What’s New in Octopath Traveler II

Octopath Traveler II Preview

Octopath Traveler 2 is coming out in less than two weeks. I’m a few hours in, and so far it rules. It’s more Octopath, you see. What else could a person possibly want? Although if you’re starving for new features, there are a few to break down. I won’t cover everything here, but let’s get into some highlights. Such as the characters!

Although this looks, sounds, and feels just like Octopath, we’re working with a whole new cast. You’ve got the samurai with a heart of gold, the femme fatale thief, and even the plucky merchant. Along with five more! For the most part, the divide between front and back-row fighters isn’t as clean. The apothecary is an axe-wielding bruiser, while the merchant can just hire people to do all the stat-boosting labor required. Your party’s roles aren’t as clearly defined, which leaves you more room to experiment. You’ve got a couple of healers, a couple of high-damage fighters, and four people in the ‘other’ category.

Fresh Yet Familiar

Most of the items and spells will be pretty familiar. On the other hand, you’ve got some new abilities to mess with. Latent skills are a form of Limit Break, an extra edge you gain early on. Some are purely offensive, while others are more insidious. The merchant’s Latent ability maxes out your BP. Seems cool enough, but you’ve got to combine it with the perfect move for it to be useful. The scholar’s power takes a group spell and focuses it on a single target, which I love. That, plus a few BP, can be enough to end any regular battle immediately.

Octopath Traveler 2 Preview

You can switch between day and night with a single button. Not only that, but your characters have different powers depending on the time of day. For example, the thief can either pick pockets or sneak attack people. Meanwhile, the Beastling hunter will either befriend people with food, or challenge them to a fight. Actually, a lot of your powers boil down to beating people up. I suppose the devs wanted to be sure you had that option no matter what your party looks like.

Picking Fights With Strangers

Furthermore, the use of said powers is more efficient now. You can choose from any of your party’s abilities once you click on a person. The path to collecting all eight party members feels more streamlined than in the last game. You can also press a button in battle to double the game speed. Perfect for any level grinding you want to do. That’s not the complete list, but it’s all I can reveal for now.

Reading through these changes, one might feel like very little has actually changed. Which is fair! Personally, I’m absolutely thrilled that Octopath Traveler 2 is more of the game I loved so much. While my final judgment is yet to come, so far I’m pretty hooked. If you played and loved the first game, you’re gonna want to grab Octopath Traveler 2 when it releases on February 24th.

***A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher***