Magicka 2 will be coming to PC and PlayStation 4 in 2015. We got some hands-on time with a pre-alpha version of the title at Gamescom 2014, and I’m happy to say it looks and feels much more polished than the original. Pieces Interactive has also come up with a control scheme that plays wonderfully on controllers, so those choosing to forego the classic mouse and keyboard will be able to enjoy all the beam-blasting, friendly-fire action.

At the core, Magicka 2 is a game about co-op craziness (Up to 4 players) with the iconic little hooded mages running around blowing up friend, foe, and self. Cross beams of magic with your friends for enhanced effects, summon down bouncing boulders, pop a quick heal on the go, set off a massive area-of-effect attack, or enchant your sword for a powerful elemental slash. The spell-combining options draw from 8 schools of magic to create all kinds of possibilities, but always pay attention to the environment – Friendly fire is always on, and with the inherent chaos of Magicka battles, you’re probably going to be killing yourself and friends often. Being accidentally destroyed in hilarious ways is all part of the fun, as allies can pick up downed friends.

New to Magicka 2 are artifact and familiar systems. Artifacts will offer persistent overarching effects, such as “Enemies you encounter have 50% more hit points” or buffs. They’ll basically allow for players to switch up the difficulty to either attempt hardcore achievements or move through areas a little easier. Familiars are pets that offer a buff to a player’s entire party that can be unlocked and found. With the addition of many different robes, staves, and weapons that can be found and looted, these different components are designed to add replayability to the title.

I thought the original Magicka was a fun concept that was a bit janky in execution, but after being crushed by some ogres and plowing through waves of goblins in Magicka 2, I’m looking forward to having some delightful co-op catastrophes in the near future.