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Dusk Diver 2 Review (PS5) – A More Simplified Sequel That Still Manages To Shine

Dusk Diver 2 Review PS5 – Dusk Diver 2 is the surprise sequel to 2019’s Dusk Diver. However, while it’s unexpected, it’s definitely welcome. The original Dusk Diver is a unique action RPG with stylish art direction and great characters, and thankfully, the game’s art style and exciting cast both make a return for this follow-up

While not every change that Dusk Diver 2 makes to the formula is a success, the game still manages to stand strong as a sequel to an already-solid game.

Dusk Diver 2 Review (PS5)

A Great Return For A Solid Cast Of Characters

Dusk Diver 2 takes place one year after the original game’s events and sees Yumo returning along with her friends Leo, Bahet, and La Viada. After closing the dimensional fissures leading to Youshanding around Ximending, small fissures begin to appear in Ximending again, forcing Yumo and her friends to head back inside Youshanding to find out what’s causing these new fissures and stop them before the Chaos Beasts begin to enter the human realm.

Dusk Diver 2’s story takes a while to get going with many new and returning characters, making it a little hard to follow at times. It’s a slow burn early on, but when you get to the game’s second half, it picks up, outdoing the original my miles with plenty of surprises and some emotional scenes that will get you amped up, especially when you’ve grown to love this crazy cast of characters.

It’s a shame that it takes so long to get the story moving because the best locations and boss battles take place in the second half of the game. The second half of the game is also very linear, having you moving through multiple story missions with no way to explore Ximending or complete any side quiets.

Just like in the original, the narrative is great, and the characters are lively and well written, but there are translation errors and misspellings throughout the dialogue.

[Editor’s Note: PR contacted PSU following publication of this review, confirming a Day One Patch will address numerous issues including “balance adjustments as well as translation/text fixes.”]

A Living Breathing World Full Of Exploration

Ximending and Youshanding are just as much a part of the game’s story as the narrative. The city is very familiar to those who played the original, with plenty of people populating the world with dozens and dozens of side quests and requests to complete. It’s also full of collectables to find, such as concept art and various accessories and costume designs for the party.

Ximending is also full of restaurants for you to consume the many delicious-looking foods. Eating will provide you with plenty of temporary stat boost and even has a long-running side quest to try all the food in Ximending. Dusk Diver 2 has added new locations to the game to expand the world. A bustling new shopping centre and a giant university to explore are just a couple of examples.

Youshanding this time around takes you to various new locations – unlike in Dusk Divers, which kept you locked to an alternate Ximending. You’ll enter a shopping mall full of giant maid statues, go inside a massive arcade where you battle on top of an air hockey machine and many other locations.

New Threats Require A Full Party To Defeat

Chaos Beasts once again populate Youshanding, but they aren’t the only enemies. The Kunlun Military has also sent in robots and drones to watch Youshanding, and they don’t appreciate any visitors. The Chaos Beasts are the same variety you faced off against in Dusk Diver, but the new robots are a pain to deal with.

These adversaries fire missiles from a distance, and some are heavily armoured, taking a lot of time and damage to break through their guards. Combat, for the most part, functions the same way. You string combos together and mix them up with special attacks to cause a break on your enemies. When a break occurs, you can pull off a break attack doing extra damage to your enemies and receiving Chaos orbs to build your Burst Gauge.

The most significant change to the game is that your party is playable this time. Each of your party members brings a different playstyle with them. Bahet is excellent for crowd control. Viada uses guns for long-range combat and quick breaks on enemies, while Leo is the perfect powerhouse; slow but incredibly destructive.

Steep Difficulty Leads To Long Drawn Out Battles

Enemies are also susceptible to specific ailments, and certain characters may be better for encounters than others. Leo is great at breaking mechanical enemies and going through their armour, while Viada won’t be able to penetrate their heavy armour doing little to no damage. So finding which character to use against what enemy is key. Be warned because there is a cool-down timer for switching your party member.

One thing that bothered me with the combat is how much more difficult it is. There were plenty of moments where I found myself on the ropes with enemies doing a lot of damage. Switching characters became a lifesaver because it allowed me to try a new strategy. What makes these encounters difficult is that you feel underpowered with almost every encounter.

Enemies have a lot of health and hardly feel like they take any damage. Battles that should have taken about thirty seconds lasted for three minutes. It gets much worse in the second half of the game when enemies are relentless in their assault and bombard you from long distances with rockets.

Build Your Party To Your Liking

Because you have multiple playable characters this time, you must figure out how to allocate your EXP. Every battle rewards the EXP you allocate into various stats for each character.

Some characters benefit more from specific stats, while others won’t do so well with others. Increasing your strength is excellent for all characters, but Leo will always be your power hitter and gains higher stat bonuses in this department.

Gear also plays a significant role as it increases your defence and provides bonuses to specific stats. One piece of equipment may increase not only defence but also stamina which increases your health, and Luck, which increases your critical hit chance.

Some pieces of equipment will also have orb slots. Orbs can be crafted but also dropped from chests and enemies. These orbs are slotted to your equipment and provide greater bonuses like gaining extra EXP from encounters and chances you won’t use up an Item during battle.

Stylish Art Design Shines Once Again

Visually, Dusk Diver 2 is a much better-looking game because of the more varied level design. The effects look good, and the stylish art style returns. The music is again great with electronic tracks that can be purchased and listened to in your shop like before.

Unfortunately, some tracks and character animations are recycled from the previous entry, at least for Yumo, but that’s not strictly a negative because it’s just as smooth as it was in Dusk Diver.

Dusk Diver 2 is another excellent addition to this franchise, with great writing and characters making for a fun time. The combat this time allows all your friends to join in on the fray, but it’s hindered by steep difficulty, which makes many battles repetitive. With all it has going for it, the positives easily outweigh the negatives, and Dusk Diver 2 is an excellent addition to anyone’s library.

Dusk Diver 2 releases on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on August 30, 2022.



The Final Word

Dusk Diver 2 delivers a much-improved sequel. Though its story takes some time to get going, its execution bears weight, especially in the second half of the game. With great exploration and combat, which allows you to take control of all your party members this time around, Dusk Diver 2 provides a steep challenge with plenty of content to sink your teeth into.