Retro collection specialist Digital Eclipse's next game is an unlikely sequel to a brutally hard 2013 platformer

Volgarr the Viking II Announcement Trailer - YouTube Volgarr the Viking II Announcement Trailer - YouTube
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Summer game announcement season is here with surprises in tow—this is one I definitely couldn't have predicted. During Thursday's Guerrilla Collective stream,  Digital Eclipse—the studio best known in recent years for its "playable documentaries" like Atari 50 and The Making of Karateka—debuted a sequel to Volgarr the Viking, an indie action platformer from back in 2013.

The sequel looks like it's keeping things in line with the original, highlighting Volgarr dying more than a few times and doing some pretty weighty dodging and jumping. It's a decidedly old school vibe, with pixel art that wouldn't look out of place on the Super Nintendo. (Incidentally, the first game ended up getting plenty of votes when we polled our readers on the hardest PC games back in 2015).

Original developer Crazy Viking Studios is also still involved, and a retro platformer sequel's actually not so far out of left field for Digital Eclipse. Many of the developer's retro collections include newly designed takes on those classic games, and the studio cut its teeth working on action platformers for the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance in the early 2000s. Studio head Mike Mike called that out in a press release about Volgarr 2: 

"One of our key pillars is making new games the old-fashioned way. We love and celebrate games where every pixel is hand-crafted. Volgarr was one of those games we couldn't put down, no matter how hard it was. Games like this are a rare breed, and we're happy to play a role in seeing Volgarr 2 realized."

The press release promises "the same unforgiving 1980s-arcade level of difficulty," but with additional features like a practice mode, level checkpoints and unlimited continues (now that's innovation!). Beat the game the old-fashioned one quarter way, though, and you'll apparently unlock something special.

Volgarr 2 has one last surprise: it's out quite soon, on Steam on August 6.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).