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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Hell yeah, Hammerwatch 2 is basically going to be Diablo lite without the live service bloat

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Hammerwatch 2 debuted another new trailer during the Future Games Show 2023 and announced it would be joining the Steam Next Fest with a demo on June 19.

Hammerwatch and its followup Heroes of Hammerwatch are both excellent, co-op hack and slash games, the first a dungeon crawler and the second a roguelite. Developer Crackshell has now revealed its next game, Hammerwatch 2, and what the hell? It’s a full-on co-op action RPG now, and one that looks ridiculously pretty for a pixelated hack-and-slasher.

Hammerwatch 2 showed up at today’s Guerrilla Collective showcase with an explainer video featuring Crackshell’s creative director Jochum Skoglund. “With the sequel we are going for a more open-ended action adventure experience,” Skoglund says.

Previous Hammerwatch games were already fantastically fun and chaotic with their bullet-hell adjacent boss fights, screens full of criss-crossing spells, and dungeon puzzles. Hammerwatch 2 is bringing that all back and then some.

Just from the trailer above you can spot that Hammerwatch 2 has a full bar of eight skills, which Skoglund says have sub skills and passives and the option for any class to play ranged or melee. “For Hammerwatch 2 we have made a system more similar to bigger action RPGs,” which includes looting, crafting, and questing for new gear that have randomized stats. 

On top of that, in Hammerwatch 2 “you will now have a huge outside world to explore,” while dungeons will be a mix of hand-designed and generated areas. And seriously, look at the world. Hammerwatch wasn’t ugly, but those pixelated trees swaying in the wind while a player fights pirates on a beach are honestly calling to me.

Hammerwatch 2 sounds a lot like Diablo Lite, and even though I’m currently deep into Diablo 4 every night, there’s a serious appeal to Crackshell’s indie game approach. If you’ve been disinterested in spending $70 on the newest Blizzard game or are just weary of live service life, you should absolutely have an eye on this action RPG that almost certainly won’t have a battle pass.

Hammerwatch 2 is “coming soon” though it doesn’t have a release date yet. You can find it over on Steam to watch and wishlist until then.

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