For those that have played Cat Quest, you will be fully aware of the multitude of hilarious cat puns throughout the game. Cat Quest II, from developer The Gentlebros, delivers way more entertaining puns, not only in regards to cats but now dogs too. Cat Quest II really is a paw-some game and some might say it’s the purr-fect sequel! Ok, ok, forgive me for those puns, I promise there will be no more within this article!
The original Cat Quest was sprung on me by a friend, who highly recommended it, and knew how much I enjoyed Role Playing Games (RPG’s). I instantly fell in love with the absolutely adorable game, even getting the Platinum trophy for it and therefore I’ve been eagerly awaiting this sequel. Cat Quest II will be completely familiar to those that have played the original; however, it helps to keep itself fresh by adding a local co-op mode, where you can now play through the entire game with a friend.
In Cat Quest II you return to the kingdom of Felingard, a fantastical land populated by cute kitties. A war is raging with the adjacent land, where the barking-mad Lupus Empire of dogs is readying an invasion. Both of the Empires are headed by evil tyrannical leaders and thus the two rightful kings, our nameless cat and dog hero protagonists, are brought together, against their will, on a journey to reclaim their thrones and bring peace to both the kingdoms. It’s a delightfully simple plot which is complemented by a whole host of charming NPC’s and entertaining side quests on offer. You may even spot an adorable mutt resembling Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series and I was pleasantly surprised to see the return of Kit Cat, your trusty friend from the first game, who again helps to upgrade your equipment. I’m led to believe Cat Quest II is set generations after the first game, so I can only imagine that Kit Cat is using some damn fine catnip to stay looking so fresh and young!
The open-world map of Cat Quest II is literally double the size of the original game, and you will even leave the lush greenery of Felingard to explore the barren desert homeland of the Lupus Empire. The map is strewn with enemies to battle, villages and towns to visit, and dungeons and caves to explore. The game now includes temples that offer specific wave-based challenges against enemies to be rewarded with some special loot. The map is pretty much open to fully explore from the offset, however wondering too far and you will soon be faced by enemies that are way too powerful for you until you naturally progress and level up. Thankfully, each dungeon and cave clearly states its recommended level, so you don’t walk in unaware and get totally obliterated.
The general gameplay is pretty much identical to that of Cat Quest. It might seem a little too familiar to those that have played the original and are looking for the series to offer something new. As previously stated, what Cat Quest II does to freshen up the formula is it introduces a local co-op mode, where a friend can join you on your journey as one of the two playable characters. I gave this mode a go with my wife (who is not a gamer), and it was a really enjoyable experience. It really is the perfect mode to help encourage the whole family to play together and stop siblings arguing about whose turn it is to play next, as now they can now both play together.
If you are all out of friends, or just fancy experiencing the game on your own, then there is a solo mode, in which, the second character is now an AI companion. This AI companion, unfortunately, isn’t the smartest and will often attack aimlessly or gets caught out by traps. It’s no real worry though as if they die it’s not game over, and they can easily be revived simply by standing next to them until their health replenishes.
What I really liked about Cat Quest II is how you could switch between the animal duo by a simple press of a button. This allows you to set up each character with a different skill set to be able to change up combat tactics on the fly. I always had my cat as a close-combat strength build with a sword in hand, while my doggy partner would act as a mage, which means reduced health and strength attributes, but to counter this, they can use range magic attacks from a distance. It was an incredibly effective set up which I used throughout my playthrough.
Combat is very simplistic with a general attack, a roll to dodge enemy assaults and being able to unleash a whole host of elemental magic and different abilities that both characters can have equipped. These include having a protective shield to reduce attack damage or my personal favourite of being able to double in size so you inflict more damage on the enemies. The magic attacks and abilities can be very readily equipped to each of the four controller shoulder buttons for quick access. Of course, you can’t endlessly hammer enemies with magic attacks as you have a meter that depletes, but by switching back to using normal attacks this replenishes it pretty quickly. It all helps to create a really fun and frantic battle system that is accessible for all ages to enjoy.
The accessibility of Cat Quest II is a real positive and makes the game easily the most approachable RPG that I’ve ever played, however, hardcore RPG gamers may be put off by the simplicity of it. As with all RPG games defeating enemies awards you with XP and it is surprising just how quickly you level up. Enemies will also drop gold which can be used to make magic attacks more powerful or upgrading equipment and weapons. You will find an awful lot of different clothing to equip, all with different attributes including strength, defence, and magic so there are plenty of options to help shape which sort of character build you want to play as. Equipping clothing will change the appearance of your character and allows for some quite amusing and quirky set-ups, including being able to become invisible through a quest where you gain an invisibility cloak. There are plenty of items to find, some of which are within hidden areas or hard to reach areas of the map, so exploration is key to finding the very best and rare equipment.
Because the quest lines and dungeons within Cat Quest II are fairly short, it does make the game have a highly addictive feel to it and is ideal for playing in short doses. If you accidentally start a quest where you are under-levelled for it, you can quite simply access one of the tomes that appear to cancel your current quest. Cat Quest II can be as challenging as you wish to make it as you can try and defeat enemies or tackle dungeons that are higher than your current level. I really enjoyed the fact that I could sit and have a relaxing experience playing an RPG where I didn’t have to aimlessly grind to get more powerful or get frustrated by hitting a sharp difficulty spike. You can largely just stick to following the main story path but it is advised to do a few side quests along the journey, just to help ensure you’re at an adequate level for the main quests,
Visually, Cat Quest II is an absolute delight. The world is awash with bold and bright colours and the characters are beautifully hand-drawn and full of personality. It’s a shame that there isn’t much variation in the caves and dungeon scenery but the world-map more than makes up for this, offering a variety of different environments and biomes.
Lastly, I’ve not come across any apparent bug or glitches, and the framerate is a smooth and solid 60fps. For those playing on the PS4, much like the original game, the Platinum trophy is very achievable and helps to add further length to an already impressive 6-hour campaign. This doesn’t even include the additional time you can spend doing side quests, which easily adds around 4 hours more of gameplay, it really is an excellent amount of game for a very reasonable price.
I can’t express enough just how well The Gentlebros delivers in making a ridiculously charming and rewarding game. Cat Quest II has bucket loads of terrific humour, adorable characters and you will never tire of the entertaining cat and dog puns on offer. The second playable character really adds to keeping combat fresh, whether you play the game in solo mode or in local co-op with a friend. Cat Quest II may be overly familiar to those that have played Cat Quest, but more of the same is definitely not a bad thing when the game is so entertaining and fun to play. This cat-venture is a terrific sequel that certainly gets my tail wagging with joy!
Cat Quest II£11.99
- - The most accessible open-world action-RPG on the market
- - Gorgeous art style and huge world to explore
- - Adorable cast of characters and entertaining side quests
- - Playing alone or in co-op is a joy to play
- - Great sense of humour
- - Gameplay is overly familiar
- - AI companion isn’t the smartest