When developer GalaxyTrail announced Freedom Planet 2, the follow-up to 2014's Sonic-inspired Freedom Planet, it said it was bidding "farewell to nostalgia". But if the gameplay video (above) released this week is anything to go by, nostalgia has proved tricky to get rid off. That's no bad thing though, and this is very much going to be a game made for fans of the first.
The influence of Sega Genesis-era platformers is still clear: you're running at a million miles an hour, sprinting around loops and collecting gems before battling big mechanical bosses that repeat their attack patterns. The game definitely looks sharper than the first and the level variety is impressive—the game will whisk you from missile rides one minute to giant brawls on a baseball field the next.
The weapons look fun, too, and seem to encourage experimentation. My favourite is a versatile staff that can slash enemies, freeze them, shoot giant cold beams and create icy blue platforms to help you reach greater heights.
The final game will have a fully-voiced campaign and a pick-up system that allows you to change the difficulty halfway through levels, which is handy if you're stuck on a particularly tricky part.
Along with the video, the developers have released an updated demo that adds new character abilities, graphical polishes and bug fixes. You can download it from the game's Steam page and play through a full level with all four playable characters.
We still await a final release date for the game.