, Drinkbox Studios' metroidvania platformer about a luchador who must rescue his kidnapped lover (who also happens to be El Presidente's daughter), surprised a lot of people, garnering rave reviews from both critics and players alike. Now the game is getting a sequel in the form of the imaginatively titled Guacamelee! 2
. While the majority of the gameplay mechanics will remain the same, there are some new elements that we got to see in action at EGX Rezzed 2018.Guacamelee! 2
takes place seven years after the events of its predecessor. Our favourite luchador Juan Aguacate is now living peacefully with his family, but then his friend and trainer Uay Chivo discovers a new evil threat that jeopardises time and space itself. At the start of our demo, Juan is chasing a mysterious enemy who has stolen the key to the Relic Room. We take on a few basic skeleton enemies before encountering the first new gameplay mechanic: Eagle Boost. This is a hook mechanic that allows Juan to attach to and fly through hook points to reach distant and/or higher platforms, as well as adding some verticality to enemy encounters. After a short period of time, we catch up to the enemy again.
It turns out that this is El Muñeco, just one of the bosses players will encounter in the game. His aim is to get into the Relic Room and steal the super secret sacred Relic. It's up to Juan and up to three friends to stop him. The game supports four-player local co-op, although just two of us took on the task this time. We enter the Jade Temple to try our luck. We platform our way past acid pools and thorny plants and seem to be doing well, until we walk into a spiked pillar that springs out of the ground after we walk across a pressure plate. After our initial shock, it soon becomes clear that while we need to avoid them, it's a great opportunity to lure enemies into the danger zone for some bonus environmental damage.
Eventually we reach a tiny corridor through which we can't fit. We back up to the last screen to encounter a chicken priest who has magically appeared from nowhere in the past five seconds. He bestows the chicken power upon us, shrinking us down to a small chicken who can fit through the smaller gaps. In this title, there's much more of a focus on the chicken and its abilities, and it can do much more than the basic peck attack found in the first title. Chickens can dodge, throw, and wall jump from the start, and more moves will be unlocked for this form throughout the game. One of these is a frankly hilarious rampage where the chicken increases to giant size and just pounds its enemies into the floor.
A bit further into the temple, we encounter the chicken priest again, who now gives us the Chicken Shot ability where we can diagonally divebomb our way through destructible purple blocks, unblocking routes that were previously inaccessible. Further on, he also tells us that we can switch between luchador form and chicken form at the press of a button, so it's incredibly easy to use the strengths of each form to get through the game. In the demo, we had infinite stamina to make it easier to complete the level and allow us to focus on exploring the new gameplay mechanics. In the full title, players will have a limited amount of stamina, therefore will only have a limited ability to pull off super moves.
The final new mechanic we encounter is the Dimension Waves. Both the living and undead worlds make a return in this title and players will need to master switching between the two if they're to progress. Waves of the undead world ripple across the screen, either horizontally or vertically, and they reveal or obscure parts of the environment, such as the Eagle Boost hook points, platforms, and even enemies. Perfect timing is a must if you don't want to fall to your doom.
Eventually we catch up to El Muñeco for the end boss fight of the demo. Here we need to use all of the tricks we've learned up until this point. We defeat him, only to find that it was just a distraction all along. While we've been busy, his chicken minion Gertrude has stolen the Relic and runs off with the loot before we can stop her. Where we go from here remains a mystery as our time with the game ended here. If you want to see the demo in action, take a look at the video below from last year's PSX, where the developer plays through the game while providing commentary and answering questions.
As you'll have seen above, the fast and frantic action for which the franchise is known returns in style with improved animations and a wider range of gameplay features. You'll be able to try the title out for yourself when it is released for Steam this summer.