I was a big fan of Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas, but there’s no doubting that Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm is even better, with the game upping the ante as far as the production values are concerned and taking it into a beautiful, fully 3D environment. I’ve played through the game previously on the Nintendo Switch, but stepped back into its world with its recent release on PC. And you know what? It’s even better than I remember, with clear improvements made to the game over the last few years to ensure this is the definitive way to experience Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Taking place a thousand years before the events of the original game, Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm puts players in the role of the very originally named Hero as he looks to vanquish the threat brought upon the world by the villainous Mesmeroth, which means finding three Sacred Emblems across the vast seas that lies before him. Whilst I’ll admit it’s hardly the most original of fantasy adventure narratives, it’s intriguing enough to keep players engrossed in the tale. There are a couple of twists to encounter along the way too, some of which took the game in a different direction than I expected given the vibrant theme of the overall adventure, so it does more than enough to ensure the journey is an engrossing one.
Much like the original game, Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm wears its Zelda-inspirations like a big badge of honour. This means you can expect to hack and slash your way through enemies, explore vast areas that are full of luscious sights, solve cryptric puzzles as you trudge through hazardous dungeons, and interact with an array of NPCs in the homely towns during your quest. Of course, whilst those qualities are seen in plenty of other RPG adventures, it has this *vibe* to it here that’ll remind anyone who plays it of Nintendo’s famed adventure series from the get-go. Plus, your health is counted by hearts, you can use bombs to clear hidden pathways in walls, and there’ll be a sense of familiarity felt in the puzzle-design of the dungeons…
I’m not complaining about these Zelda-like similarities, though – they’re just worth mentioning given how obvious that a lot of them are. There have been a lot of pretenders to the throne as far as The Legend of Zelda is concerned and, more so than not, it is often by cheap imitators that lack any real quality or sense of identity. Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm isn’t like that, with its adventure an entertaining one that still has unique qualities of its own on show that prove it isn’t just a carbon copy.
“The team at Cornfox & Bros. have kept themselves busy working on the game over the fast few years, with the recent release on PC essentially the definitive way to experience Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm.”
One of those ideas is the party system, which sees other characters join you on your journey. You’ll dish out commands to your allies as you face off against enemies and they got me out of more than a few sticky situations when battling multiple foes at once. Sure, it isn’t the most fleshed-out party system that you’ll find in an RPG, but it’s still neat to have a helping hand when in troublesome showdowns and it gives the game a bit more character.
Combat itself is enjoyable too, albeit a little simple in design. Players are armed with a sword, which is useful for swiping away at enemies up close, and a Caster, which can blast out ranged attacks for when you want to pick off enemies from afar. There’s a decent range of baddies to face off against to ensure that your combat skills are constantly tested, whilst the boss encounters make for some really enjoyable battles where you’ll need to use your wits in order to survive. It’s simple, but brings with it more than enough variety to keep players entertained.
One significant improvement seen in the game since playing on the Nintendo Switch is the implementation of a lock-on system. Whilst this is available on other platforms too, it wasn’t when I originally played the game, and believe me, it made the whole experience all the more enjoyable. There have been other additions made since its original release too, with an improved way to track your objectives, all-new quests to embark on, and even an addictive card game known as Arcadian Tarock. It shows that the team at Cornfox & Bros. have kept themselves busy working on the game over the fast few years, with the recent release on PC (and other consoles) essentially the definitive way to experience Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm.
When not in combat, you can expect to spend plenty of time exploring Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm’s vast world and the many islands found across it. A lot of these locales are very open in design to give the player plenty of freedom to uncover them, with all sorts of goodies and side quests available for those that venture off the beaten track. Best of all, it never feels like padding, with no area feeling too big for the sake of it. It’s just a very well-designed world that feels rewarding to explore.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Of course, you’ll also come across an array of creatively designed dungeons, each of which is full of enemies to conquer and puzzles to solve. Whilst I didn’t come across anything that felt too unique when clearing these dungeons, I still had plenty of fun trying to overcome the challenges they put in my path. Plus, they’re the home of the game’s best bosses, with each one a treat to look forward to at the end.
I’d be remiss not to mention how epic exploring Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm’s world feels, with the big world map offering plenty for players to discover as they sail across its wide-open seas. I’m a sucker for a big overworld in an RPG adventure and it certainly delivers that here. Again, it offers a liberating sense of freedom that made it all the more engrossing to explore, all without feeling like unnecessary padding to lengthen the experience out.
Visually, Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm looks fantastic, with its bright and colourful world making for some wonderful sights in-game. The character and enemy design perfectly fits the fantasy setting, with it adopting some familiar but attractive tropes to ensure the folk you meet (or enemies you battle) are always interesting to encounter. As mentioned, I played it on the Nintendo Switch in the past where some clear sacrifices were made here and there, but everything looks so sharp and vibrant on PC that it’s hard not to be left impressed by it all.
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm Review
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm offers an enjoyable adventure that will certainly be appreciated by fans of the Legend of Zelda series. Whilst there’s no denying that it wears it inspirations like a big badge of honour, it also has some of its own unique ideas on show that ensures it isn’t just a carbon copy of Nintendo’s famed franchise. I’d even go as far as saying the more streamlined approach that Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm embraces can feel more accessible for players than it does in The Legend of Zelda, which is always a big plus.
It could be a little lacking in some elements of its design, but there’s certainly more good than bad to be found on this vibrant adventure – especially with all of the additions that have come to the game since its release on the Nintendo Switch. It might not be the most original journey you’ll embark on, but Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm will still offer hours of enjoyment as you uncover its vibrant world.
Developer: Cornfox & Bros.
Publisher: FDG Entertainment
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch