Deathly Dark and Greatly Grotesque JRPG Goodness
Death End Re:Quest 2 is the follow up to the greatest horror JRPG of last year. When Death End Re;Quest was released in 2019, I was instantly hooked and gripped by it’s a horrific and gruesome story. In Death and Re;Quest 2, you play as Mai Tayoma who finds herself enlisted at Wordsworth Academy which also acts as an orphanage after the death of her father. I won’t spoil the reasons as to why. Le Choara, the town in which Wordsworth Academy stands is said to be haunted and there is much strange goings-on in the town as people started disappearing. Mai Tayoma is keen on finding her sister who is thought to have been in Le Choara but is also nowhere to be seen and so starts the search for her.
Along the way Mai Tayoma meets other characters such as Rottie and Liliana who both have their benefits outside of progressing the story. Progressing the story consists of being at the academy and following the plot by speaking to other students etc, outside of doing this you can explore outside of the Academy which happens at night. At nighttime, the town of Le Choara turns into a hellish nightmare. Monsters roam the streets, fog devours the town and a generally dark atmosphere which captures the eeriness of the isolated town. This is where exploration and battles take place. The battle system has not improved much since the first game and you will find yourself knocking back enemies into each other which is just as fun as the first time around. While the battle system is the weakest part of Death End Re;Quest 2, the story and progression more than makes up for it. Battles are turn-based and again like the first game you will find some battles easy but also some difficult enemies with larger spikes to them. A plethora of items found within the game makes it rather easy most of the time unless you play on the harder difficulties. There isn’t much improvement on character customization here either. There are dark beings out in the field which will follow you and give you a hasty game over screen should you be caught but usually they are easy to avoid but better to be aware than not. Exploration I have found more enjoyable this time with more options and secret areas. As I mentioned Rottie and Liliana both have their benefits out on the field such as hacking terminals. The world itself is beautifully eerie with the creepiest looking enemies and darkness shrouding the town with trees emerging from the buildings and nothing but street lights to keep the town light at night. Also enhancing the effect of each screen is the music and sound which is splendid and really sets the tone.
In comparison Death End Re;Quest 2 has a lot of uncomfortable and brutal moments much like the first game. Everything this time around is happening for real (still in a fictional world) rather than in a simulated online game in which the first game takes place; and while this is true Death End Re;Quest still retains systems from the first game such as glitching in battle and coded runes displayed in the real world. Death End Re;Quest 2 while horrific and violent; it does delve into the realms of sexual abuse and physical and mental abuse also. Death End Re;Quest 2 is much darker this time around and it doesn’t pull any punches in delivery and execution. It will most likely make you feel uncomfortable but it is also has a gripping air about it at the same time. The English voice acting exceptional much like the first game which is a real testament to its predecessor. There is also the option for Japanese voice audio if you wish. Again here much of the decisions you make in Death End Re;Quest 2 can lead you to an unfortunate demise and are forced to start again, fortunately, you can save during these and even more so this time the team behind the game want you to as you will unlock these as you do in a compendium of sorts.
Do you need to play the original Death End Re;Quest to enjoy the second part? I would say not necessarily. While Mai does bump into Shina who is the protagonist from the first game and there are references and tie ins, the is still separate. It basically just follows the same formula of protagonist following the trail to look for a friend. Would I recommend playing the original Death End Re;Quest before playing the second one? Definitely!
Death End Re:Quest is a great follow up to the first game and brings forth a new cast of characters which it builds up really well. While it may not bring much new in terms of gameplay while bringing in old systems, anything it does new doesn’t really have an effect, still, it is worth a play especially if you’re heavily invested into the series.
A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by Idea Factory International