Square Enix is an insanely powerful publisher and developer that has created some amazing titles. They were a huge part of the Nintendo Direct last week and had a bunch of announcements at the show like they usually do. For me, one of the best announcements to come out of the whole show was both a shock but also something that I kind of expected to happen sooner or later. A sequel to the fabulous Octopath Traveler is coming out on February 24th for different platforms. Octopath Traveler was the first game to come out that really started the “HD-2D” art style that has seriously been a key player for Square Enix in the past few years when it comes to different games.
First off, Octopath Traveler II is coming out on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. Now, the original came to Switch as a timed exclusive, and later on, went to both Xbox and PC but the sequel isn’t making its way to Xbox. The platform that confuses me is the PlayStation 4 and PS5. Now, PlayStation also had a State of Play later on in the day after the direct so when Octopath II was announced for PS4 and PS5, I thought maybe the first one would show up on PlayStation as well, but it still hasn’t happened. Will it come in the future? Who knows. It appears as though the two games are separate and take place in different worlds so you don’t need to play the first one to understand the sequel; which is interesting. Maybe there are some connections, but right now we don’t know. More people get to play it so I am hopeful people give it a shot!
Octopath Traveler II is making a massive jump in terms of what they are showcasing within the game so far. The art and visuals that are being showcased from Square Enix already look fabulous beyond belief. The HD-2D art style that we are so used to by now is making the return with this game, and this actually looks like it will be miles beyond the first game’s quality. Live-A-Live came out on the Switch this year and that game also uses the HD-2D art style and that game looks fantastic, but this one is even more impressive than that one, so they are definitely improving on the design with each game that uses this engine so that is exciting to see. I played the first Octopath on the standard Nintendo Switch, but now that the OLED model is out… I mean how gorgeous is this game gonna look? Or 4K on the PS5? Like this game is going to be beautiful regardless of where you end up playing. There are many changes that are being made to improve the game but also a lot of things are being kept from the first. I think it’s great to build upon issues, but keep things that worked and maybe tweak them a little bit to make them even better.
The first game had a few issues for me and this game is looking to improve on things that I was having problems with. The sequel is actually having the stories intertwine with one another, unlike the first game. How much will they connect, well we don’t know the answer yet but I am hoping it’s enough to connect them together and also have the characters stand out by themselves. Another issue I had in the first one was the fact that the story was great but also somewhat linear without much change in terms of things to do. In the sequel, the path actions you have available will change depending on if you are in the daytime or the nighttime, which is a new and fantastic edition. Will there be different outcomes or does it not change the main story? Well, it appears as though it wouldn’t, but I mean anything is definitely possible. Along with the day and night cycle being added, the music will also change depending on the time of day, which is fantastic to see the world change and isn’t static anymore.
There are a few things that I noticed that are staying the same. One thing that is staying the same is the way they named the characters. One of the many joys of Octopath is the first letter of each of the eight characters spell Octopath. Octo means eight in Latin, and there are 8 paths so that is where the name comes from and the sequel is keeping that concept alive which is awesome! The third thing that doesn’t appear to have changed that much is the combat system which I actually thought was almost perfect. Yes, there is a bit of grind in the first game. In an old school JRPG, you actually kind of expect that so it didn’t bother me but maybe there is a way in which that is smoothed out this time around.
Octopath Traveler 2 is making a massive jump in terms of what they are showcasing within the game so far. I loved the world design in the first game, Orsterra, and I am excited to go to another world, Solistia, with 8 different characters and explore what they have to offer. I honestly don’t think the images of this game do it justice, but thankfully there is a video available to watch. There’s a nice amount of gameplay that was showcased at the Tokyo Game Show. Below is a link for the stream that was shown at the Tokyo Game Show and the Octopath Traveler 2 section is from 2:39:29 to 2:59:41, that is a solid 20 minutes of discussing the world, changes, music, battles, and more. Octopath Traveler is an old school turn-based Japanese RPG that has a very unique look that not many games can pull off correctly, but this is one that excels just from looks alone! I am so excited for this game and I hope you are too!