As Octopath Traveler 2 recently came out, and I’ve had plenty of time to check out the game, it’s time to be honest and talk about it – so that you can have an easier time deciding whether it’s worth your time and money or not. (Of course, big thanks to Square Enix who were kind enough to provide me with the review copy of the game at launch!) This article contains no story spoilers, as I would never do that to you!, so feel free to dive in!
The story of Octopath Traveler 2
If you’re a JRPG fan, which I guess you are if you’re watching this video, you want to know if a game you’re about to start is worth your 60 dollars and most likely 60 hours, and a big part of that is the quality of its story. When it comes to Octopath Traveler 2, I can honestly say the story is amazing, but definitely different from your classic linear JRPGs. In OT2, we have 8 different storylines, each with its separate twists and turns, and I loved all of them.
Unfortunately, if you’re expecting a ton of intertwining and meaningful connections between the separate characters’ stories, this might not be your cup of tea, but if you’re happy to simply go through all of them and enjoy each character separately – with a ton of travel banter and interactions should you choose to engage with them – you’ll love Octopath Traveler 2 for what it is.
There is, however, another form of story intertwining – which is the connected chapters, allowing you to experience the story of two particular characters through a tiny lore snippet, which I’ve personally found very satisfying. I so far haven’t played through a single storyline chapter that didn’t keep me engaged and invested, and that says a lot, considering I’ve decided to finish all of the characters’ stories. Some of them are cheerful and full of hope, the others are dark and a bit tragic, the others are quirky and charming, but each one of them has its own special flair that I think you’ll enjoy if you’re a fan of the genre.
Combat & game systems
Even if you’re not a big fan of the storyline and are here for the combat, you will definitely not be disappointed. Octopath Traveler 2 is a love letter to turn-based strategies that makes even the random encounters feel engaging, meaningful and just stupid fun to be in. The bosses, from their design and appearance to their abilities, feel unique, challenging and very satisfying to beat, with each chapter having one final foe to encounter just before the finish line.
The fact that you can change from day to night in the open world and deliberately farm stronger enemies in random encounters for greater payoff is a great system in itself, but what makes all the fights super fun are the bonus points and Latent Power systems. The combat is deceptively simple, but when you take into consideration the things like resistance and vulnerability, proper management of spells, Latent Power, bonus points, potions, buffs, spells, secondary jobs, spending your job points and party composition, the game is so much fun to play and experiment with. I love what Octopath Traveler 2 has done for the genre, as it’s expanded upon the easy-to-learn, turn-based system and turned it into addictive gameplay that makes the time fly past you.
When it comes to Octopath Traveler 2 performance, I don’t have a single complaint. There were no bugs for me whatsoever, and this could be due to the nature of the game, but everything just runs very smoothly. The loading times, scarce as they are, last only a couple of seconds, the audio is crisp, the combat is responsive, and overall, the game runs very well even on the highest settings.
Graphics & art
The graphics and art style is obviously the first thing you come across when looking at the game, and even though I love this kind of art, for every person out there, it’s definitely a hit or miss. I think it’s pretty safe to say that, if you enjoy HD-2D graphics, this will be one of your most beloved games ever, as the design is amazing, but if you don’t like this kind of thing, you might not be able to appreciate the beauty of it. I personally find the mix between HD and 2D incredible, especially when I’m going around with a pixel-y character expecting a similarly crafted environment, yet I’m discovering lakes and waterfalls where the water looks better than any water I’ve ever seen in real life!
Music is not something that people initially get drawn by when it comes to strategy games, but Octopath Traveler 2 is so special because of the incredible diversity of the zones the characters start in. Each zone has a different mood, which is heavily enhanced by the background music, and it goes so well with each of the stories. Even the sound effects, like the crackling of fire nearby you, the gushing of wind, the rain, and all the combat sounds are charming and very fun to listen to, so unmuting your game is highly recommended, in case you ever do a silly little thing like that!
With so many characters in Octopath Traveler 2, you’d expect that voice acting wouldn’t be something they’ve actually tried to perfect, but playing the game has made me feel the opposite. Each and every one of the characters I’ve encountered had their own flair largely due to the tone of their voice, and that includes the side or optional NPC’s I only had a chance to interact with for a little bit. In short, the voice acting has just been incredible, and especially due to all the accent variety they’ve doubled down on in order to show the diversity of the characters and their origins!
Keyboard vs. controller
This is something that I didn’t used to cover in all my reviews, but I feel like it’s important to mention it for Octopath Traveler 2, as the difference in keyboard and controller experience is so big, it can’t be ignored. When I first started playing this game’s demo, I admittedly hadn’t had a controller just yet, but some of my recent circumstances made me feel like it would be a good idea to have one, and I am yet to regret it. The keyboard gameplay of Octopath Traveler 2 is fine, I suppose, but in comparison to playing on a controller, it feels awkward and unintuitive – especially when it comes to walking around the map and boosting the attacks. Even for someone new to controllers like me, the game is simple enough to experience on it, and I would definitely recommend giving it a try even if you’re playing it on PC.
Should you play Octopath Traveler 2?
Overall, I am in love with this game so far, and – as biased as I may be – I definitely think you should give Octopath Traveler 2 a go if you haven’t yet. Even if you haven’t played the first game yet, I believe it presents no obstacles for enjoying the sequel. I personally never got to play the first Octopath Traveler, and even though I don’t know its story, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, as there’s a whole different cast and the game is apparently better in all aspects. Even though I wanted to play it before starting with Octopath Traveler 2, unfortunately, time didn’t permit me to, but I’ve been having the best time with the sequel, and I believe you will, too! When it comes to whether or not this game is worth the full price, I definitely think yes, if this is something you’d like to experience sooner rather than later. In my reviews, I’m always honest about whether I think you should wait for a sale or not, and when it comes to Octopath Traveler 2, it has so much to offer that you might not even get to finish the game fully before it goes on sale… but that depends on the amount of time you have. If you can squeeze in a full-on JRPG within a week or two, do let me know your secret in the comments, as I’m struggling to find time to play all my favorite games!
That’s pretty much all I can think of when it comes to Octopath Traveler 2. What are your thoughts on it, and if you’ve already played it, would you recommend it to others? Leave your two cents down below, and you can also find my playthrough here, should you want to check it out. However, for your own sake, beware of the spoilers and go through the lore bits carefully if you haven’t played yet. Should you want to support my content and keep me going, consider becoming a Patron and enjoying some awesome perks! Alright now – enjoy the game, take care and I’ll see you next time!