You'll love it if:
- You loved Octopath Traveler from 2018.
- You want a solid retro turn based RPG.
- You are looking for story driven content.
- You don't mind some grinding.
Not for you if:
- You don't like pixelated graphics.
- Fast paced fluid action and button mashing are your go-to.
- You didn't like Octopath Traveler 2018.
- You mind grinding.
Having loved the first entry in the series, one I am truly honoured to write this Octopath Traveler 2 pc review. And thanks to the Steam Deck Octopath Traveler 2 has become even more accessible for PC players everywhere. But as this review will point out, not that much has changed between the previous iteration and this one. And that’s not a bad thing.
Octopath Traveler 2 is very much what the first Octopath Traveler was. The minor additions to this game will not blow you away but are a nice extension to the solid foundation Octopath Traveler created. The new storylines, continent, sailing and day/night cycle feel fresh and add some variety; the main course of the game is as solid as ever. Explore, grind and build your team to epic proportions and unravel the mysteries of each new character.
Octopath Traveler 2 PC review – Gameplay
This wouldn’t be a BGeek review without the reassurance that there won’t be any spoilers. So here you have it: no spoilers unless Square Enix spoiled it themselves in trailers. We even got pretty strict instructions from them on what to mention and what not. So even Square Enix is looking out for you, gamers.
New me, same grind
Octopath Traveler 2 brings eight new heroes into the fray, each with their own look, set of skills and path skills to utilize. But most of all their own story to follow and discover. All eight of these stories are set in the new world of Solistia. Two continents broken apart by a huge sea, filled with islands, dungeons and secrets for you to discover. Simply collecting all eight members will take you across the whole continent. Allowing you to take in the beautiful sights of all the biomes and the newly industrial look of Solistia.
Stories and snore-ies
Explaining eight stories with all side characters and a somewhat detailed explanation would be a bedtime story on its own. So I’ll just give a really short breakdown of each story your party members will start in.
Eight people across Solistia, each with their story destined to meet each other. Together they will help each other out, form bonds and evolve and grow as a person. Personally, I started off with Throné Anguis, because her assets looked appealing. As well as the dark assassin, thief-inspired story where she fights to regain freedom.
Hikari Ku is the warrior, he sets out to avenge the death of his father which his tyrannical half-brother orchestrated during the coup of their empire.
Temenos Mistral is our clear-headed cleric that has huge Sherlock Holmes vibes, from his weirdness to deduction and observation skills.
Agnea Bristarni is the dancer and we follow her on her quest to become a star and uncover the past of her mother.
A personal favourite of mine is Partitio Yellowil, trained to be an excellent merchant by his father only to lose all they built due to the little text in their mining contract and betrayal. He sets out to drive poverty from the world.
Osvald V. Vanstein is our scholar and a steady member of my party as his AOE skills are super valuable. Also blasting everything with fire, ice or lighting is super satisfying. His story is one about revenge; after the death of his family, he is wrongfully incarcerated. He escapes and sets out to find the murderer of his family.
Castti Florenz is an Apothecary with memory loss, unlocking more memories and clues with each chapter as you continue.
And last but definitely not least: Ochette is a hunter trained to protect her islands, who has to set out to protect the world from the Calamity. I had very huge Breath of the Wild vibes while going into this one.
A story for everyone
Each of these stories is impeccably voiced and narrated. How well you like or click with each of them is completely personal. Some of these stories can get predictable and didn’t interest me that much, my investment in some characters was significantly lower than in others. These eight stories all build up to a final epilogue chapter that is the ultimate finale of Octopath Traveler 2.
While Octopath Traveler 2 brings new little interactions between your party members, these aren’t voiced. Aside from some text, I never felt like it built true relationships or had any benefit between those members. Unlike Marvel’s Midnight Suns, which did an excellent job on the social aspect and building relationships that unlocked better and stronger moves.
Break your opponents and their spirits
Octopath Traveler 2 is a classic turn-based RPG where you roam around with a party and explore the world. You don’t see any enemies roaming the map and are just prompted into a turn-based battle. The approach Xenoblade Chronicles 3 applies has really grown on me because it’s more fluid and approaching groups of enemies feels more tactical. But Octopath Traveler 2 is Octopath Traveler 2 and changing the whole combat mechanic would change the game too much.
In Octopath Traveler 2, you can still use the Break mechanic. Basically, you find out the weakness of enemy types. Use a weapon or element they are weak against to break their shield. And then they are stunned for a round. This allows you to decimate them by using your BP or Boost Points. Boosting a magic attack for higher damage or creating additional hits for weapon hits.
A newly added feature for Octopath Traveler 2 are the Latent Powers. Each hero has a unique latent power: Throné can attack an additional time, Osvald can convert one of his AOE spells into a huge single-damage one, and Castti can brew potions without consuming ingredients. They all feel unique and fitting for the character. Getting these powers charged up is easy; simply take damage or break enemy shields. No huge hassle or complex mechanics involved. It’s woven effortlessly into the existing combat mechanic.
A small addition and pretty new feature is the camera perspective when you Boost a character to their max of three points and initiate a skill or magic attack. The camera then shifts to a more cinematic perspective as you rain destruction upon the enemy. Add in some minor improved visuals to lights and effects and you will surely be wowed the first time around.
Set sail and explore the world
The biggest change would be the option to cross bodies of water. You start off with a simple tiny boat that allows you to embark from pontoons and explore small rivers. Often leading up to hidden chests with much-needed loot. Later in the story, you unlock the sailing ship. This allows the party to explore the sea between the east and west continent of Solistia. This newly added mechanic of sailing comes with its own set of new and unique enemies. Events at sea and hidden dungeons and islands.
Another new feature that impacts the world is the day and night option. I say option because there is no real cycle as far as I noticed. By simply pressing a button you switch from day to night and vice versa. This changes the world around you as people go about their day, residents leave their jobs and can be found in the tavern and bandits reside at their camp.
The Path skills of your party also depend on whether it’s day or night. During the day Throné can pickpocket items but at night subdue guards in front of doors. A double set of skills that overlap with other heroes make composing your main party easier.
Octopath Traveler 2 Performance – Switch it up with the Steam Deck
I tested Octopath Traveler 2 on PC and Steam Deck. For PC it was tested with the following specs: 1440p, RTX 3080, I5 10600K everything on max settings. It ran without a single hiccup or problem. Octopath Traveler 2 isn’t that graphically intense and turn-based combat is really forgiving towards performance and dips. The same goes for the Steam Deck, after adjusting the resolution everything ran just fine. The bloom was a bit more noticeable on the small screen of the Steam Deck.
Most of my playtime was done on the Steam Deck for Octopath Traveler 2. Mostly because the PC interface with keyboard and mouse is horrendous. When I first booted up the game I got a prompt and couldn’t immediately figure out what key on my keyboard I was supposed to press. The mouse is utterly useless and it took about 5 minutes for me to run downstairs and grab a controller. Be wary if you plan to play Octopath Traveler 2 with a mouse and keyboard.
Thus I ended up playing Octopath Traveler 2 mostly on the Steam Deck. It felt more natural, it ran great and the controller layout is simply made for Octopath Traveler 2. Their keyboard layout is customizable but heck, it’s just much easier to plug in a controller.
Octopath Traveler 2 PC review – Conclusion
Building upon what made Octopath Traveler great, Octopath Traveler 2 implements minor features that don’t get in the way. Adding just enough to spice up the combat and make it a tad more interesting. If you are looking for more drastic changes or didn’t click with Octopath Traveler, Octopath Traveler 2 will not be for you. If you want more of what we got in 2018 with Octopath Traveler, you will not be disappointed.