Thumper, one of 2016's most difficult video games, gets even harder today thanks to a new update that adds something called "Play +" mode.
What is "Play +" mode? Essentially it's a gift from developer Drool to the game's most serious players, making the already lean, streamlined game even more hardcore.
"In a sense, it's kind of like the director's cut of the game," said programmer Marc Flury. "We've removed the tutorial sections, or any section that we thought would slow down the flow of the game."
The other major change in the new mode: speed. Vanilla Thumper was already a brutal test of reflexes, but now, the game will dynamically adjust the entire game speed based on how well you're doing.
"You can now go up to a 4X multiplier, and when you hit the 3X or the 4X multiplier, you start going faster," explained Flury.
As if all this wasn't hard enough, there's one final brutal caveat in Thumper Play + mode: permadeath. You only have one life, and when you lose it, that's game over — your run ends, and you have to start the entire level over from the beginning.
Above, check 20 minutes of gameplay from Play + mode, and listen to our full interview with Flury, where we discuss PlayStation 4 Pro support, the critical reaction to Thumper, and why Drool chose to push the update back 24 hours after the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Thumper's "Play +" update is available for free starting today on PlayStation 4 and PC.