Nidhogg 2 is shaping up to be the biggest tonal, and certainly artistic, departure in a video game series since Team Fortress 2.

Their trailer, below, has already turned heads. The first game features tight, simple but kinetic pixel animation, and monochrome sprites fencing. Its challenge was choosing when to swing, when to stab, when to leap, when to roll, and when to run. It was frenetic and joyous. Meanwhile, the sequel looks like an off-kilter Sega Genesis game with party-game weapon options.

Now, developer Messhof has given the following press release:

Want to see what it’s like to go inside a dying nidhogg and come out its butt? Silly question…of course you do!

Fill your opponent with arrows, chuck a knife into its groin, smash its face into juicy goop, or even kick it old-school with your trusty sword. Nidhogg 2 is busting open the floodgates with a bunch of new moves and weapons, each with its own playstyle for dispatching foes.”

This abject, almost disconcerting “goofy grotesque” is seen widely as a risky move for the game’s future. Nidhogg 2 further promises the following options:

  • Completely overhauled animations with monstrous art from Toby Dixon.
  • 10+ levels of fencing goodness, including multiplayer (local/online) and tournament mode.
  • Challenge the AI in single-player, including special challenge rounds.
  • New soundtrack with music by Mux Mool, Dose One, Daedelus, and more.

If nothing else, Nidhogg 2 will certainly be a massive expansion of the original’s 1-weapon, 4-stage gameplay. It releases in 2017.