Hardcore platformer and roguelike followers will have a look at Spelunky 2 and lick their lips. At first look, that is the game they know effectively, having already sunk 1000’s of hours into the brilliant, cartoonish 2D indie, competing with their buddies to report the quickest occasions and highest scores. They will assume that taking management of the titular, cave-dwelling spelunker might be a cinch, however they’d be incorrect. The motive? Spelunky 2’s tricksy second layer.
The secondary setting mendacity beneath the principle procedurally-generated panorama is essentially the most vital addition to Derek Yu’s widespread roguelike. For a collection that’s loath to elucidate a lot of its options on the outset, the mysteriousness of the various hidden areas dotted throughout this subterranean world is sensible for the collection. That mentioned, this mechanic is partly supposed to deal with among the limitations of the unique.
“In Spelunky 1 you can see familiar features in the levels even though they’re randomised,” creator Derek Yu says as he takes me by means of his GDC construct of the game in co-op – though this may now be potential on-line. “I think people started to recognise certain kinds of formation and what that would mean, so that second layer really changes things up”.
Travelling by means of one of many subtly hidden gates that transport you to the opposite world beneath looks like I’m in a 2.5D expertise, though you can not see each on the similar time. It makes you concentrate on this ever-changing world in another way. An merchandise is perhaps blocked off on the highest layer, however a nifty little bit of maneuvering on the second might permit to entry it, making you’re feeling extraordinarily intelligent within the course of. “It’s the same way you’d have a bridge you can walk over, but you can also go under it,” Yu explains.
An excellent instance of this cropped up in my time with the game when an NPC duties us with rescuing his lacking turkey. It doesn’t take us lengthy to search out them, however they’re caught in a hard-to-reach spot. Endeavouring to return to this aspect job later, Yu and I proceed our spelunking and occur upon a darkened doorway to the second layer close by which, once we returned to the floor, allowed us to entry some treasure. This, it seems, was the treasure our turkey-free NPC would have given us had we accomplished the job.
Yu assures me, nonetheless, that this may increasingly not essentially be the final time we encounter turkey man on this run. It’s potential that we now may not profit from having rescued his rafter afterward. There are extra NPCs like this dotted all through Spelunky 2, following the success of the legendary Shopkeeper, who would notoriously pursue you with a shotgun in the event you stole from him.
For Yu, that is his manner of telling a story that works for the collection. “The point of this is to increase the feeling of dynamism and to make the world feel more rich,” Yu tells me. “It also gives people more personal stories. That’s in the Spelunky sense, as opposed to a set linear narrative.” In the case of the NPC we encountered, we might assault, assist, or simply ignore him. The first game modified the map every time, now that is extra the case with the story, too.
I would like new gamers to have a greater time taking part in Spelunky 2
This in flip makes the query of problem a curious one. Yu admits that he needs Spelunky 2 to be a extra welcoming place for newcomers, however that doesn’t essentially imply the sequel is any much less gruelling. For a begin, there are actually branching paths to enrich the fixed movement of micro selections you’ll make in any given second; some could also be more durable than in Spelunky 1, however others are simpler. Yu says “I really want new players to have a better time playing Spelunky 2 because I know a lot of people bounced off Spelunky 1.”
At the identical time, Yu even discovered the game more durable as he ready to indicate off the game at GDC 2019: “With Spelunky 2 I’m not necessarily going for harder. I was actually testing the demo myself for this show and it did actually feel a little harder to me.” Much of that might be right down to the brand new options the game throws at you, however, actually, Spelunky 2 is a game about selections; some will make the game more durable in relation to the prequel, others will make your life simpler.
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In different phrases there’s extra to Spelunky 2 than meets the attention. It may look acquainted however now Yu has taken underground exploration to a brand new stage, fairly actually. The game will really feel acquainted to returning gamers, however together with the brand new layer, branching paths, and extra NPCs with whom you’ll make extra recollections that’ll really feel fully your individual, there are higher liquid physics, mounts, and extra. In some ways, this sequel proves that you need to by no means decide Spelunky 2 by its cowl.