Oceanhorn 2 Oceanhorn 2 Knights of the Lost Realm Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas PlayStation 5 PS5

Oceanhorn 2: Knights Of The Lost Realm Review (PS5) – A Grand Sequel Full Of Adventure

Oceanhorn 2: Knights Of The Lost Realm Review (PS5) – In November 2013, Cornfox & Bros. released Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas on mobile and eventually all other platforms. A Zelda-inspired adventure made with love and passion, the game received positive reviews and sold over one million units. Its simple but emotional tale, vibrant visuals, and fantastic top-down gameplay made it one of the best indie titles you could spend your hard-earned cash on.

With the recent release of Oceanhorn 2: Knights Of The Old Realm on PS5, I’m pleased to say this is not only a worthy sequel that is larger in scope than its predecessor, but it’s also one of the best indies you’ll play this year. If you enjoy Zelda-based adventures full of exploration and adventure, read on to find out why this is a game you don’t want to miss!

Oceanhorn 2: Knights Of The Lost Realm Review (PS5) – A Grand Sequel Full Of Adventure

Press START To Adventure!

The story of Oceanhorn 2 is simple; there is a great evil arriving on the shores of Arcadia. It is up to you to obtain the three sacred emblems and unite the nations of Gaia. You will be going to many different locals, from local villages, lush jungles, aquatic waters, to rough mountains. Every area you go to is full of life and detail. Compared to its prequel, Oceanhorn 2’s areas are absolutely massive! You’re encouraged to explore and you’ll always be rewarded handsomely for it, while the gorgeous visuals further complement the overall experience.

The most impressive part about this image? Oceanhorn 2 was originally on iOS platforms before being ported to Sony’s latest console.

Gameplay Is King

Oceanhorn 2 is an adventure game at its core. You’re tasked to visit different locals and explore undiscovered areas and caves, and as you progress, you’ll find tools and weapons to aid you on your journey. A sword to attack, a shield to defend, and a “caster” weapon to shoot bullets and spells at enemies.

In addition to your arsenal, you will find tools to traverse hard-to-reach areas, discover hidden paths, swim in the ocean depths, and spells. Spells are used to solve puzzles and enhance damage. You have fire, lightning, ice, and healing spells. Below is an image of exploring one of the game’s expansive areas.

With these tools, you’re encouraged to explore and traverse each area to uncover its secrets and progress the story. As you explore you’ll be rewarded with treasures to sell, cards to obtain, key items mentioned above, secret bosses, and heart containers to increase your overall health. Everything you do in this game is associated with challenges with rewards to reap.

Completing these challenges earns you XP for your Knight Rank. Every time you level up, you’re rewarded with a larger wallet, more stamina, and a myriad of perks. In addition to these fantastic perks, Oceanhorn 2 features some fantastic-level design. There are moments where you are on moving platforms dodging lasers, riding fast on a jet bike dodging enemies, and triumphing over large-scale bosses. Every boss battle is designed with a certain way to overcome the challenge, having you on the tip of your toes and at the edge of your seat.

Mechanically Sound

Oceanhorn 2 welcomes a wide array of mechanics to enhance the gameplay experience. For combat, wielding a sword allows you to get in close on enemies to deal some serious damage. Using a shield can block incoming attacks, and if timed right you can perform a parry to stun enemies. On your travels, you will be accompanied by up to two other party members. You can issue commands to attack, follow, or interact with the environment.

Pressing square three times will execute a flashy combo to vanquish your foes, while hitting R3 will allow you to lock-on to track your foe’s every move. Hitting X allows you to roll out of the way of incoming attacks, but if you prefer, you can always take the stealthy approach. Areas have tall grass for you to hide in and sneak up behind the enemy to deal extra damage, and if you feel like opening the distance between your foes, you have the caster gun to shoot bullets and spells.Going for headshots stuns and increases your damage output, and you can also lob bombs if you’re a bit of an anarchist!

Your Caster includes the ability to shoot spells. They’re great for combat as well as solving puzzles. Fire spell burns enemies and light lanterns, while lightning stuns enemies and powers up conductors to unlock areas. Meanwhile, ice freezes enemies and can create a platform for you to walk on water for traversal. If you as the player are stuck progressing through a level, the game encourages you to think with the mechanics presented.

