One Finger Death Punch 2, the sequel to the surprising hit rhythm stick fighter, launched in 2019 and generally received far more positive reviews than negative. Taking everything established in the first game and dialing it up to 11, the sequel brought a wealth of content with even crazier ways of tackling enemies in this oddly addictive and absurdly entertaining action title. After seeing much success on PC, One Finger Death Punch 2 has finally made its way to the PS4, and thanks to an abundance of content, makes for an unmissable package that will grab your attention and never let go.
One Finger Death Punch 2 doesn’t have much of a story going for it. Instead, the game is mostly gameplay-driven with its unique approach to combat. Players won’t actually have the freedom to move, but instead will be locked into the centre of the screen. It then becomes a game of timing using only two buttons to attack: square to attack incoming enemies from the left, and circle to attack them from the right. Below the player has a blue and a red bar that indicates when these buttons should be pressed. Timing them correctly results in a flurry of hyper-violence and martial arts that’s both stylish and oddly endearing. The stick figure idea isn’t exactly novel, but there are very few games in that sub-genre as exciting or breakneck as One Finger Death Punch 2. Ultimately, that’s what the game succeeds at: a simple but highly intuitive layout, two buttons prompts, and a seemingly endless amount of ways to engage in the various enemies thrown at you.
One Finger Death Punch 2’s campaign is spread across nine different maps, each encompassing dozens of levels to beat. To keep the pace constantly fast, each level shouldn’t take you more than a minute to 90 seconds to beat. They’re fairly simple: the player starts in the middle of the screen, and the action then gradually ramps up as more and more enemies are literally thrown at you. This can result in a stunning explosion of effects on screen as your brain almost struggles to keep up with the madness. The vividness of the colours constantly barraging your senses are actually wonderful once your eyes get used to it, but initially players can be caught off-guard by its ferocity. That said, after a while it becomes ridiculously addictive and I found myself playing and replaying levels multiple times in order to achieve greater results while I honed my reflexes.
Things start off fairly straightforward in the beginning: only a few enemies approach you as the game warms you up to the controls in a few simple tutorials. They’re not terribly difficult, but adjusting to the increase in speed takes some time. However, as soon as it removes you from the comfort of really simple early levels, One Finger Death Punch 2 escalates drastically, bombarding the player with incredibly fast enemies that demand perfection in your reflexes. I will reiterate that it’s not an easy game, though. Being someone who has beaten; Dark Souls, Bloodborne and just about any difficult rogue-like multiple times, I was taken aback by how insanely challenging One Finger Death Punch 2 became. I soon realized that, as a rhythm fighter, perhaps my rhythm wasn’t exactly in-tune with the gameplay, which lead to plenty of moments of frustration and, admittedly, some crying. This isn’t a negative at all to the game, because it actually forced me to play by its rules and once I found a comfortable rhythm, I found myself hooked.
Your enemy types come with the standard regular stick men to ninjas and eventually, boss encounters with imposing big beast-types. It’s here that One Finger Death Punch 2’s ingenuity elevated the experience greatly. Simply getting into a good rhythm wasn’t gonna cut it, and instead it forced players to start using an assortment of skills and weapons. These can be earned and unlocked via a nifty skill tree that gives players various buffs, move sets, and weapons to demolish enemies within more creative ways. A favourite had to be the high-powered sniper rifle that could demolish a line of enemies in a single shot. It’s gloriously over-the-top, but the game is fully aware of this and makes the most fun gaming experience out of its chaos.
If you step away from the campaign and want to explore every other facet of One Finger Death Punch 2, there’s plenty of modes to keep you engaged. In fact, there’s so much content that I rarely found myself repeating objectives or modes across a dozen hours of playtime. Outside of training, you can tackle a ridiculous variety of objective-based levels with even crazier means of going about them. Co-op multiplayer is possible with a friend in a kind of survival mode, and there’s even tower challenges similar to Mortal Kombat that sees players climbing a high-rise tower, with each level presenting its own set of challenges and targets. If you don’t indulge in these side activities, online challenges reward returning players weekly, and there’s enough level variety to warrant repeated visits. My only real gripe has to do with the game’s presentation. Since it technically has its roots as a mobile game, the menus resemble those blown up icons that are not easy on the eyes, especially when expanded on a 4K television. The burst of colours and numerous icons immediately assault your senses, so it’s quite chaotic trying to browse menus.
One Finger Death Punch 2 nonetheless thrives as one of the best rhythm fighters of our time. It’s fantastically addictive, fast-paced, and brutal in ways that only this kind of eye-catching style could afford. Outside of the dozens of levels in the campaign, there’s just an insane amount to see and do here, and thanks to a solid and absorbing gameplay loop, you’ll constantly return for more. On the PS4, it works like a charm, making full use of the eye-catching 60fps, ensuring buttery smooth performance and absolutely zero bugs or game crashes during my playtime. One Finger Death Punch 2 seizes its stick fighter style and crowns itself the new king of this hyper-violent sub-genre.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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One Finger Death Punch 2 Review
Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Replay Value - 10/10
User Review( votes)
One Finger Death Punch 2 is what happens when you take multiple shots of adrenaline and watch a Bruce Lee movie.
- Fast-paced, insanely addictive gameplay.
- Vivid colour palette.
- Wonderfully hyper-violent and chaotic.
- Tons of modes, tons of replay value.
- Unappealing menus.