When the original Guacamelee launched in 2013, playing as a tiny luchador chicken was the best part. Now, for the game’s sequel, that chicken comes with a whole new set of powers.
In the original, your luchador character had the power to transform into a chicken in order to crawl through small spaces. But that was basically it — the chicken was just a chicken. This time for Guacamelee 2, developer Drinkbox Studios has developed an entire set of moves for the chicken. The chicken can fight back, uppercut enemies, glide across wide expanses and even blast through boulders to unlock new areas. These come in handy when brawling and when breaking through barriers while exploring the environment.
You can toggle between playing as a luchador or chicken with a simple press of R1. I found myself switching between the two forms frequently, even when the environment didn’t call for it. And Guacamelee 2’s somewhat puzzle-y platforming encourages you to experiment with how you move forward.
As a luchador, I could more easily beat up large enemies. I could wall jump through difficult areas more quickly and move up and down through thin platforms easily. But as a chicken, I would fall more slowly. This gave me more time to plan my next move or time a double-jump or slingshot move to another platform. I could also move through tiny areas inaccessible in my luchador form; sometimes this allowed me to bypass entire sections of enemies, protecting me from harm.
Clearly, playing a chicken is more challenging and fun. And also, watching a small bird beat up sword-wielding skeletons is entertaining in and of itself.
The original Guacamelee was initially developed for the PlayStation Vita handheld. But Guacamelee 2 is being developed with consoles in mind first. After playing a level on a 4K TV, I can confirm the game is gorgeous. Its bright colors and stylized Day of the Dead and Mexican luchador looks make it engaging to just stare at. Even when you’re a tiny blue chicken, it’s fun to watch your small frame breeze through large environments, wide chasms choked with stone figures and fire pits littered with enemies.
Guacamelee 2 will launch in 2018 for PlayStation 4.