Most items in your inventory allow you to equip shards to enhance them. You may enhance the damage, might, and charge to your arsenal. Exploring areas in the game will reward you with more shards to enhance your weapons and gameplay. Speaking of exploration, the tools you use outside of combat allow you to reach new heights in each area.

The grappling hook to zip to and across hard-to-reach places, climb vines, dig for treasures, complete puzzles, and swim to discover treasure chests and so much more. One of the great additions to swimming in this game is that you can dive underwater, which includes underwater foliage and detail. Indeed, Oceanhorn 2 is a game that keeps on giving.

When you’re not venturing on land, there are a few methods for traveling the world. You have the option to sail the seas with your boat, fast-travel, or even fly a ship. Once you’re in the comforts of the local towns, you can interact with the townsmen to discover more about the in-game lore, earn rewards, and challenge people to a card game.

Arcadian Tarock will feel like The Witcher’s Gwent Card Game. The objective is to have the most power points on the board based on the cards you play. A stronger card will take off points from a card placed on the board. This is a really addictive feature added to Oceanhorn 2. Needless to day, you will lose yourself in finding more cards throughout the world and challenging Tarock enthusiasts.

The Bad & The Ugly…

As great as Oceanhorn 2 is, it is nowhere near being a perfect game. Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas was simple in its gameplay and mechanics, making it a fantastic experience. With big changes comes the need for quality-of-life improvements however, and Oceanhorn 2 suffers greatly from the lack of tutorials for its mechanics and progressing levels.

There are mechanics in the game that would be extremely helpful to know right away, such as the ability to parry with your shield if timed right. Perhaps the developers were thinking of allowing the player to figure out these channels and give them a sense of discovery. However, this contradicts the fact that there are signs which read out tutorial messages for hints and directions.

In addition to combat mechanics, solving puzzles is a chore to complete rather than allowing the player to prioritize critical thinking. Most puzzles in the games were solved through trial and error, or happy mistakes. There was one puzzle in particular where you are tasked to weigh down a button by shooting an ice block at a pot.

It is already an issue receiving ammo for spells due to scarcity. Once you have enough shots to cast an ice spell, you’re shooting enemies which will freeze them or on the water to create a platform. The game never has you shooting an ice spell to introduce the mechanic of weighing down a button with an ice block on it.

The inclusion of a stamina bar for a linear adventure was not a great idea. A stamina bar would make sense if you could climb and interact with the entire world. This would encourage the player to plan their routes and actions accordingly based on the stamina threshold.

Not enough stamina? Keep leveling yourself up and come back when you have the stamina required. In Oceanhorn 2, most physical moves require stamina and you’re only limited to climbing preset paths and performing actions you have to execute. This makes having a stamina bar intrusive as it can stall you from progressing an area or waiting for stamina to replenish to continue a battle.

Lastly, the game’s narrative, albeit simple suffers from pacing and creating a context for the player to understand what is happening. A lot of terms are simply thrown at you, without the proper explanation of its history or legitimacy. Alongside this pivotal points in the game simply “just happen.”

There is no build-up or context given as to why things are occurring. If anything it is briefly explained on rare occasions. Aside from these setbacks, after a long day in the world of Arcadia, drop into any house with a bed and sleep away. This feature doesn’t really serve a purpose aside from heart restoration, it is a welcome addition to the experience.

Earning XP levels you up which welcomes great rewards but you often don’t use them. Finding chests and bloodstone shards adds to the completion rate of the game, making it a fun platinum trophy to obtain at least. Lacking a New Game Plus doesn’t allow incentive to restart the game unless you want to do everything from scratch.

Despite the game’s flaws, there is a lot of fun to be had here. Whether it’s challenging foes in combat or a card duel, revelling at the game’s beautiful colors, or exploring for collectibles, Oceanhorn 2 will give you a great sense of fulfilment and the invitation to uncover all that the game has to offer, of which there is a lot. When all was said and done over the course of my 10min shy of 20 hours playtime, I’d only completed 66% of what’s there.

Knight Rank: Level 12, Dragoon Knight

Total Playtime: 19 hours and 50 minutes

Completion Rate: 66%

Review Code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

A fantastic game worthy of being a proper sequel brimming with gorgeous visuals, immersive exploration, engaging combat, deep mechanics, and packed full of content which exceeds that of the average Indie Title. If you are looking for a Zelda-based adventure, look no further than Oceanhorn 2: Knights Of The Lost Realm!