Octopath Traveler 2 Review

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Octopath Traveler 2 is a Japanese role-playing game developed by Acquire and Square Enix. The game follows the success of the original Octopath Traveler, and builds upon it with improved gameplay mechanics, a brand new story, and a new cast of characters. You don’t need to have played the original Octopath Traveler because both the settings and the characters are all new.

The graphics in Octopath Traveler 2 are pixel-style, meant to look like old 2D JRPGs. Even if the graphics are not cutting edge, the art direction is gorgeous, with beautiful landscapes, detailed character designs, and special effects. Backgrounds with characters look like a picture book. The game combines 2D artwork with modern effects, giving it a unique look that is both retro and modern.

Octopath Traveler 2 Screenshot 1
The backgrounds are simply gorgeous in this game. (Image Credit: Acquire & Square Enix)

The gameplay in Octopath Traveler 2 is familiar to fans of the original game, but with improvements. The turn-based combat system is as engaging as ever, with a host of new mechanics. One of the most significant changes is the addition of “Unison” attacks, where multiple party members can team up to deal massive damage to enemies.

The story of Octopath Traveler 2 is original and very different from the original game, with a new cast of eight characters to follow. Each character has their own unique story to tell, with themes ranging from political intrigue to personal revenge. You choose which character you want to play as, and then you use that character to meet the other characters.

Octopath Traveler 2 Screenshot 4
The enemies and protagonists are all well-designed 2D sprites with 3D backgrounds. (Image Credit: Acquire & Square Enix)

The eight character stories are divided into episodes which have their own dungeons, enemies and bosses which can vary significantly in level. The best approach is to get a variety of characters rather than just sticking with one character’s story. The first character episode is done individually with that character, but subsequent episodes will allow you to take your entire party with you (so you should do everyone’s episode one to recruit them and then do their second episodes if you want an easier time). The writing is excellent for each character story, with most of the characters being engaging and having surprising plot twists.

My only criticism is that, like the original game, there is barely any character party interaction compared to contemporary JRPGs. The character episodes will all pretend as if you never recruited anybody else. Rather, you only see your party chat during unvoiced skits. They’ll reference the plot, but it’s never like they’re a real party such as in Xenoblade Chronicles, to give an example. Some characters do have intertwined episodes, but these only involve two characters and are much shorter compared to the main character stories.

After completing all of their character stories you will unlock a final episode with everyone where you fight the true final boss and get the conclusive ending to the game. There are many sidequests as well, but they’re usually generic fetch quests or “defeat x quantity of monsters” quests and like the original game it doesn’t have a good tracker or map marker on how to complete the quests.

Octopath Traveler 2’s battle system is similar to the original game, but with some notable improvements and additions. Like the first game, battles take place on a 2D battlefield with a party of up to four characters. Each character has a unique set of abilities, including physical attacks, elemental magic, skills and using items. However, in Octopath Traveler 2, each character also has a “Sovereign” skill, which is a powerful ability unique to that character that can turn the tide of battle.

Enemies and bosses have weak points which you can exploit by attacking with a certain weapon or elemental spell, which stuns the enemy removing their turn and also weakening them to subsequent attacks though they’ll recover after another turn. So it’s a good technique to figure out the enemy’s weaknesses, buff your party and debuff them, strike their weaknesses, and then unleash your most damaging attacks while the enemy is in their weakened state. If you think a boss if charging up a powerful attack for the next turn, then you can also hit their weaknesses to interrupt their turn and cancel their powerful attack.

Octopath Traveler 2 Screenshot 3
Breaking enemies removes their turn and allows you to deal more damage to them on the next turn. (Image Credit: Acquire & Square Enix)

In Octopath Traveler 2, characters have a variety of abilities and can change classes to further customize their skills and playstyle. Abilities are the skills and attacks that characters can use in battle. Each character has a unique set of abilities based on their class and level. As characters level up, they unlock new abilities, allowing them to become more versatile in combat. Abilities can be physical or elemental, and can be used to attack enemies or to support party members.

Classes are the job of a character and determine their abilities and stats. Each character starts with a specific story class, but can unlock new classes as they progress through the game (you need to find building where someone can teach that class as well). Each class has its own set of abilities and unique characteristics, allowing players to tailor their party to their playstyle.

Each character can have a primary and secondary class, allowing them to mix and match abilities from different classes. For example, a character may have a primary warrior class and a secondary thief class, allowing them to use abilities from both classes in battle such as powerful sword skills and also being able to steal from enemies. This opens up a wide range of strategic possibilities, as players can experiment with different combinations to find the most effective party for their playstyle.

As characters progress through the game and unlock new classes, they can also access more powerful abilities and unique skills. These skills can be game-changers in battle, allowing characters to turn the tide of a difficult fight or gain an advantage against tough enemies.

The abilities and classes in Octopath Traveler 2 add a significant layer of depth and customization to the gameplay. Players can experiment with different combinations of classes and abilities to find the most effective party for their playstyle, and the variety of abilities available ensures that battles remain engaging and strategic throughout the game.

As well, you can level up characters to increase their stats and buy equipment. Interestingly you can break the game early on if you’re smart. Different characters you control have field skills they can use on NPCs, such as dueling them one-on-one to acquire their skills, charming them to give you their items, or even offering to buy an NPC’s items. As long as you recruited that character you can use their field abilities.

Octopath Traveler 2 Screenshot 2
Different protagonists will have different abilities to use on NPCs. Hikari can challenge most NPCs in the game, and if he wins the one-on-one fight he will permanently learn a new skill. (Image Credit: Acquire & Square Enix)

If you manage to get to a high-level area and grind money, it’s possible to run into NPCs and buy very powerful equipment from them early on. You don’t have to do this of course, but the possibility exists and rewards those willing to explore and this game is brimming with nonobvious content.

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When you’re a few chapters into the game you’ll have unlocked many abilities and items. (Image Credit: Acquire & Square Enix)

Octopath Traveler 2 features a rich and immersive world, rich with lore and mythology. The game is set in Solistia, a vast and diverse land filled with a variety of cultures, landscapes, and creatures. Each region of Solistia is unique and distinct, with its own history and mythology. Throughout the game, players will encounter a variety of factions and organizations. These include the Merchants’ Republic, a powerful trade empire that seeks to expand its influence across the continent as well as the Church of the Sacred Flame, a religious organization that venerates the primordial fire that created the world. Different characters will have different motivations. Temenos is extremely interesting for example, since he works with the Church of the Sacred Flame and investigates corruption and internal threats. The characters are certainly more interesting and likeable than the protagonists of the previous game.

Octopath Traveler 2 Screenshot 5
The playable characters have drastically different values and motivations. (Image Credit: Acquire & Square Enix)

The worldbuilding in Octopath Traveler 2 is also heavily influenced by its mythology and history. The game’s lore is filled with references to ancient gods, legendary heroes, and cataclysmic events that have shaped the world. As players explore the game’s many regions and encounter its diverse cast of characters, they will learn more about the rich history and mythology of Solistia. The worldbuilding in Octopath Traveler 2 is one of its greatest strengths, offering a rich and immersive setting. Players will find themselves fully invested in the world of Solistia as they explore its many regions and unravel its many mysteries, and all NPCs have their own story.

Octopath Traveler 2 Screenshot 7
The towns have great designs and feel very cozy. (Image Credit: Acquire & Square Enix)

The music in Octopath Traveler 2 is once again composed by Yasunori Nishiki, and it’s an amazing soundtrack just like the original game. The soundtrack is diverse, ranging from sweeping orchestral pieces to more atmospheric tracks that perfectly capture the mood of each area of the game. The voice acting is also top-notch, with each character being brought to life by talented voice actors. It’s unfortunate that the skits between characters is unvoiced but all of the main story dialog is voiced in English.

Octopath Traveler 2 is an excellent sequel that manages to improve upon an already great original game. With stunning graphics, engaging gameplay mechanics, and an intriguing story, it’s a must-play for fans of the JRPG genre. My only criticism is that there is a lack of interactions between your party members. You also might not like this game if you’re not into JRPGs, don’t like turn-based combat, if you don’t like building parties of classes or if you don’t enjoy 2D spritework. While there are some similarities to the original game, the new characters, story, and gameplay mechanics make it a fresh experience that stands on its own. If you’re a fan of role-playing games, or if you loved the original Octopath Traveler, then I highly recommend giving this sequel a try.

Octopath Traveler 2

Our Score: Great


  • The sprites are very well drawn, with distinct character classes that can be used by all characters. The backgrounds and towns also have a great artstyle with special effects.
  • The gameplay is turn-based and is very addicting. Acquiring classes and mastering them and then making builds and having synergy with your party is addicting once you get the hang of it.
  • Yasunori Nishiki returns to compose the music and it genuinely has many phenomenal bangers, whether you’re in town or in boss battles.
  • Character development throughout the character episodes is well-done, and the cast of eight playable characters are all extremely likeable, especially compared to the first game which had a few missteps.

  • The game can be overwhelming at first until you get your bearings, and you may find the first few bosses of who you play as to be challenging.
  • You do need to enjoy old-school turn-based JRPGs to enjoy this game, otherwise it likely won’t click for you.
  • The true final boss can be a bit challenging, though it is definitely a fair final boss.
  • There’s a lack of interaction between the eight party members, just as it was in the original game. There are new “intertwined” episodes which put two characters together, but they’re not as good as the single character episodes. There are skits between party members, but they’re unvoiced unlike the main cutscenes.

Brandon Harris
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch

Brandon is a passionate gamer and reviewer who respects the artistic and technical prowess that goes into creating interactive experiences. He enjoys playing the guitar, volunteering, and traveling to experience different cultures.

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