'One Finger Death Punch 2' will pummel its way into your heart

And then tear it clear out of your chest.

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    At the GDC 2018 Indie Megabooth on Monday, Silver Dollar Games showed off One Finger Death Punch 2, the sequel to its popular 2013 brawler. Fans of the original -- and fans of smash-em-ups in general -- are not going to be disappointed.

    The gameplay of OFDP2 is very similar to its predecessor. The player does not move around the screen to engage enemies but rather must patiently wait for them to step within striking distance. A single button controls punches to the left, another handles punches to the right. Despite the simple control scheme, the action doesn't get stale thanks to the game's 700-some strike animations that are randomly evoked as you play. That way no two sessions are quite the same. It also helps that there are dozens of various weapons strewn throughout each level, ranging from simple staves and spears to throwing stars, chainsaws, axes, sniper rifles and even energy sabers with which to slaughter the mobs opposing you.

    I also really enjoyed that the mini-games -- such as fending off waves of enemies using your throwing knives or cutting down opponents while on horseback -- are integrated directly into the levels themselves, rather than taking you out of the action while they load. Boss fights are also much improved from the original game, with powerful mini-bosses showing up and fighting right alongside their cannon-fodder minions.

    The sequel also incorporates a number of new game styles. In addition to the standard story and survival modes, One Finger Death Punch 2 will offer Rogue Mode in which you have a single life to beat the entire story, as well as tag team-style co-op. For all four modes, players will have the option to increase the game difficulty by removing the attack bar at the bottom of the screen that indicates when enemies are within punching range.

    One Finger Death Punch 2 is slated for release in spring 2019 on Xbox and PC. The company hopes to then port the title to PSN and Switch. There are no plans currently to port it to mobile as the first one was. The game is expected to retail for around $8.

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