Octopath Traveler II developers discuss improved gameplay, multiplatform release, more

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In a recent exclusive interview with Push Square, the key developers behind Square Enix’s Octopath Traveler II have shared their insights on the game’s improved gameplay, development process and why its predecessor never made it to PlayStation platforms.

On February 24, Octopath Traveler II was launched on multiple platforms, including PlayStation, making it the first game in the series to be available on Sony’s console.

The sequel, boasting the same stunning HD-2D graphics as its predecessor, captivated players with a unique gaming experience that builds on the original game’s success, a massive hit back in 2018 that sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

Featuring eight protagonists — Osvald, Castti, Throné, Ochette, Partitio, Agnea, Temenos, or Hikari — Octopath Traveler II takes players on a journey through the world of Solistia, unlocking the stories of each character along the way.

Game’s development process, improved gameplay

Game producer Masashi Takahashi discussed the first game’s success and acknowledged the pressure to follow it up with something equally impressive.

Asked about the sequel release’s goals, Takahashi revealed that the team wanted to evolve the first game’s formula instead of changing it, retaining elements that made it popular and fully realizing ideas that were not possible in the original game.

”We aimed to evolve the formula rather than change it, keeping as much of what people liked from the first game as possible and trying to fully realize all the things that we were unable to do in it.”

Masashi Takahashi, game producer at Square Enix

Explaining why the game is a multiplatform release, Takahashi said the team wanted to challenge themselves to release the game on as many platforms as possible.

“Apart from that, we made the decision internally after observing the sales of other titles,” he said.

Takahashi also wanted players to enjoy Octopath Traveler II without having to play the first game. Players can rest assured that they won’t miss anything as the sequel is set in a new world and is not linked to the first game’s story.

Meanwhile, game director Keisuke Miyauchi provided more details on the game’s storytelling process, which involves playing through the storylines of different protagonists.

Miyauchi explained that the team began by fleshing out the world and its different regions, including the cultures and civilizations that exist within them. They then considered what kind of stories could realistically take place in each region.

This approach, Miyauchi said, had allowed the team to create grounded and believable stories for all eight main characters, even with the challenge of having multiple protagonists. It also prevented the possibility of an overwhelming amount of narratives with overly heroic storylines that would not fit within the game’s world.

“In terms of playing through the story, the previous game structured each character’s tale in a fixed format over four chapters, but in Octopath Traveler II, each character’s story is structured differently, and it feels like you are playing a completely different RPG in each one.”

Keisuke Miyauchi, game director at Square Enix

He also revealed some improvements to the game’s gameplay and combat system compared to the first game.

Players can now switch between day and night with the press of a single button, adding a fun element to the game. In addition, the transition between music tracks is now more seamless.

Each character’s story is structured differently, making it feel like playing a new RPG in each one. The new “Latent Power” mechanic adds depth to the tactical thinking in combat and allows for a greater variety of attacks by bosses. This means the players must choose their party carefully and fight strategically in boss battles.

Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler is a role-playing video game developed by Square Enix, in collaboration with Acquire. The game was released for the Nintendo Switch in July 2018, for Microsoft Windows in June 2019, (wikipedia)


Devs is an American science fiction thriller television miniseries created, written, and directed by Alex Garland. It premiered on March 5, 2020, on FX on Hulu. (wikipedia)


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