There were problems with navigation in the first part – on the map, without a single detail, it was simply impossible to understand where the player had access, and where he could not get yet. In the second part, orientation problems have reached a qualitatively new level.
‘The map in the game is huge you can see on F95zone. There are many roads and forks, a lot of various obstacles. It remains only to skillfully mix all this, build a route, populate it with interesting opponents – and send the hero on an adventure. Yes?
In principle, there is no such thing as a route in the game. There is a dimensionless map on which there is something somewhere that will allow you to somehow advance in the plot. At the same time, there are huge areas that are unnecessary for anything (except for enemies, notes and small secrets there is nothing there). It is absolutely not necessary to visit at least two regions on the map – the game is passable without them.
Further more. Half, if not two-thirds, of the abilities are needed for the game two to three times. The player will constantly use only hacking consoles, a spider drone and elements of basic mechanics: a grappling hook, climbing walls and the ability to hook onto a ledge. Hacking, by the way, needs to be pumped. If the door in front of you is locked from a too complex terminal, and the level of burglary is not enough – that’s it. Look for vials with experience points.
On the map are scattered portals to a parallel dimension, where only the drone can move. At first, these wormholes are suggested to bypass obstacles in the main world, and it works. However, in the second half, the player gets the opportunity to leave the second reality at any point in it. This is where the association with Dishonored 2 arises. Perhaps they will let you play with the change of realities? Yes?
The game has several obstacles that exist simultaneously in two realities, and do not allow the player to take a shortcut through the plot. That is, the ability seems to exist, but it breaks the passage, so now we will add a restriction. And there are not one or two such crutches in the sequel Axiom Verge.
All this together gives an eerie mess in which it is impossible to navigate. The plot of the game is completely traversed in four hours – but I spent as much as twenty-odd. And topographic cretinism has nothing to do with it. Level maps in Exanima are much more understandable, readable and informative than the world map in Axiom Verge 2. A dozen secrets are sometimes easier to find than the right path.
Maybe at least Lesser restoration 5e game will please with battles? Also no. Ranged combat in the sequel was abolished, leaving the player only a boomerang. Now this is a melee game. The mechanics are simple – hit with a pick, dodge shots. You can also try to hack enemies, but there’s little sense. The maximum that hacking gives is a slowdown. Bosses can blow up any piece of the body. There are opponents that are completely unkillable – you just need to avoid them.
For some reason, they tried to portray stealth: a number of enemies have a field of view and alarm levels, and until the player hits them, nothing threatens him. It does not affect the process in any way: they die from a pick just as well as others. The main opponents in the game, in principle, are not capable of causing inconvenience. There is exactly one function: he saw, ran up, attacked, died.
I would like to say that the world and the plot stand, or at least somehow compensate for the confusion and awkwardness of the process – but alas. Axiom Verge 2 desperately lacks a coherent exposition, representation of the characters, their goals and motives. Our heroine is a Hindu billionaire. A message like: “Fly to Antarctica if you want to see your daughter again” came to a terminal in the company she recently purchased – and flew away. At the Arctic station, she falls either into another dimension, or on another planet. And you can’t leave this place.
Everything. This is all the information that is available to the player during the first hour of the game. They will not even imagine the place in which the heroine found herself – only indistinct notes with a bunch of proper names. There was, they say, a war, and after the war, a reasonable weapon remained, but it was destroyed, but not everything was destroyed – something remained. And what’s left now wants to destroy the world. Defeating him is the main task of the player. And it all ends with a backlog of one more sequel. At the same time, the line of the daughter and the mysterious terminals is simply cut off.
Fatigue and irritation are the two main emotions of Axiom Verge 2. Fatigue from ordeals in huge, meaningless locations. Irritated with new abilities that only have to be used a couple of times each. Both fatigue and irritation – from each new impasse, from reading notes with what the authors of the game call the plot and background, from new encounters with absolutely no enemies. HuniePop 2 seemed to try to absorb everything, but could not imagine, develop and use anything. The game cannot be recommended to anyone. If you want metroidvania, buy Blasphemous, Bloodstained, Hollow Knight, Ori, Grime. Even the first Axiom Verge – but not Axiom Verge 2.
- Well-tuned platformer mechanics
- Nice background music
- Half of the map can be cut off – there is nothing important
- Several hours of wandering in search of as yet unexplored directions – and none of them advance in the plot
- Lots of crutches so that conflicting abilities don’t break the author’s idea
- Uninteresting or annoying enemies
- An indistinct, confused way of presenting information about the plot and the world