#Octopath Traveler 2 – Destructoid

Octopath Traveler 2 – Destructoid

Oh, the locations you’ll go

With Octopath Traveler 2, Sq. Enix goes again to the system of the primary. Eight adventurers, every with their very own small-scale RPG quests, hyperlink up for one overarching journey. Each could have their very own paths to stroll, secrets and techniques to uncover, and nemeses to conquer in a heroic vogue. After which, after everybody’s had their origin story, a ultimate chapter will convey all of it collectively, forming the occasion that may deal with the best risk lurking simply behind the scenes.

The street forward was already laid out by its predecessor. However generally, it’s as a lot concerning the journey because the vacation spot. And the place Octopath Traveler 2 doesn’t simply succeed however makes a mark is in the way it takes you there whereas making the lengthy journey really feel worthwhile.

Octopath Traveler 2 (PS5[reviewed], PS4, PCChange)
Developer: Sq. Enix, Purchase Corp.
Writer: Sq. Enix
Launched: February 24, 2023
MSRP: $59.99

After I wrote our review-in-progress a couple of weeks again, I used to be already rather more invested in Octopath Traveler 2 than its predecessor. At roughly the midway level of the story, I felt Purchase and Sq. Enix had discovered a spark on this set-up that didn’t ever ignite for me within the first recreation. Its world felt extra vibrant and alive, providing permutations and evolutions of its locales via the day-night cycle. Cryptic side-quests have been extra attractive as a result of they allowed for intelligent Path Motion options, and these Path Actions felt partaking to make use of.

Effectively, sitting at a triple-digits’ price of hours invested and credit rolled, I nonetheless dig Octopath Traveler 2. It’s not typically an RPG coaxes this many hours out of me and manages to remain in my good graces. However that’s the magic at work right here within the newest HD-2D journey.

The trail much less traveled

Let’s pull the lens again to hour one, although. Octopath Traveler 2 has you choose certainly one of eight occasion members from the start. Each certainly one of them will finally be a bit of your occasion, a minimum of if you wish to see the top. For now, although, you concentrate on one. This one character turns into your focus; you truly can’t take them out of your occasion till you end their complete storyline.

Screenshot by Destructoid

In my case, this was Throne, the thief and murderer who determined she’d had sufficient of this life and needed out. She would take away the literal collar round her neck, and kill anybody, even the patriarch and matriarch of her clandestine group, simply to by no means be compelled to spill blood once more. It’s a superb story, with numerous growth for Throne as she explores what her life has meant to this point and what freedom even means to somebody who’s been advised what to do for therefore lengthy.

I may have gone to Ku as an alternative and began with Hikari’s story of a usurping brother. Or Temenos’ investigation into the homicide of a church official, or Castti’s seek for her forgotten origin. Heck, even Partitio, this recreation’s Service provider who determines that poverty is dangerous and all ought to share in prosperity fairly than enable a choose few to hoard it. Partitio guidelines.

My level is that each character is sweet in their very own proper, and none of them ever bored me or had story segments drag on. After choosing the beginning character, I began to journey world wide, recruiting the remaining and enjoying via their chapters; everybody’s Chapter 1, then again via Chapter 2, so-on-and-so-forth. Whereas I used to be definitely desperate to see the conclusion of some over others, I used to be by no means loathed in addition up a brand new installment. It helps that Octopath Traveler 2‘s chapter selection is incredible. Some characters have particular person chapters damaged up, unfold throughout areas and even continents. At the least one didn’t even have any boss to battle, simply conversations and Path Actions.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Vacationers interlinked

A giant level was made to interlink the tales of Octopath Traveler 2‘s protagonists greater than the primary did. And to be honest, that has occurred right here. Whereas the person story chapters and cutscenes will nonetheless primarily concentrate on that character and any accompanying aspect characters, there are a couple of methods the Octo-pals join greater than they did within the predecessor.

Crossed Paths are a brand new set of tales required for the endgame, which sees the vacationers going out in pairs on their very own aspect journeys. They’re simply fast pairings, and the chapters aren’t almost as in-depth as the primary story ones. However they do supply some enjoyable interactions, like Castti bonding with Ochette over their work to guard life or Partitio and Osvald turning into unlikely bros.

Journey banter may even pop up from time to time, providing a bit of aspect chat just like the skits seen within the Tales Of sequence. It’d disappoint some that we don’t consistently see this crew interacting, however I discovered it labored. A number of scenes would make any character simply leaping in to say one thing a bit odd, and extra occasion banter seems like it could have left much less house for the wonderful supporting solid of Octopath Traveler 2. These skits additionally act as enjoyable asides. One is likely to be taking the lead, whereas the others present help, and the remaining are off hanging out on the tavern or possibly doing their very own factor.

Screenshot by Destructoid

I do know that’s a theater-of-the-mind strategy, however Octopath Traveler 2 encourages an strategy that feels very open. It desires you to discover and uncover on this RPG sandbox it’s made. That’s felt most in its aspect tales, the place even small probability encounters like an odd scholar or some bizarre vibes in a store can result in massive surprises.

Break it down now

All of the phrases and tales do finally flip to fight, although. Very similar to the narrative framing, fight could be very comparable in Octopath Traveler 2. Flip-by-turn motion pits your occasion in opposition to enemies, with a timeline on the prime informing you what’s arising and when. It’s a primary however fluid system. Typically, I’d velocity via fight, smashing A to smack down some low-level scrubs. However in a boss battle, I’d rigorously rely out turns, doing head-math on what number of assaults and expertise I’d want to make use of, in what order, and with what number of Enhance Factors plus SP prices to keep away from a large assault looming at flip’s finish.

Screenshot by Destructoid

The Break and Enhance components are a core piece of Octopath 2‘s fight friction. Hit an enemy’s designated vulnerabilities to knock off defend factors, cut back them to 0 to Break them, then lay on the harm. Easy sufficient, proper? Nevertheless it’s getting there, and the way you do it, that turns into complicated and compelling. If Castti isn’t holding a Sword, for instance, she won’t be capable to hack off a degree of defend this flip. However possibly I can attain into my merchandise bag and toss a one-time-use Soulstone for some Hearth injury as an alternative. Boosting will increase the depth of magic and a few talents however provides additional strikes if I simply use Assault. Utilizing Enhance immediately for a Break, versus saving it however giving the enemy additional turns, is a continuing push-and-pull.

Skills and tools supply loads of methods to customise and optimize, letting fighters specialize deeper into their roles, after which selecting up subclasses to be taught from others. Assist Expertise allow you to choose up something from an additional Enhance Level to a free revive. Octopath Traveler 2 stored me customizing and refining my crew all through the story, and with every character having their very own chapters, I used to be not-so-subtly inspired to maintain swapping round and testing out completely different interactions and techniques.

The world comes alive

After all, the HD-2D artwork seems incredible. Staff Asano’s model has change into a little bit of a measuring stick for pixel RPGs, however Octopath Traveler 2 nonetheless manages to shock me with new vistas or attractive results. Solistia, the sport’s setting, is fantastically laid out too, with all the things from deep woods and windy deserts to frigid cliffs. Simply as resplendent are the cities and villages that dot the world.

Screenshot by Destructoid

The brand new day-night cycle permits you to manually swap occasions, and NPCs will change areas and actions primarily based on what time of day it’s. Moreover, sure occasions will solely play out if you happen to let the day linger lengthy sufficient to succeed in sundown, or the night time into daybreak. These hyperlink into Path Actions, the particular talents that you simply let get objects or info, and even lead NPCs to different locations. Or they only inform you a bit of extra of the world. I’ve solved a minimum of two puzzles by simply ready to see if an NPC would transfer. Octopath Traveler 2‘s time is malleable, however there’s a solid-enough phantasm that it doesn’t transfer solely at your whim.

I’ve to say the soundtrack too. I cherished the Octopath Traveler soundtrack, and the work on Octopath Traveler 2 is simply as incredible. Whereas the hovering theme and different melodies are nonetheless right here, some new additions actually amp up massive moments. “Partitio’s Theme” is, particularly, a banger.

The endless story

Each side of Octopath Traveler 2 simply clicks into place with each other, at all times giving me a cause to journey someplace new. Within the first recreation, I simply main-lined via the story beats. In Octopath Traveler 2, I’d speak to NPCs in new cities simply to see if there was one thing fascinating to seek out, and importantly, that curiosity was typically rewarded.

If there’s any hang-up, it’s the sheer breadth of Octopath Traveler 2. There’s, frankly, a lot of recreation right here. The principle story alone will doubtless take you near 80 hours to see via, and extra aspect content material will simply hold stacking up. I by no means felt it too essential to grind, although there have been a few occasions I’d set out simply to bolster an under-utilized occasion member.

Screenshot by Destructoid

It’s a protracted journey, and a worthwhile one, however I additionally get that for some, the quantity of hours is an enormous hurdle. There have been a couple of occasions across the Chapter 2 to three space that I felt the ahead momentum lose steam, too. And loads of the sport’s finest choices, like the power to learn journey banter you might need missed in previous Chapters, are a bit of too tucked away.

Going dwelling

Nonetheless, all that stated, Octopath Traveler 2 has eaten up my life for the higher a part of a month, and I’ve nonetheless cherished it. It’s a full realization of all the things that made the unique Octopath Traveler good, however constructed out and expanded upon a lot that it seems like a brand new construction.

I’m nonetheless keen to leap again into it, even after seeing the credit roll. There are lingering questions I nonetheless have, and little tidbits I need to examine. There’s an NPC I solely found late within the recreation, a swordsman in coaching, who you possibly can Problem utilizing Hikari’s Path Motion. Each time I’ve come again, he’s a bit of bit stronger because of our final battle. I’m actually coaching this man up so I can, hopefully, uncover some secret or hidden transfer for Hikari to unleash on the remaining secret bosses I need to deal with.

Octopath Traveler 2 isn’t only a nice finish vacation spot, however a satisfying journey too. It has a full of life world, intricate and fascinating fight, fluid development and builds that reward tinkering, an unbelievable rating, and glorious arcs for all of its protagonists. It in some way has all the things I’d need out of an RPG impressed by the previous days, however shifting ahead into new ones too. It took me a very long time to get right here, however Octopath Traveler 2 is a street price touring.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


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