It’s a universal theory that cats and dogs are mortal enemies. Have you ever seen them hanging out at your local pub? Well, that’s impossible, but you get the point — they hate each other. In 2017, Cat Quest released on a variety of platforms, but not Xbox. It was an addictive open-world Diablo inspired RPG that surprised thousands of players. It never redefined the genre, but casually poked fun at the tropes, and crafted a fun little adventure. Cat Quest II aspires to continue that tradition, with quality-of-life improvements, a new story, and gorgeous overworld to explore. The hook this time? To show that cats and dogs CAN be friends!
Not all is sunshine and daisies between the two species, as an ongoing war between them rages on in the land of Felingard. Our heroes, both Cat and Dog, are forced into circumstances in which they must reclaim their thrones. The story of Cat Quest II is simple yet fun, and its humorous script compliments the basic story by mocking classic RPG-genre tropes and putting forward a wide variety of puns.
Ultimately, this is an open-world RPG. Think more Diablo than Skyrim, with its loot based mechanics and hack & slash gameplay coming from that similar vein. The world of Felingard is a beautiful, colourful vista with a gorgeous cartoon-like visual style. The world comes to life, as if from the pages of a children’s pop-up book, bringing this whimsical fantasy world to fruition. Larger than life characters provide side quests for you, and optional dungeons lay scattered across the land, awaiting your arrival.
As you embark on your quest and uncover more of the land, both heroes will gain an assortment of weapons and an onslaught of abilities. Having two characters this time around gives you extra freedom on how to approach situations. You can deck one of your furry friends into an assortment of magical armour and weaponry, to become a powerful mage and lay waste to any that stands before you. If that’s not your style, you could make a close-quarters loadout, capable of up-close destruction with a trusty sword and shield in hand.
These quality-of-life improvements help streamline the combat to your playstyle and approach enemies however needed. Often, the foes of Felingard will have elemental weaknesses to be exploited. Having the ability to switch between both characters on the fly gives you that added freedom to still retain your favourite style of play, but quickly swap to a character build more suited against said weakness.
The choice of combat styles extends to the game’s weapon and magic system, which rapidly grows more extensive as you explore. Much like Diablo, chests drop loot of varying power that can be instantly equipped through a simple inventory menu. Within an hour’s worth of play, you could very well have changed your character multiple times as loot can be found in every dungeon across the larger than life world.
Though the world may look cute, it can quickly turn sour, depending on your level. All enemies have a level above their heads and taking on any that are substantially above your level can be suicide. An early game area has enemies of level 90 upwards, which means exploration must be proceeded with caution. Even enemies matched to you can pose a threat if not properly equipped. With some being weak to elements such as lightning or ice attacks, it can be a challenging fight to withstand if you lack the proper tools. Although, it can become frustrating to have a stark contrast between enemies your level and, a mere few steps away, having higher-tier levels immediately cut you down.
Dungeons also adopt this same style, as each scattered across the land possess a level. This can help you determine what you are able to take on, and what is best left until you’re stronger. Dungeons are fairly linear affairs, but often have side tracks that lead to items such as chests or quest items. Everything inside is fundamentally the same as the outside world and doesn’t expand itself further than that. There may be traps and other obstacles, but nothing that is really going to mix anything up drastically. There are some challenge dungeons throughout too, which do test your skills and provide some challenges for greater loot, if you so wish. Cat Quest II is built around it’s combat system and loot grind. If you’re not buying into it, then there’s not much here for you.
Cat Quest II works best in local co-op. Having both players able to tackle this adventure together is tremendous fun and involves teamwork on how best to approach combat. Roaming the land, battling monsters, completing quests and gathering loot provides many enjoyable evenings between a group. It’s clear that this was built with multiplayer in mind and definitely proves to be advantageous. No online multiplayer is available as of now, but would be a welcome addition in the future.
This is the first time Xbox players have had a Cat Quest game on their consoles. Fans of the first game will find a lot to love here, but no real leaps or bounds have been made to the series. It was a winning formula the first time around and Cat Quest II proves it has what it takes again. Whether you’re a fan of the original or want to experience this franchise for the first time, Cat Quest II on Xbox One is the superior game of the two and builds upon the original in all departments.