Title: Re;Lord 2 ~The witch of Cologne and black cat~
Release Date: November 19, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel, Eroge
Eroge with captivating character exchanges, whether philosophical or humorous, always stand out in the genre. While they are usually associated with lustful scenes, there are occasional gems that try to be somewhat thought-provoking and ambitious.
The Escu:de-developed Re;Lord 2 ~The witch of Cologne and black cat~ is one such title that manages to defy presumptions and offer a memorable narrative, entertaining character interactions, addictive combat, and a cherry of enticing fanservice.
Throughout Re;Lord 2, players witness the story of the protagonist Wilfried aiming to take down the second Witch of Ruin, Iris. The Witches have invaded the demon country of Saarland, turning the demon denizens into stuffed animals.
With this being a direct sequel to the prior entry, knowledge of the first game’s events is fully expected. There is a vague reminiscence on what occurred last game, but its speed makes it difficult to truly be caught up. In the last title, Wilfried defeated the first Witch of Ruin, Erika Anders, and she joined his entourage. Their dynamic alone requires having experienced the first game to appreciate fully.
There are several layers of character relationships and world lore at the heart of the story, from various types of magic to the politics between different regions. Without being needlessly expository, Re:Lord 2 isn’t exactly a dense read, but it’s undoubtedly a few steps above what you’d expect from the genre.
Additionally, the translation is fantastic, enhancing the delivery of the aspiring lengths this narrative goes to. The writing is engaging, with a delicate balance struck between humor and drama, so neither side is profuse. Still, this isn’t solely a text-based adventure, as there is also mouse-based action combat at the forefront alongside world map traversal.
Gameplay in Re:Lord 2 is addictive, with it primarily consisting of 2 general phases, world map navigation, and combat. On the world map, players must match map tiles with Tetris-like blocks at their disposal to move forward. These blocks come in varying sizes and shapes, each being freely rotatable. Additionally, blocks are obtained as prizes from battles and treasure chests.
This process is straightforward, though the tutorials can make it seem more than it is. Speaking of tutorials, their implementation is sort of a mess. Their delivery is poorly paced and overwhelming, making each gameplay component feel initially more complicated than necessary. This especially holds for combative sequences.
When in combat, players click on foes to damage them via spells. Further, different elements can be actively swapped between and are unlocked through story progress, each having its own caveats. For instance, Fire has longer recharge times while casting more damage, with Wind offering the opposite. Moreover, guarding can be performed at any time to negate received damage if timed correctly.
Enemy encounters are preemptively shown via the map, so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Still, they’re never all that difficult. Even when accounting for the event boss battles, skillful mouse maneuvering is all that’s required to win. However, that factor doesn’t take away from how addicting the gameplay is.
Players will frequently be forced into compulsory fights against girls where the fanservice nature of the title comes full force. Attacking specific articles of clothing initiates Costume Breaks. There is tenseness to these occurrences, though, as attacks still need to be dealt with and guarded. While probably not the intention, having to work to achieve the lewd rewards makes the sight of viewing them all the sweeter. The gorgeous artwork enhances these events. Kaya particularly stood out thanks to her well-endowed assets being highlighted during battles.
The sound quality is impressive, with fitting and passionate voice work from each cast member. Several scenes are comedic in tone, and the voice actors expertly capitalize on that with overly stern line deliveries contrasting with absurdity.
In addition, the soundtrack is unexpectedly fantastic, with tracks such as the general battle theme inducing appropriate excitement. Lastly, while a relatively minor factor, the sound effects when placing tiles on the world map provides a sense of accomplished delight that I unconsciously looked forward to the more I played.
Re;Lord 2 ~The witch of Cologne and black cat~ is a terrific erotic visual novel excelling in engaging storytelling coupled with standout, compelling characterization. Further, the appealing sound design and simple yet addictive combat solidify the quality of this experience. Even with potential monotony that may arise during the mindless gameplay loop, it’s damn enjoyable.
Still, playing the first game is highly advised to get the most out of this sequel, so be sure to check that out first if Re;Lord 2 interests you.
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