Poorly-implemented interfaces and controls, paired with a bit of aimlessness, bring down this sequel effort
Going back to the days of the arcade classic Gauntlet, I’ve been a big fan of multiplayer dungeon crawling, hacking, and slashing. Though Diablo and its ilk came along much later to elaborate a great deal on that core style of play, more classically-oriented titles like the original Hammerwatch in general helped to carry the torch of that simpler classic style of play. With Hammerwatch II though, something happened on the way to success it seems… or maybe the issue is that it simply has been released before it was truly ready for prime time? I appreciate the concept of a world that’s somewhat open for you to explore and find your own way, but there’s also a point where it can feel a bit like nothing you’re doing really matters, you’re just flailing around for its own sake. That’s the case here, and it’s something both my friend and I who played together felt after spending some hours with it both solo and playing together. If you’re determined to jump in, co-op absolutely helps make the experience a bit more manageable, but I wouldn’t call it thrilling either. That said, unless the game’s really sloppy controls and interfaces are revamped pretty radically I wouldn’t likely bother. They’re not adequately explained, they’re often confusing, and they absolutely don’t feel well-suited to console play. While I’m a fan of the original, I’d say this follow-up doesn’t hold up.
Justin Nation, Score: