The original Legend of Grimrock's setting was pretty, you know, grim and also predominately made of rocks. But Legend of Grimrock 2? It's a terrible, terrible lie. The isle of Nex looks like a glorious vacation getaway. With monsters. And traps. And ancient ruins. So the greatest vacation getaway ever, basically. I see a few rocks here and there, but I'm not convinced. Grimness and rocks were the core pillars of the first game - definitely not wicked yet rewarding difficulty, puzzles, character building, and blender-mouthed snail monsters, all of which will be returning in spades in the second. Developer Almost Human has clearly lost its marbles. A Grimrock match-three Facebook casino game can't be far off.
I am absolutely joking. Legend of Grimrock 2 looks like a sight for every sort of eye, whether sore, flat-out infuriated, or just mildly irritable after a long day at work. In a new blog post Almost Human noted that the island allows for variety in stage settings, so expect to see everything from glistening, dew-soaked woodlands to steamy swamps to dingy dungeons and caves.
Once again, the game will star four prisoners flung into a land of untold horrors against their will, and it'll be your job to help them live to tell about it. "The story of Grimrock 2 will not be a direct continuum to Grimrock 1," wrote Almost Human, "but will be a completely new story with new characters that will expand the Grimrock universe."
In the "Hurrah!" category, monster AI is getting a complete overhaul, so expect plenty of brains to go along with beasties' considerable brawn.
"One of the few things some reviewers criticized about Grimrock 1 was monster behavior in combat. We have attacked this problem directly and rewritten the monster AI entirely. As a result monsters are now smarter and they know how to use their larger numbers to their advantage. The repertoire of tricks they know has been expanded greatly. For example, some monsters can call other monsters for help and can use group tactics against you. Of course the behavior of monsters depends on their intelligence so the most stupid and most fierce monsters are still, well, fierce and stupid as they should be. And talking of monsters, there will be lots of new monsters with some of the old, familiar faces making an occasional appearance for old times sake."
They did not, sadly, address our relative ability to talk to the monsters. Awwwww.
Character progression and item systems are also getting completely redone, with a per-level perk-buy system taking the place of skills ("The design goal is make each level up meaningful and at the same time contain a tough choice") and new secondary powers being added to items.
While there's a new character class on the way, mages will be pulling quite a few tricks out of their hats as well. Almost Human explained:
"The new spellcasting panel allows mouse gestures to be used to cast spells. Spells are cast by holding the mouse button down while doing a swipe with the mouse on the correct sequence of runes. Talking of magic, the Mage character class has also been redesigned. The requirements to cast spells of different schools have been relaxed so that mages can cast larger variety of spells. In Grimrock 2, mages need not be one trick ponies."
But enough meaningful details. Time for some HARD NUMBERS. Grimrock 2 will have over a hundred new items, 22 new monsters, one day/night cycle (unless plot twists strand you on another planet or something), and [???] new environments to explore.
There are a few new screenshots over on Almost Human's page. Go drink them in. Suck the marrow from their bones and know them more deeply than you would the back of your own hand or the billions of frighteningly unsanitary bacteria on your cell phone.