visual style was a little lackluster. That changes in Nidhogg 2. The game is out next month, and developer Messhof has introduced a colorful new art style.

“We were proud of the original Nidhogg‘s visual style, but that’s not to say we weren’t a bit surprised by how well the chunky, featureless pixels were received, said creative director Mark Essen in a post on the PlayStation Blog. “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.”

For Nidhogg 2, Essen’s studio, Messhof, began using 2D bone animation programs that allowed them to to tweak stances and animate individual body parts without actually having to recreate entire characters — this meant that the team could use much more detailed sprites.

The end result is a cast of zany fighters who wiggle slightly while they’re standing in place, but who exhibit the same precision and control found in the first Nidhogg. It certainly makes the game more interesting to look at, but it remains to be seen if players will welcome the change.

“While it might take a few moments to adjust to the new look, we think you’ll enjoy this lively new world with all its visual absurdity and fun character possibilities,” Essen added. “I know that we’ve certainly had a blast creating it.”

Nidhogg 2 features ten different battle arenas, including the inside of the titular monster, as well as new weapons like the bow and arrow. The game supports solo play, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer, and will be available for PC and PlayStation 4 on August 15. It doesn’t appear that there are any plans to bring the game to Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, though Messhof co-founder Kristy Norindr said that she thinks the Switch is “perfect” for the game.