Cat Quest II is the sequel to 2017’s Cat Quest, made by the Singaporean developer The Gentlebros. The developers describe their game as a “fast paced open world action RPG” in a “massive world filled with monsters, dungeons and quests”, and I’d say that this description is pretty spot-on, although I didn’t find the game to be as compelling as it might have initially sounded like.
First things first, while Cat Quest II takes place after the events of the first game, and while a few characters are making a return, I’d say that you’re not missing out if you just want to jump in this one. Cat Quest II is also better in some aspects when compared to the first one, but it also remains pretty much the same in regards to other aspects, for better and for worse.
Like its predecessor, Cat Quest II puts you in an open world map where you can pretty much walk wherever you want to, with some areas being inaccessible until you reach a certain point in the game. As you travel around the world, either solo or with a partner in local co-op, you’ll either be doing quests, chasing down loot chests, or clearing dungeons, and you’re bound to run into enemies just roaming around.
A major focus of Cat Quest II is the combat, which is, to put it bluntly, pretty simplistic and rather underwhelming. While there are different spells and weapons that you can acquire and upgrade, and while there’s also a constant need to keep on dodging enemy attacks, the game still ends up being a button mash fest like the original. Having a more complex combat system would have certainly helped, but being able to continuously attack by holding down the attack button would have helped mitigate the issue of button mashing. Also, while there are 101 different pieces of equipment that you can get, weapons and armor aren’t interesting, as most of them only change the way your character looks and increase your stats, there’s nothing unique about them. But hey, at least this time they’ve added ranged weapons, so there’s that!
Regarding combat, there’s also one issue that does happen quite often. During fights with a lot of enemies, where there are a lot of different units spamming abilities, you can quickly lose track of what’s going on. Between the visual indicators of each ability range, to the constant damage numbers popping up, the screen can quickly be filled with a lot of visual noise, thus making it hard to figure out where you are in the middle of all that mess.
The developers have clearly improved their concept with this sequel, but it took me less than half an hour to realize that some of the most glaring issues of the first game were still present. Besides the combat, which I’ve already talked a little about and there’s not much else to say, one other big issue for me in the original Cat Quest was the map system and just the overall navigation.
The world map is huge, and there is a lot of space with nothing in it, just serving as a wasteland to separate all the different dungeons/caves and towns from each other. This is an issue for two big reasons. First, the game involves a lot of running around back and forth both during quests and when going to accept your next one, which ends up extending the length of the game unnecessarily. If the game didn’t involve so much running around, if things were denser, if there was a proper fast-travel system, or if you didn’t move as slow as you do, the game’s length would probably be a third of what it is.
The second issue is related to the way the map is presented. I’m glad that the developers have improved the map system in comparison to the first game, by allowing you to zoom out and pan the camera around. However, it still could’ve been a lot better. It’s still hard to figure out the small icons that indicate dungeons which you haven’t cleared, or quests that you can take. Making these icons bigger would’ve solved the problem, or simply allowing you to zoom in on the map and place markers. I honestly can’t figure out why that isn’t an opinion, especially now that they allow you to pan the camera around. Nonetheless, the most annoying issue for me is the fact that the only way to tell if there are any side quests available, is to manually pan the camera around the world map looking for them. Some sort of journal or arrow system, like the one that points you to the next objective during quests, would have fixed this.
One of the biggest appeals of the Cat Quest series is the fact that it takes place in a world populated by cats, and dogs now also come to the forefront, but unfortunately, the writing and the narrative just leave a lot to be desired. There may be a few small twists in some quests, but it just feels like you’re doing the same thing over and over, no matter if you’re doing the main story quest or one of the dozens of side quests available. All the quests in Cat Quest are your typical fetch quests, served alongside the lacklustre writing filled with cat puns (which I don’t mind). That isn’t to say that it’s bad, it can be enjoyable sometimes, and it deserves praise for having unique writing for every single one of the quests, instead of just giving the same dialogue prompts in every quest like a lot of games do. Nonetheless, the story is just extremely ordinary, it’s not anything worth praising.
Now, still on the topic of quest design, there are 73 dungeons that you can explore during your quests, but while the developers have added a bit more variety to them in comparison to the first game, they still feel and look like just corridors filled with enemies and traps. If you were to compare a dungeon from the beginning of the game and one from the late game, you’d see that some of them can look completely alike.
It seems that with Cat Quest the developers have a clear goal of what they want to achieve, but it just feels like the whole experience is lacking. Everything is functional and works just fine, but overall I don’t find the experience that it provides to be anything meaningful, it’s not something that I will remember in years to come, but it can certainly provide you with about 10 hours of content if you decide to complete the side-quests and don’t straight up rush the main storyline.
While a lot of improvements have clearly been made over the first Cat Quest, like in terms of visuals, Cat Quest II just feels more of the same to me. I think this could have easily passed as an expansion for the first game. While I didn’t hate the first Cat Quest, I wasn’t really a fan of it either, so your mileage may vary. I know some people who simply adored the original, so if you’re one of those, you might just feel the same way in regards to Cat Quest II. Personally, I’d say that there are far better options that you can buy for the same price.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cat Quest II Review
Gameplay - 6/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 6/10
User Review( votes)
The sequel to 2017’s open-world ARPG Cat Quest is finally here, but unfortunately, it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.