SteamWorld Dig 2 Looks To Improve Every Facet Of Its Predecessor

SteamWorld Dig 2 - Boss Fight
SteamWorld Dig 2 Image & Form

We’re less than a month removed from SteamWorld Dig 2 ’s Nintendo Switch debut, currently slated for Sept. 21, but that didn’t stop us from getting hands-on time with the game at Nintendo’s second-annual Nindies@Night event the evening before PAX West. But we’re starting to regret that decision a bit. Because the next three weeks are going to seem much longer than they did before we got a chance to play SteamWorld Dig 2.

The SWD2 demo shown during Nindies@Night was very short, featuring little more than an early ability upgrade (enabling a quick dash) and the first boss encounter. But it did provide a preview of the expanded game systems and mechanics we’ll see in the sequel. The demo also made it clear Image & Form has much bigger plans for its third SteamWorld release than it did for the original SteamWorld Dig or their turn-based follow-up, SteamWorld Heist.

If you’re familiar with the first SteamWorld Dig, the most important thing you need to know about the sequel is that it improves on every single aspect of the game you can imagine. The series’ unique art style has been upgraded a touch. Textures look more crisp than ever before and each setting has much more detail than we saw in the first SWD. Image & Form also hired a proper level design team for SteamWorld Dig 2 instead of procedurally generating levels again in the sequel.

Platforming plays a much bigger role this time around. Some levels emphasize speed, while others focus on precision and jumping puzzles. But it’s rare that players travel in any one direction for too long. SWD2 also features two collections of character upgrades, each split into multiple tiers, including one collection comprised entirely of goods purchased with golden gears hidden throughout the world.

During our demo, Image & Form CEO Brjánn Sigurgeirsson confirmed digging for valuables and selling your loot is still a core part of the SteamWorld Dig 2 experience. And not just because I&F needed a currency for players to use. Sigurgeirsson acknowledged the enticing nature of the first game, which was primarily a game about digging straight down with the occasional combat encounter sprinkled in, but says the commercial success of SWD and SteamWorld Heist gave the team more room to think about what other styles of gameplay they wanted to incorporate. And that brainstorming led to an assortment of new upgrades, boss encounters and other gameplay changes.

For an early look at SteamWorld Dig 2, take a few minutes to watch the trailer that debuted during the recent Nindies Direct live stream. Then head down to the comments and let us know if you’re planning to buy SteamWorld Dig 2 when the game hits PC and consoles this month.

SteamWorld Dig 2 is in development for PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game hits Nintendo’s hybrid platform on Sept. 21 before making the jump to PC and PS4 a few days later.

Be sure to check back with Player.One and follow Scott on Twitter for more SteamWorld Dig 2 news in 2017 and however long Image & Form supports SteamWorld Dig 2 after launch.

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